Some things in this life simply come as a shock to the system, no matter how mentally and physically prepared you think you are. Jumping into the ocean when the water is freezing. Leaving your air-conditioned car on a 100 degree day. Give someone a free punch sometime, get ready for it, brace yourself, know it's coming, and it still hurts every bit as much as a haymaker out of the blue. If not worse.
This is worse.
I'd love to avoid the obvious analogy. And believe me when I say I just sat at my keyboard for a solid five minutes trying to come up with some more artfully crafted simile, just out of respect for the craft of writing. I consider that the Old Balls Difference. But this is one of those examples where the obvious comparison is the most fitting. This is exactly what it must feel like to see the woman who walked out on you in a wedding dress. You've known for a while that it's over. You knew she was with somebody else and that this day would come. But you stalk her Insta and she's in the gown with her face pressed against the lapels of the other guy's tux and that big rock on her hand and that smile that used to be all yours. And now matter how much you thought you'd steeled yourself to it, the sight still hits you like a big, cosmic kick to your emotional groin.
Words seem inadequate to convey the feelings these football wedding album are dredging up. So, like any good artist, I'll present them in visual form. The needle on my Psyche Meter right now is somewhere between here:
... and here:
… and whatever this is.
Eventually I'll process this. And remind myself that this is a new time and a new era with a new quarterback and we face a boundless future filled with opportunities galore. While repressing the memory of this with sights and sounds of happier times.
Goddammit, Brady makes those ugly uniforms look like designer formal wear. This bites.