Monday, November 5, 2012

What Color Are Your Underwear

When I first moved to NC, I had no idea about the intense rivalry between UNC and Duke.

For one poignant example of intense, I can tell you about the time my husband got mooned because his athletic shorts were the wrong shade of blue.

I attempted to remain neutral about the topic when I first arrived but quickly found that I was often (literally) backed into a corner and forced to choose. No, really, what are you? A Dukie or a Tar Hole? Coach K or Ol' Roy? Ramses or the Devil?

I picked the Tar Heels (If God wasn't a Carolina fan why is the sky Carolina Blue? I could see no argument to that). From then on I have been booed in grocery stores for wearing the wrong sweatshirt but willingly yelled "Go to Hell Duke!" in the middle of the Carolina anthem. (And just so you know a similar sentiment is a part of the Duke cheer).

When people found out that I was going to go to Duke while my husband was going to UNC, they looked at me incredulous.

Will he kick you out of the home?

What basketball game will you watch when they are both on?

How can you even stand living with a Tar Hole?

Certainly you and the man who you promised to live your life with no longer have anything in common.

It all got real when a complete stranger asked -

How will you know what color underwear to wear? 

Is everything us versus them? Just because my underwear is a nice tar heel blue and yours is, uh, not, doesn't mean that we aren't both wearing them. And, now get this, we may actually have something more in common than following social norms about undergarments.

Tonight, being the night before Election night, which is kinda like a high stakes Christmas Eve, I thought about this whole team-picking thing. We are so anxious to divide into teams aren't we? We are so ready and prepared to pit us against them. We are trained to highlight the differences and ignore the possibility that we may be in many ways the same.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am passionate about my guy winning and certainly hope that my Christmas Morning on Wednesday includes hope for civil rights for my best buds, heath care for my neighbors, and funding for science for my husband. But I am also a passionate believer in the common good in people, the unavoidable acceptance of diversity, and the imperative of kindness above all.

So this election eve I am sending out wishes for unity, peace, and the good ol' golden rule.

Oh, and go heels.

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