By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 07, 2015
KvO's babysitter Renata
Credit: Renata

Anyone who follows me on Twitter (and if you do: thank you! especially if we are not related) knows that I caught full-on World Cup fever. We all did. It was easy in my house, with three sons who play soccer and a husband who somehow always gets talked into coaching. But we were far from the only ones: I knew things were serious when my assistant Ann, who does not follow soccer and whose son never played soccer, made a reference to FIFA recently. I don’t need TV ratings—Ann casually mentioning FIFA is all the evidence I need that soccer has taken hold in America! Woo hoo!!!

And then, of course, there is this amazing photograph of our babysitter, Renata, who is from Brazil. This is a picture of her on the way to watch one of the Brazil games.

No, that’s not her real hair.

But now: despair. After the end of the World Cup, really, how can I get out of bed in the morning? What is there to live for, without Ian Darke whispering sweet nothings in my ear?

But we must go on. And so I am in search of a new, all-consuming interest. Preferably one that will engage my whole family, including boys who would rather not talk to me at all and answer every question with “It was ok.”


  • Needs drama, specifically in the form of lots of falling down, sometimes intentionally
  • Needs referees who carry around little pieces of colored paper that can alter the course of history
  • Needs coaches in suits and ties (with exceptions granted, as to German coach Joachim Low, who looks stylish in his own way, even if his hair does make him look a little bit like Davy Jones, circa 1970) (And speaking of Low: did anyone notice that he missed a belt loop yesterday?)
  • Needs face painting on fanbase. Basically all life events should come with face painting.
  • Needs fireworks at conclusion. Ditto.
  • Requires attendance of world leaders. (And speaking of world leaders: Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the president of Argentina. Did she really miss yesterday’s game to go to her grandchild’s first birthday party?!?! Priorities, Madam President!) (Would Eva Peron have missed the game? Yes, I realize she was not president. Still: doubtful.)
  • Needs totally random-seeming, Hand of God-type outcomes. I.e. penalty kicks. Because life is cruel, and we all have to be reminded of that.
  • Needs to bring together citizens of the world

Where, oh where, am I going to find this new interest? Unfortunately, my only other interest, Downton Abbey, does not seem to meet any of these qualifications. Plus, it doesn’t start ‘til January.