The Kind of Women You Want Around

Lori, Marcia, Melissa and Tracy…They L.O.V.E. the Tide! Pensacola Beach, 2017.

Yesterday was Saturday, ahhhhh, and that, to me, meant I could sleep in and not have to put on my pencil skirts and heels to go to work. It’s just about all that mattered to me in the world. I threw on some shorts and a plain red t-shirt. No big deal, right?

Well, I had friends in town from Tuscaloosa. Dinner and drinks somewhere local was on the agenda. I knew we would hit Pegleg’s because that’s where everybody wants to go when they stay on the beach. I was excited about relaxing with the girls, enjoying our bushwhackers and talking about girl things…husbands, kids, careers, I don’t know…shoes, maybe?

Like I said, I wore red, but there wasn’t a real reason for that. My friends, on the other hand, they were all wearing a very intentional red, or a black pattern that could pass for houndstooth, and in spite of the fact that we were sitting in the sand intensely focused on filming a breathtaking sunset, there was still an ever-present reminder of some sort, an odd other-issue crashing into my subconsciousness. Something was out of place for me, something was weird. I hadn’t put it together yet…but I was about to.

The four of us bid farewell to the tippy top of the deep orange sun as it crept down behind the horizon, packed up our coolers and headed to dinner. I led the way, taking the winding shortcut to the bar where the music pumped. As I glanced backwards at my entourage, it instantly clicked in my head what I was seeing. Lined up in a row behind me like baby ducklings, my friends entered the restaurant looking oddly similar to the Alabama coaching staff. Four women in red. And gray. RTR glaring at me in crimson from a baseball cap. Dangling red earrings with decorative As painted on. Blingy flip-flops with red painted toenails. Uniforms if I ever saw them.

We strode in together as if we were taking the Walk of Champions in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium

Trust me, I had to look that up because I definitely didn’t know the name of their stadium.

My companions picked the most uncomfortable chairs in the whole place and ordered shrimp and chowder. For all of about two minutes, we discussed our sadness at not being able to order oysters (thanks Hurricane Nate) before the conversation turned altogether to…you guessed it…football. I had nothing to contribute.

“What in the world are we going to do when Saban retires!?”

“It’s gonna happen eventually! I don’t know either. Maybe Kirby Smart will stay at Georgia long enough to get some experience and then come back?

“Hard to say. I don’t want to think about it.”

“Psh! (Friend’s son’s name) said the same thing when he went there years ago. Saban’s not going anywhere.”

Keep in mind that I have idea who ANY of these people are.

Then our chatter stopped mid-sentence and each of the ladies in my party turned their attention to the television above my head. Then I realized why they chose those ridiculous barstools. There I was on a Saturday night with four grown women, watching football in a bar. I know, I couldn’t believe it, either. You might not know this, but those kinds of fans are a bit of a cult. As people of their sort pass each other in public places, all complete strangers, they utter “Roll Tide” to one another with enthusiasm and just keep on walking.

Bama won the game, and I mean by a LOT, and the mood of our group was peppy. They felt like dancing! Gentlemen, that’s all it takes apparently. A big Alabama win will have a certain kind of woman ready to paint the town…red. On the other hand, had Alabama lost I am certain my friends would have wanted to leave and go home, all of us in bed by 9, pouting. For these die-hard Tuscaloosa residents, Saturdays are Game Day and the stakes couldn’t have been higher. Saturdays in the South in the Fall really are this important.

Had I known, I would’ve worn my red stilettos to dinner and I might have least been able to talk about those, something (unlike football) that I know a lot about. I think my red shoes would go nicely with the BAMA t-shirt the girls told me they were buying for me, for next time.

Roll Tide Roll

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About Dawn Quarles

Dawn Quarles is a high school political science and American history teacher who moonlights as a blogger and writer. She lives on Pensacola Beach, Florida.

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