We share a connection

The other day, I saw this:

fan life

At first, I was like, ‘huh, that’s true, I guess. Never thought about it, actually.’

And then, this past week, this picture took on an entirely new meaning.  Because it’s TRUE.

It started earlier in the week (honestly, I can’t remember what day it was).  I was watching tennis (no surprise there).  The match was going along, and the television station kept cutting to random shots of random audience members enjoying the match.

Usually this annoys me.  I am watching tennis to watch the match.  Also, chances are good that I want to be there, watching the tennis in real life.  So, I don’t want to see people there where I want to be, watching what I really want to watch.  And sometimes, they keep going back to one specific person without any mention of who that person is.  It is always someone famous, a coach, a girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband or some other family member.  Never an explanation until like the 10th time this person has appeared.  Then the commentators won’t shut up about them.  Sorry, but I just want to watch the tennis, not the people.  I’m already enough of a people watcher as it is.

Anyway. Anyway anyway anyway.  Back to the story.  I was watching the match, wishing that the cameramen would focus on the court, not the stands.  I was just thinking of getting up (off the floor, the couch is too much for me during a match.  I always end up closer to the tv, anyway.  I’m an emotional tennis watcher–I get into the match and yell at the tv and fist pumps and everything) and getting a drink of water, when it happened.

The camera flashed from person to person until it stopped on one girl.  If I remember correctly, she was sitting next to someone with a neon yellow shirt on.  She was just another girl, so what made her so different?  It what was on her head.  She had a cap on her head.  A baseball cap.  Just some other baseball cap?  Oh, no.  This cap was the official hat of Infiniti Red Bull Racing.  There she was, an F1 fan, a tennis fan, taking in a match.

I got really excited.  I’m still new to this F1 thing, so finding another fan is really, really exciting to me.  (Though, what happened to me at school later in the week makes me think that F1 fans are just always excited to meet each other)  It’s true.  I might have overreacted.  Well, actually, maybe not.  I gasped, and said (out loud, mind, even though I was home alone), “I see you, Red Bull fan.  I see you.”

Whoa.  That sounds really, really creepy.  I promise, creepy was not my intent.  It was more excitement that escaped me, not creepiness.  I don’t know who that girl is, but she likes tennis.  I like tennis.  She likes F1.  I like F1.  She likes Red Bull.  I like Red Bull.  We share a connection.

Okay, okay, okay.  This sounds REALLY silly.  I know it does.  But, to me, I don’t really see it as silly.  It’s kinda comforting, knowing there are other fans of F1 out there.  Don’t get me wrong, I know they are there, but to see it makes it real.

I’m not doing a very good job of explaining this.  At all.  But I think it is kinda making sense.  (If it isn’t, please just go with it anyway.)

So, Red Bull Racing girl at the Open.  Yes.  But then, on Thursday, I went to school.

Ok, back story.  In my Tuesday/Thursday class, We have to do a group project (I know, I loathe them, too).  There are something like 200 students in this class, and my professor has assigned groups, which I am grateful for.  There is nothing worse than knowing no one in a GIANT class and then having to make friends with 4 of them just to do a project that, let’s face it, no one wants to do anyway.  My prof has gotten rid of that, but now we have to try to find each other and then make the project work.  Right.  Well, one kid in my group is kinda smart.  He sent an email to everyone in the group saying that we should all sit in the same area of the lecture hall, because then we could get to know each other.  Perfect.  Except one thing.  Who is this kid?  What does he look like?  All in due time, Mary.

Back story over.  I walked into class that morning and saw an empty seat by this woman that I know from another class I have.  I guess you could say that she is my class buddy. Heh.  So I see the seat and go grab it, figuring that I’d just go talk to the kid who is in my group after I got settled in my seat.  There were still like 15 minutes before class started, and I saw that as plenty of time.  I looked down to the area of the hall that he suggested we meet in (it happened to be the very front of the room), and saw a couple things:

  1. A kid who looked like he matched the name of the kid who sent the email.  This sounds bad.  The person who sent the email has a foreign name (that’s alright to say, no?), so I figured that the kid I saw was him.
  2. Next to him was an empty seat.
  3. Next to the empty seat, I see a kid in a cap.  A baseball cap.  No, this was not an Infiniti Red Bull Racing cap.  This cap was different.  It was gold on the back and black on front.  Just another cap, says you?  Well, I says no!  On the back of this cap was a little Finnish flag and a number 7.  This kid was wearing his hat with a flat brim, which was appropriate.  It kinda looked like this (Ok, I lied. It looks EXACTLY like this):

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus f1 driver

No, it wasn’t actually Kimi Raikkonen. But this kid was wearing this hat! (And you can see why the flat brim is appropriate.)

I got really excited again.  Except this was not on tv.  I looked at my class buddy, and said, “I think that kid down there emailed the members of my group.  I’m gonna go see if it was him.  He wanted us to all sit down there, but I didn’t want to.”

She just looked at me, bewildered.  But, I was kinda already gone.

I jumped up, and hurried down to the kid who I thought sent the email.  When I got to him, this is the conversation that happened:

Me: Are you in group 7?  I think you sent me an email.

Him: Yes, I am!  That was me.  I thought we should all meet because we are supposed to work on this project.

Me: Oh, yeah.  Good idea.  Well, my name is Mary, and I’m sitting up there with a friend today, but I just wanted to let you put a face to a name.  So…yeah!

Him: Oh, yeah that’s totally fine!  Ok, good to know.  Thanks!

Then, I turned to Kimi hat guy and said: And I wanted to let you know that I love your hat, and your shirt (which was also Kimi themed).

He looked at me with a weird look.  A look of, ‘You know who this is?  Wait, you do? Oh.  WHO are you?’  But what he said was: Oh, yeah? …Thanks.  You’re an F1 fan? You a Kimi fan?  I’m a Raikkonen and a Vettel fan.

Me: Well, yeah.  Yeah, Kimi is the best.  I’m not sure who my favorite is, I don’t really think I have a favorite.

Him: Oh, yeah that’s true. (He also looked genuinely excited that, there in front of him, was another F1 fan.)

Me: But, I do like Kimi and Seb and Jenson and Nico Hulk.

Him: Oh, cool!  So what’s your name?

Me: Mary.  And yours?

Him: (Here, he told me his name.  I can’t decide if it would be weird to tell it, so I won’t.)  And I’m actually in your group!

Me: Really? Great! Now we all know each other, we just need the other two.

Him: Yeah.  It’s cool to meet another F1 fan.  You really don’t meet many.

Me: No, you don’t!  Well, we’ll have to be friends, because we’re in the same group and we’re F1 fans.

Him: Yeah. (Skeptical yeah here, people.  But whatever. haha)

Me: Well, it was good to meet you both.  Talk to you later!

And then, to Kimi hat boy, because I didn’t think I would be talking to them again that day, I said: Enjoy Monza this weekend.  I know I’m excited.

Him: Yeah, me too.

So fast forward to about an hour later.  My professor told us that he wanted us to split up into our groups.  We all kinda looked at him with looks of, ‘Seriously? In this room? How do we even begin to find our groups?’

BUT! Never fear college students! He had a plan.  He started pointing to sections of the room and saying which group he wanted where.  When he mentioned where he wanted group 7, I got up, grabbed my stuff, and went to the designated GROUP 7 part of the room. (Just kidding, there was no fanfare.  The caps implied that.)  The two boys looked at me.  And then we just stood there, the three of us, waiting for the other two…yeah. Awkward.

Then, Kimi hat boy looked at me and asked me more about my knowledge of F1.  I confessed that I didn’t really know much and that I was very new to the sport, but I do like motor sport and I always have, like IndyCar.  He told me that he’s been an F1 fan his whole life and that he really loves it.  (He also mentioned that he wasn’t really into IndyCar as much but gave the obligatory, “Oh, that’s cool!”) I said that I love it too.  Then we struck up a normal conversation about F1.  It was established–our connection.  Thanks to his cap, and my keen eye for Finnish flags, we were destined to be best friends (or at least, I’d like to think so.).  Hey. He likes Kimi.  I like Kimi.  he likes F1.  I like F1.  We both have to endure this class together.  It’s gonna be great.

Red Bull Girl.  Kimi Hat Boy.  We have a connection.  Neither of them know it. But it exists.  Because what that picture says is true.  And now I know that.  I know that there really are other F1 fans out there.  I just have to find them. (Now, THAT was the creepy part…ha)


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