It’s coming! There’s no escaping. The supermarkets are full of related, or not so related merchandise and yesterday I saw my first red and white flag hanging precariously from a car window.
I have to say that I am really not that fussed about football. I can make an acceptable stab at explaining the offside rule and occasionally wow my husband with some piece of trivia but basically that’s the end of my footballing knowledge. But I do like the fact that for other people it is more important than life or death (to paraphrase Mr Shankly).
I love the way that whenever there is a major sporting event that we have a real, or even imagined chance of succeeding at, the whole country explodes into a media fuelled fever. We all know that June will be sacrificed to cut price beer, barbecues, unpleasant fashion and, I am sure, ultimate disappointment. And whilst England is winning, everyone will walk around with a spring in their step. People will smile at strangers in the street, united by this sense of national pride. Suddenly everyone has something other than the weather to discuss and, if the gods are kind to us, we will have a mini heatwave to coincide with the competition to make our enjoyment complete.
But whilst I want the England team to fulfill its potential, this is because I like the effect that it has on the country and not from any passion for the sport. In fact I am not passionate about anything. I never have been. of course, I have stuff that interests me or that I might get a bit excited about – but passionate? Never.
But to be passionate about something must be a wonderful thing. To have something that engulfs your life so completely that you would walk over broken glass to get to it. I have friends who are passionate about stuff. Sport is the main category but not just participating, where passion may be confused with endorphins. These people are happy to be passionate from their sofas. They can’t remember a time in their life when their passion was not the most important thing in the world. Of this I am slightly envious.
I have wondered over the years why I have never felt this kind of passion. Is this because I have not yet discovered the thing that will light my fire or because passion just isn’t in my DNA? As I am constantly turning my hand to new things, I like to hope that the object of my yet to be discovered passion is just behind a door or over the next page, waiting patiently for me to catch up with it. But if I am honest I know full well that the reason I don’t do passionate is because I am just not a passionate kind of person. I don’t do highs and lows. I am pragmatic to a point of tedium and my brain is far too flighty to spend time on one particular subject. So whilst I would love to develop a passion, I know in my heart of hearts that it just isn’t happening.
So I shall watch the football results with interest. I obviously won’t watch any actual football. And I shall delight in England’s triumphs and mourn its defeats with those around me. But you now know that really I am a bit of a fraud, far more interested in the competition’s effects on my countrymen than in the actual results. Just don’t tell anyone.