A lot of people probably know a football player, or if not, his missus. Yet, I am always surprised at the amount of girls still wanting to date an AFL player. Some people also seem to think I live in this mystical land of free things, champagne & pretty people. Well, I just spent a good 30 minutes cleaning up dog turds on my decking because my puppies are really dumb & lazy. I clean up a lot of poo. So on that note, let me tell you why being a WAG is a BAD IDEA. VERY BAD IDEA.
It’s not about you.
Ever. I don’t mean sometimes, I mean all the time. Really sick & have no family because you moved interstate to be with the love of your life? (I’m an expert on this shit). Doesn’t matter. Your boyfriend has to play footy & the fact that you feel like you may have died & met the devil himself in a feverish hallucination is beyond insignificant. Can I just reiterate that I am an only child quickly? You may have garnered that fact even if you didn’t previously know. But seriously, it sucks. People ask about your partner all the time. Sometimes even omitting a “so, how are you too?” in the process. I grew up the apple of my family’s eye, & to be ushered to the sidelines both literally & metaphorically can be hard on a girl. The constant reminder that you are just another brick in the wall & your boyfriend is part of an elite group of professionals can kind of suck on those days where you’re up to your tenth blank stare from someone & you just know they’re thinking “who the fuck are you?”.
Footy becomes your life.
Don’t close the browser tab, I’m not insulting your intelligence. Footy becomes your life in a way you never really considered before. Let me elaborate. You’re buying the weekly groceries, & planning what to eat for the week. In a lot of households a “what do you want?” may suffice. Uh uh. Not here. “What day is the game this week? Are you playing AFL or WAFL? Will you even be home for dinner or are you doing a handful of appearances & clinics this week?” is what I need to ask. What day the game is is by far THE most important. Ladies, an AFL player needs to carb load. Even local footy players need to do this, but this is the big league & god forbid you better feed him right lest he have a shitty game & you feel guilty for not fulfilling your WAG duties. On a low carb diet? HA! Think you’ll make two meals & avoid that massive bowl of spaghetti on a weekly basis? I’m laughing. I have tried, & maybe my resolve is especially weak. But, you will be carb loading once a week too, I almost guarantee. & it hurts.
The WAG bit.
I am no Rebecca Judd, CLEARLY. I can best be described as “nobody”. I am about 10 kilos heavier than Mrs. Judd even though she has had a child (HOW?), & my bank account is much lighter (dear god switch these two things around will you, please?). This is probably why my WAG life is so different to what a lot of people imagine. But, I anticipate there are a lot of girls out there who would nod their heads in agreement because only a minority are filthy rich & extremely well-known. The WAG bit is hard when you’re a bit of an unknown straddling the perimeter. The ability to dress fabulously while maintaining you spent no time or effort at all is one that is really hard to master. Three years later & I’m still trying desperately. My role of WAG can be better described as this: a second mother, a lover, a cleaner, a chef, the cheer squad, the therapist, the psychologist, & the fierce lioness who will RIP YOUR HEAD OFF IF I HEAR YOU SAY ANYTHING ABOUT NUMBER 28. You have many, many roles to play. Many more than donning a dress & making your man look amazing at the annual Best & Fairest Awards.
I hope it is obvious that this is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek rendition of my life, & also an attempt to tell you what it’s really like for a lot of the partners of professional athletes. Most of all, what I would like people to understand most is that both people in the relationship of WAG & AFL player work extremely hard. My boyfriend trains roughly 5 times a week, but also with a game on the weekend in front of tens of thousands. & his midweek day off is taken up with various other commitments related to his job. Don’t get me wrong, there are perks. For some a lot more than others. But it is a taxing life. Emotionally, physically, & mentally. Life is hard no matter who you are or what you do, but it is an extremely misunderstood profession.
Ladies, date a tradie. He’ll have a killer bod & can fix anything around the house at your whim.