"Hey, don't make me go back to Columbus on you..." says the large, buff, black man in line next to me at Starbucks.
I don't really know what that means.
And then I remember I'm wearing an Ohio State t-shirt. Ah, he's a Buckeye.
(I still don't know the proverbial reference that I would threaten him back to Columbus. But I step into the conversation with an air of nonchalance.)
"Are you a Buckeye?" I smile.
"Yes, ma'am. I just moved here from Columbus in December."
"Welcome to Denver. I'm from Ohio; my husband went to Ohio State. He was in the marching band."
(If you don't get the TBDBITL reference, don't be too quick to put a geek nametag on this community of brass. They are a force to be reckoned with. It's harder to make the marching band than it is to make the football team. Just FYI. I could go on. Robb would, I assure you. I have the stats memorized. A friend of mine aptly named us the Marching Band Power Couple.)
"Oh, no kiddin'?"
"We get so excited to see Buckeyes around here. In fact, once I went back to Columbus for a wedding, and I embarrassed myself by getting so excited to see people in scarlet and grey. I was, like, all high-fiving people and throwing my fist in the air, 'Go Bucks! Hey! O-H!' It wasn't until they barely smiled at me that I realized I was in Buckeye town. It's not so uncommon out there. I looked like quite the ridiculous enthusiast."
He smiled. Perhaps I was saying too much. It's just that it's a fun language to speak, like the Spanish I learned in high school. I don't know much, but it's a little fun to use what I know.
I tried one more comment, perhaps my last. "There's quite a few Buckeyes in this town - a society of our own."
"Yeah, we've got our own mojo goin' on in D-town," he says.
Right. Mojo. D-town. (Perhaps I don't know how to have this conversation at all. A girl can only pose for so long.)
He gave me a fist bump.
"You take care, Buckeye."
My husband graduated from Ohio State. He was in the marching band.
Hey, Colorado natives? I'm raising a couple o' Buckeyes.