Being in a new relationship is a whirlwind. It’s fun, exciting, and suspenseful. You’re uncertain if it will work out, but still cling to optimism for a bright future filled with momentous occasions. Plus you get to make your friends jealous. Or, in my case, confused:
“Kris, are you free on Saturday? Let’s do something.”
“Oh, sorry, no. I’m busy. I’m watching Villa play.”
“Villa. Aston Villa.”
“Your new boyfriend?”
“…Yes. Also a football team. But, uh, yes.”
“Soccer. Whatever, you won’t understand. It’s, like, an English thing.”
And, so, it’s been a little over a month since I entered into my relationship with Aston Villa, and I’m having a great time. Villa has turned out to be a lot more than I had expected. Going into the relationship, I was questioned as to why I was willing to make the commitment. People said how Villa would just disappoint me; that I was crazy for taking such a risk. They wondered why I didn’t date more of a power-house, like Manchester United. But I’m not a girl who goes after inflated egos, or lots of cash, or who has superficial flings while searching for true love. I know you’re all going to be wonderfully polite and hold your tongues about Barça.
Like all relationships, there have had a few ups (West Ham, Reading) and downs (Arsenal, Manchester City) so far, but the positives outweigh the negatives. And, you didn’t hear this from me, but sometimes Villa starts out sort of… well, meh, but with a little bit of confidence and some effort, Villa has left me breathless, red-cheeked, and begging for more – as evidenced by QPR. Those are relationship-defining moments where, even though sometimes things can fizzle, something happens that makes one realize: this is right for me. Also, please, please, give me more, now.
We are not mutually exclusive with each other, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a tremendous amount of love out poured. Truth be told, I have to share Villa with a lot of other people – people who get to be with Villa on a regular basis, while I’m stuck doing this across-the-pond, long-distance relationship. Sometimes, I can’t even see Villa directly on my television; instead, I’m stuck with low-quality streams, filled with advertisements and lag time. The things we do for love! It is especially frustrating to hear from Matt about all the pie that he’s getting from seeing Villa in person. Although Villa has become more than just my side piece, I am still in a committed relationship with Barcelona. But no other EPL clubs. I swear. (Sorry, Dempsey.)
Another relationship perk is when your significant other has a great family – and Villa certainly does. The AVL community has now become my second family, so even if I happen to get irritated with the way the relationship is going, there is so much more at stake than just Villa; I’ve got to worry about keeping it together for the sake of Frem and his dream of wingers; for my fellow writers; all the readers, and all the Steamers and B6s and 62s, and the person who introduced me to Villa to begin with: Matt. You’ve accepted the Yankee into your family, even though so many things fly right over my head. There’s no turning back on this, lest Churchill sells me for coins, beans, and who knows what else.
Despite having to share so much and so often, this relationship is fulfilling and I am having a great time. I know that there’s a rocky road ahead for us, but I think that both Villa and our relationship will pull through. It will be even better when Villa’s full confidence is renewed and the negativity either subsides or significantly calms down. After all, no one talks s**t about my boyfriend and gets away with it.