How one became red ...
Most of our photos, no matter where we happen to be, look like this ...
or this ...
or this ...
Do you see a pattern forming? No? Look more closely at the shirts ... now do you see it? Our family is black & white. There is no other option as each child had their own Newcastle United strip from birth. I didn't even have a choice in this matter so even I became black & white. Although when it came down to actually buying a shirt for myself I chose an away strip that was blue :-) (And I have only worn it once when I went to a match).
One year The Extrovert started a conversation with "Dad, you support Newcastle because you were born there ..."
There is never going to be a happy ending when a conversation starts like this!
To which Dad replied with a long, quiet, drawn out "Yeeeeessssssssss".
"Well I wasn't born there so do I have to support Newcastle too?"
Can you picture the silence at this point? I bet a million things were going through the Dad's head.
"I guess you could, but do you want to?"
"Oh, yes. I really want to support Liverpool" was the reply given to the very shocked Dad.
"Because I like them and they play well, and I want to choose my own team."
At this point I was expecting WW3 to break out in the kitchen and I was relieved to here the Dad say "If that is what you want then you may, but I will never buy you a shirt. You will have to buy your own from now on."
The next few months past and The Extrovert stuck to his guns and supported Liverpool. He got a bit of ribbing at school and from the family, but he never wavered. Christmas was coming and he cheekily asked for a Liverpool shirt even though he was told he wouldn't be getting one. He could buy one after Christmas if he got any money. The Dad was stuck in a quandary ... he always bought both boys a Newcastle shirt. What was he going to do? But love for his son won out and he decided to buy them both a shirt still. We had to drive to Dublin to get Newcastle shirts (Liverpool ones could be bought anywhere) so we drove up one day to try to get as many presents bought at one time as we possibly could.
The first stop was the sporting goods store. The entire drive the Dad was fighting it out in his head. He couldn't believe he was about to buy a Liverpool shirt. When we walked into the store he chose the Newcastle shirt he wanted and took it to the counter to have a name put on it. He then also asked the attendant for a Liverpool shirt in the same size. The attendant pointed to the rack and said to grab one from their. The Dad just looked at him and replied "I am not touching that shirt, could you please go get it". I think the attendant was very confused but he selected the shirt and printed the names on them and then the penny dropped. He tried very hard not to laugh as The Dad paid for both shirts. The minute we were out of the shop he handed the bag to me. "I have paid for it, that is enough. I am NOT carrying a Liverpool shirt around all day!" He would only go so far, and he went further than I would have ever imagined.
So Christmas morning The Thinker unwrapped a Newcastle shirt with his own name on the back. And much to The Extroverts surprise, he unwrapped a Liverpool shirt with his own name on the back. Lovingly given by his dad.
And to this day, our family looks more like this ...
Always one bright patch of red amongst the black & white.
And that is my first story for Storytelling
Footnote: Thankfully there is one team they can all agree on. For this one I become the odd one out :-)