Tonight, it was a typical Tuesday night. One were my hubby and I go to mass, we go twice a week in the evenings, Tuesday and Thursday. We meet up with some friends and family. Afterward, we either go out to dinner together or meet at someone's house to cook. This night was no exception.
Little Marissa and I were sitting and talking. She is 3 and 1/2 years old. I was told that the 1/2 was very, VERY IMPORTANT. :) We sat and chatted for a long time. Because the guys told us gals, we had the night off. Yup, they cooked, we chatted. Marissa's mom was tending to Maribel and Naribel was talking with her Nino. That left me and Marissa to have some good, hard core, girl talk.
And what did Marissa and I talk about? Her boyfriend.....Dale Earnhardt Jr. Are you serious? Little Marissa is IN LOVE with a man that I guess is in his 30s? Yes she is. So much so, this little princess who has a Barbie collection that would make any little girl jealous, has a HUGE poster of him hanging over her bed. Yup, so when she lays down to sleep, she can look up at her "boyfriend."
This is a picture of him. I did a search on the internet when I got home. Because to be very honest, I had no clue who he was. Beyond the 3 hours of facts, stories, and such that I learned from Little Marissa, I have no clue who Dale Jr is. I am guessing, Dirty Mo Acres is his property.
Lola, where are you when I need to learn about NASCAR.....at work. Anyway, I don't know much about NASCAR. I know Lola likes to watch it, Little Marissa is in love with "Jr," and Sara cannot get enough since Lola made her watch a race a few years back. Sara's favorite driver is also Jr. I watched part of a race, once, and really can't remember much. I know more about Indy car racing, because a father-son duo is from my hometown. There is a large street named after them. That's it, I don't know anything else.
This right here, is JR Motorsports, a place that Jr owns. Go me, I found something out on my own. It looks like a cool place. It is the place that Little Marissa wants so badly to visit, she told her Dad that she would trade all of her dolls and 1 pair of her dancing shoes to get to go. And she is serious about her folklorico dancing.
She also was very excited when she talked about "Mr. H." I later learned, Mr. Rick Hendrick. Who is Dale Jr's boss. He owns Hendrick Motorsports, which is the top team in NASCAR. That's him on the right.
This is a picture of Dale Jr all dressed up. It is the one that Marissa made her Dad use as wallpaper on their family computer. Marissa will boot the computer just to look at her boyfriend. :) I will admit, he is an attractive man. In a picture that Marissa has, he has the most striking blue eyes. Yup, the kind that you can easily get lost in. But for a 3 year old to fall so completely in love with the man, I cannot believe it. She really is head over heels for him.
I had heard from Lola, Selena, and A that she saves up her TV time all week, to watch NASCAR practice, races, and whatever else she can find on TV. Isn't that cute? I just think it is sweet. Trade in Saturday morning cartoons for a little NASCAR racing.
Little Marissa convinced Lola to make her a dress out of National Guard 88 (the car he drives) fabric last year. She wore it literally until the fabric began to wear out. Now, she is on the hunt for some more fabric. Marissa also wears her little firesuit on race day. Chente (her dog) also wears his little shirt. And they sit in front of the TV on race day to watch their idol. Don't even think of talking to Marissa, she doesn't even take time to eat.
This just made me think, do all kids get role models like this? The kind that you really, deep down inside think the sun rises and sets on them? I think so. I looked up to Chente (aka Vicente Fernandez) when I was little. I would convince my parents into going to see him in concert. His tapes (yes I had lots of cassettes) and later his CDs were on the top of my wishlist. So I can understand.
Our girl talk was hilarious at best. But I loved the way that she was so excited about her idol. Little Marissa has this collection of 88 collectable cars in her room. Yup, sitting right next to her porcelain dolls. She has her little T-shirts and even a hat to wear. This is a little girl who makes her dad vote for him every single day. Because he is the "Most Popular Driver."
I have to say, my girl got me a little interested in NASCAR and Dale Jr. 3 hours of talking, will do that to you. When we got home tonight, I googled, flickr'ed, and eventually landed at his website. I have to say, he sounds like a "down to earth" kind of guy. Someone who you could share a burger and beer with. I can see why she likes him. I can see why Lola likes NASCAR too!
In the end, I am going to leave you with one more piece of "Eye Candy." And some thoughts. Only in America can an average guy turn into one of the most popular and most successful NASCAR drivers. Only in America, can a 3 year old little girl say her boyfriend is Dale Jr. And only in America can a 3 year old Marissa convince me to spend my Sunday Night watching a race that I really don't know anything about. I will be watching the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night.