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True winner

Molly Sammon | Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My younger brothers and I are the products of a mixed marriage.

It’s a constant struggle and a never-ending battle between my parents, always fighting over whose side is better. All of my friends from home are on my mom’s side of the issue, but my brothers and I are on my dad’s side. Sometimes, I just wish all the fighting in my house would stop.

Each year, the same fight escalates deeper and deeper, my mom getting more frustrated at my dad as this fated weekend draws nearer. Thankfully, with Saturday quickly approaching, a true winner will be decided and my household will be a pleasant place again.

It amazes me that two people with two completely different backgrounds could form a successful marriage. They just have to ignore each other’s taunts for one day a year.

When my parents come to campus on Saturday, my dad will be wearing “The Shirt,” singing the fight song after every Irish touchdown, shaking down the thunder from the sky, and swaying to the Alma Mater when it’s all said and done. My dad graduated from Notre Dame.

His wife — a woman I find particularly difficult to call my mother during this upcoming weekend, though she is an incredible woman on every other day of my life — will stand next to him at the game. She’ll be in black and gold, trying to make friends with all the other outcasts at Notre Dame Stadium, pumping her fist up and down to toot her Boilermaker horn, moving to the beat of the “world’s largest drum,” and making ridiculous train noises when (or if?) Purdue scores this weekend. My mom graduated from Purdue.

Dealing with my mom on this weekend is only part of the strife I associate with the Purdue game. So many people from my high school graduate and continue on to Purdue, people have nicknamed it “Purdue Central.” At graduation, instead of asking what school you’ll be going to, rather people ask “What will you be majoring in down in West LaFayette?” If we lose, I have a large number of people to avoid for the next year.

In my circle of family and friends, this game means bragging rights for an entire year. It’s a chance to have the upper-hand in every argument for twelve full months. As long as we beat Purdue, in my eyes, it has been a successful season. I’m hesitant to say that I don’t care if we lose every single game for the remainder of this year, surely I do feel the heartbreak associated with losing to anyone. But the heartbreak from losing to Purdue is the kind that stings for a long, long time.

Beating Purdue in the final seconds last year was one of my favorite moments in all of the games I’ve been to. It’d be great to feel that again this year.

If we don’t, I’ll be the girl that’s walking around campus with the Purdue shirt on since I lost a bet with my best friend from high school. Please don’t mock me.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Molly Sammo at msammon@nd.edu