Early in our dating relationship, while we were still living 115.6 miles apart, most of our conversations occurred over the phone. One night, Mike told Julie an endearing story, and she exclaimed, “Oh Mike, you’re so thoughtful!” Mike, either struggling with a bad phone connection or, as he claims, “distraction from infatuation,” thought that Julie called him “awful.” “Why did you call me awful?” he asked. Julie explained that she had said “thoughtful.” We both laughed, and it became one of our first inside jokes. As our relationship grew, we began to joke about a “Team Awful.” Whenever we did something thoughtful for another person, we would claim the act as a Team Awful victory. As Mike got to know Julie’s children, they also joined in on the “Team Awful” action. For Father’s Day, Julie gave Mike a card with a baseball jersey on it, and she altered it so that the jersey had “Team Awful” written across the front.
The rest is Team Awful history.