Super Bowl Sunday is the best day of the year. Unrelated: I hate football.
I love the Super Bowl. Not because I love football, or even because I can tolerate watching five minutes of it, but because it means the NFL season is
Sunday at approximately 6:30 p.m., I get my husband back, after six months of living with a sports entranced zombie-like replacement. The Super Bowl is indeed a day to celebrate with guacamole and loud cheers.
I’m a modern woman who loves fishing, hiking and catching spiders as much as the next man. Not a girly girl. But no matter how hard I try I just cannot get into football.
Promise, I’ve tried. To watch a game, I have to muster up all the discipline I have in my body to watch 22 men in spandex pile up on each other over and over. I just don’t get it. I may as well be watching this:
I know it’s my problem. I hear that football is a very nuanced, intelligent game. Clearly it’s too nuanced and intelligent for me, because all I see is seven seconds of men haphazardly tackling each other into one massive man pile. And then standing around for three minutes before seven more seconds of tackling.
This poses a problem in my marriage.
Joe is the guy at the office who coordinates (and wins) Fantasy Football every year. He has a dozen different NFL apps on his phone, can rattle off the stats of any obscure player in the league, and has every piece of 49ers apparel imaginable. He’s a football nut.
I know he wishes he could share his love for football with me. Often, I feel like he deserves some sexy chick who is into football. I can picture the two of them, spouting off stats to each other and shouting “TOUCHDOWN!” together all Sunday afternoon. I wish I could be that girl for him. I want that for him.
But on the flip side, I feel like I deserve someone who isn’t football crazed. Sometimes I can picture myself with someone who would rather spend a Sunday afternoon going to see a live music show – and on the way, he’d say things like “Oh, it’s the NFL playoffs? I didn’t even know. I guess I’m just too busy being in love with you!”
We have a very healthy marriage seven months out of the year, from the evening of Super Bowl Sunday to that dreadful day in September when preseason begins. During these months, Joe will dutifully listen to my excruciatingly detailed, but still very moving 45-minute story on my 30-minute trip to the grocery store. But during football season? By the time I start listing the individual items I purchased at the grocery store, and how I got a rain check because they were out of the sun dried tomatoes on sale, his nose is buried in his iPhone with some NFL app.
“ARE YOU KIDDING?!” I shout. “I’M TALKING TO YOU, BOZO.”
“I’m listening,” he says.
“THEN WHAT DID I JUST SAY?”
“You were telling me you went to the grocery store.”
“SPECIFICALLY, WHAT DID I SAY.”
“That…you bought tomatoes?”
“UGGGHHHH… FORGET IT!”
And that’s how we very maturely handle football-related conflict in our household.
The other day, Joe asked me how we can make football not such a point of contention in our house. I told him I didn’t even want to talk about next football season. Just let me have my peace!
But I’ve been thinking about it since then.
Joe is the man I chose to spend my life with, and he’s perfect for me, football obsessed and all. How can I be more supportive and relaxed when it comes to his love for football?
In the movie Hope Springs, in which Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play a retired couple in a loveless marriage who, in the course of the movie learn to fall in love with each other again with the help of a therapist played by Steve Carell. At the end of the film in a cinematic scene on the beach, Streep and Jones are shown renewing their vows. What they say to each other resonates with me:
Kay (Streep): When I think about spending the rest of my life with you I only regret that it won’t be long enough. So I now want to make this next chapter of our lives something that we’ll both cherish. I vow to watch more golf with you without complaining.
Arnold (Jones): I vow to watch less golf and to buy you good presents that aren’t for the house—like jewelry.
Next year, if I vow to watch more football and he vows to watch less, maybe we’ll find a happy place of compromise. But even if he doesn’t vow to watch less, I can do my part by not whining every time he’s got a game on. But for now, I’m just going to celebrate the end of a grueling football season this Super Bowl. GO TEAM(S)!
What about you? Do you enjoy football? Is there something your spouse loves that you just don’t get? Does it cause problems in your relationship? Any tips for us on working towards a better marriage during the football season next year?