Hi. My name is Jessica Trufant. Or, to most people, I am either Marcus Trufant’s wife, someone else’s name, or I am pretty much just non-existent.
My husband is a celebrity. I get it, I understand it, and I love it. When I signed up to marry a football player, I knew what came with the territory. It has been an amazing and humbling experience being alongside him during his career. I am so proud of all his accomplishments and its an honor to be his wife.
At times when we go out, it is incredible how many people show him so much, love! They run up, call him by name and sometimes even start throwing out his statistics. They take pictures with him and get autographs (on paper, napkins, body parts… you name it)! I feel so much pride as I watch my husband do his thing. As soon as someone approaches, Marcus is instantly engaging with them. He looks them in the eye, shakes their hand and then… he introduces them to his groupie, tagalong, extra, virtually non-existent wife. Or my favorite name, “Here, can you take this picture of us?”
Before you jump down my throat, not everyone considers me a “non-factor.” Especially women, they are usually taken back by my hair, my nails, shoes or my outfit. I am quite extra; I have to admit. So some women, I am memorable because I am like a real-life barbie doll.
But the MEN! Holy crap, I might as well be invisible. Some of the disregard for me is almost offensive. I can meet the same person on three different occasions, and they will shake my hand as if they are meeting me for the first time. This isn’t just a one or two-time occurrence; it happens more than you think.
Here are a just a few examples of my invisibility:
I will never forget when Marcus and I met a man, (we will call him “Dave”) in a pretty chill setting. Not very many people were around, and everyone else with Dave was family. You would think once he looked me in my eye and shook my hand, which he made a slight connection. Less than one minute later, Dave introduced Marcus to another family member and started to introduce me and says, “This is his wife, Alyssa.”
Wait, wait. Alyssa? Come on, at least a name in the “J” category. So, I politely smiled, shook the family member’s hand and told them my name was Jessica. Dave looked embarrassed and immediately apologized. Okay, cool. Everyone messes up a name from time to time. A few minutes passed and another of Dave’s family members walks up. He introduced Marcus and then me, “This is Marcus’ wife, Katie.”
Okay. My irritation level is at about an eight. Was I that irrelevant that he could not even get my name right? Not even once? I nicely corrected him… once again. The third time Dave introduced Marcus to a family member, I guess he thought, screw it, and he turned to me and said, “I just can’t remember your name, Kati-Sus-Jamie-?”
I am not quite sure when Jessica became such a difficult name to remember. But, being Marcus Trufant’s forgettable, yet poised wife, I smiled and said, ”You just can’t get my name right, can ya? It’s Jessica, but I guess I’ll just be Katie for the day.”
Everyone had a great laugh, but me.
Another example, this one is a doozy. I am not only irrelevant in normal settings, but I am also irrelevant at church, too. But this time, it was not just me. It was my kids, too.
We were searching for a church-home and decided to try a church that my mom had visited a few times, and she liked. After the service, my mom was so excited to introduce the pastor to her family. She introduces Marcus and suddenly time stands still. The pastor locked eyes with Marcus almost like he was seeing his soulmate for the first time; it was like him, and Marcus were the only people in the room. He wasted no time and started talking football to Marcus. Mind you; I was standing right beside Marcus. I could see Marcus trying to introduce me, but he literally could not get a word in. My mom stepped in and interrupted their conversation and introduced me.
I kid you not, he extended a hand in my direction, but never took his eyes off Marcus. He almost missed my hand while he said, “nice to meet you” and continued his conversation. He held Marcus hostage for about ten minutes. I had to pull a diversion to set Marcus free. I was not feelin’ the pastor’s lackluster acknowledgment, and I was actually a little surprised that he went so “fan-girl” on Marcus. But, I am all for second chances, I enjoyed the service, and we decided to go back the next Sunday.
As a family, we entered into the church lobby and some of the pastor’s “minions,” as I would call them, spotted us walking in. They excitedly got on their walkie-talkies and quickly scurried on over to us. Here we go, it was time to redeem themselves right as one of the minions said, “Mr. Trufant, would YOU like a VIP seat in the front row, by the Pastor?”
You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
Marcus and I were standing right next to each other. He was holding our baby, for crying out loud and he offers Marcus, and Marcus alone, a seat in the front row. This clearly was not a step ordered by the Lord! Marcus politely declined and said he would sit in the back with his family. Once again, I was a not a factor.
Let’s just say I did not feel too jovial during that service. No, let’s just be real, I was PISSED. We did not end up choosing that particular church as our home-church… for beyond obvious reasons.
I am sure some of you are thinking that I am a big baby or that I am ungrateful for my situation.
I am none of the above. But, what I am is a person, a real-life person. I have a name, a hell of a personality and believe it or not; I have a story. Maybe not a football hero story, but a story. I am not the football wife who feels as if I have lost my identity while being with a football player.
This may be where some get it twisted. I never lost my identity, and I know exactly who I am. For that reason alone, I expect people to attempt to at least remember my name, attempt to make eye contact with me or pretend for even a second that I am there. I understand people approach us just to talk to my husband, and that’s all good. Just do the respectful thing and acknowledge the living, breathing, thing standing beside him. My husband has always told me that I stand beside him in all aspects of life, not behind him. Therefore, people should treat me as such.
The saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman” was cool about fifty years ago.
The quote by Rachel Wolchin is more legit…
“Behind every great man stands no woman. There is no greater man than the man that can acknowledge the woman standing right next to him.”
Perfectly stated. With all of this being said, allow me to introduce myself:
Hi. I am Jessica Trufant, and I am a mother of five beautiful children, I’m a wife and a blogger. I just so happened to be married to a pretty awesome man named, Marcus Trufant. He played in the NFL for ten years. That is incredible, right? But what’s even more incredible, is how that does not define who I am. It is simply one of the many blessings that are a part of my story.