Sunday, January 25, 2015

Football widowhood and payback

Raise your hand if you are a football widow. I should have just told you to shake your head, because I know that’s what you really want to do.

A football fetish never used to be an issue in our house. For quite a few years the Spouse worked nights and his schedule always entailed weekends. I had no idea how spoiled I was with having full control of the remote until he started working weekdays. Up until then the biggest battle was (and still is) pulling him away from SpongeBob marathons.

Somewhere along the way he became a part of a friendly football pool at work. His first year playing was his best – he won the pool and came home with a trophy of sorts. That was all the motivation he needed to start the next football season yelling at the television and rattling off team stats as if I was actually listening. Football facts are not something I care about retaining in my already clogged brain. I dread when he walks out of the room and thinks I’m paying attention to the score.  Paying attention to football is not my calling.

If these games are going to be blaring from the biggest television in the house all weekend, there has to be a payoff for me. This often comes in the form of not harassing me as I hone in on really bad reality TV, like The Bachelor or Say Yes to the Dress, on non-football days.The Spouse is pretty good about this. He draws the line at awards shows, though. He can afford to be flexible because there are two other televisions available, and both of them are in the basement. Not counting the washing machine and dryer, the cats’ litter boxes, and our steady supply of paper goods from Sam’s Club, the majority of the basement is his man cave.

The best part of being able to send him downstairs is that I avoid having to listen to him make disparaging comments about which women are not exactly hiding their crazy on The Bachelor, or question why the bride dragged along 12 people to help her choose a dress.

I don’t begrudge him his dose of football mania. He doesn’t stand in front of the game with his chest painted team colors, and he patiently answers my clueless questions about scores and injuries if I bother to look at the TV. Of course, the majority of my queries are presented in between plays or during commercials. I know my limits.

To be honest, I have zero interest in which team is winning or what player is injured. Not that I want someone to be injured (it’s a mom thing), but as far as its effects on the game – don’t they have spares? You know, like understudies who are supposed to be at least comparable in talent and ability?

I did pay enough attention to hear hooting and hollering (from the television, not the man) about the New England Patriots winning some game and going on to some other game in a week or so. Is that right? Oh, come on, I’m kidding. Even I’m not that clueless. Usually.

The truth is, I ask occasional questions and may even comment on a play to be a small part of what interests the Spouse. He spent a lot of years missing out on the opportunity to just relax on a Sunday afternoon and watch something he considers entertainment. My sole purpose at that moment might be to refill the cheese and cracker tray, read the newspaper or check out Facebook as I sit next to him on the sofa and join him in a beer. That’s fine by me.

As long as it’s not SpongeBob.

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