When I was in tenth grade my father, who was a big believer in presenting his children with new cultural experiences offered me the opportunity to live for one year in a small southern Utah town. I took the offer and travelled via plane and then a six hour bus ride through the desert to Cedar City, Utah. It was your typically small American, one high school, one main street type of town. The kind you’d see in the movie “Dazed and Confused” or “Friday Night Lights”.
It was at Cedar City High that I was exposed to a relationship dynamic that has affected me ever since.
Football, Basketball and all sports were the rage. High school sports served as most of the city’s entertainment and all games were even broadcast on the local radio.
The school football team quarterback was as cool as a guy could get. His name was Judd and he was an all American. He was tall, good looking with wavy sandy brown hair, deep brown eyes and of course, a strong jaw line.
To complete this picture, standing by Judd’s side was his girlfriend Charise. Long black hair and blue eyes with whitest Crest smile possible; Charise was the head cheerleader, and the subject of many a school boy’s fantasy.
Naturally they were the Prom King and Queen and were looked upon as the all American teenage power couple. I would watch them with envious fascination as they would part hallway crowds with their charismatic presence.
I decided there and then that I wanted a head cheerleader type of girlfriend, but also conceded that if I were to find her, I would first have to be her “quarterback”.
The very next year I tried out for the football team.
Just for fun I reiterated my story on a date recently and immediately felt quite foolish. It seemed like a silly and even infantile sounding story now. That is, until I realized that perhaps I still wanted to be the “quarterback” and all that it represented; only this time from a mature, more evolved perspective. Not the quarterback literally, but better stated I want to be the man that conducts himself in such a way that he’s counted on and reliable when the going gets tough.
He’s the rock or that steady strong source of strength within the relationship.
Metaphorically I want to deliver the touchdown or run the winning rush or throw the miraculous hail marry pass all for my loving and supportive partner. I want to be looked at and counted on by my cheerleader and love of my life.
Of course these roles can always be reversed or altered according to the individuals and the dynamic of the relationship, but for me I’ve got it in my head the role that I want. It’s my “quarterback complex”.