Michael has finally made the move down to Torquay on the "English Riviera."
I've come with him- for the time being- and will integrate myself into his life until I make my move to Spain. Therefore, I have the opportunity to become a part of his world here before I’ve become, once again, only a visitor.
It's funny- this football thing.
Being the girlfriend of a player, I am privy to the entire “footballing existence.” We came here and our new life was packaged, tied with a bow, and handed to us without a second thought. Michael has his teammates, which in turn, will become his best mates (for the most part). I have their wives and girlfriends, who will become my friends (whether they like it or not). The places I will go, the activities I will partake in, the stores I will shop in, the restaurants I will eat in, are each already pre-ordained.
There is a certain kinship implicated in the commitment here: the lads have all been through the ringer once, twice, or five times…moving from city to city, becoming a part of a team- a team that can be considered a family. And then they are often abruptly transferred or moved to another, entirely altered, family. They must rent out their homes, move all their belongings, and find new houses in which to live- totally alone.
I remember when I first met Michael and we were driving by a random restaurant in a random town just North of London, and he told me that he had eaten in that restaurant alone for a few months when he was just 19. This was because he had signed with a team and would travel down on his own and stay four nights a week. I thought this was the saddest thing I’d ever heard- I just imagined little Michael, sitting in an empty restaurant all by himself, eating dinner over and over again- with the one waitress taking pity on him and filling his coke glass up for free.
However- this is not the case. As Michael told me when he saw how upset I had become, “It is what it is. It’s not lonely, it's just something that has to happen sometimes. No biggie.”
So it would follow that all these new friends, this immediate camaraderie, everything that is involved in signing with a new club- is “no biggie.”
And as a result, I’m taking it in stride too. Bring it on.