I’m sooooo conflicted. There’s a cloud hanging over my head that makes Katrina seem like a fanciful squall. My tortured soul rebounds between moments of clarity one minute and utter confusion the next. It isn’t even a complex issue: I simply hate football, while my husband, on the other hand, thinks the word “football” actually belongs in a sentence containing the word “fantasy.”
Thankfully, he has most of the standard fantasies men have, like those involving Carol Brady, or teeter-totters, and he happily shares them with me. However, the fact remains that the fantasy he logs the most hours with on a weekly basis is Football. Hence, the problem: I just do not get it and I desperately want to. I need to understand.
As I watch my husband watch the television each Sunday, I remind myself to use the word “passion” instead of “obsession.” When I find myself growing irritated at the sound of one man clapping for a bunch of players who cannot hear him, I start mentally checking off all the considerate things my man has done that week. Let’s see, there’s the weeding, just because he likes it and knows I don’t. Then, there’s reading to the kids and helping them with homework. He even vacuums.
When listing his weekly accomplishments doesn’t do the trick, I try a little fantasizing of my own. I tell myself that a forty-two year old man changing jerseys three times in one day in support of a pretend dream team is sexy. Sometimes I follow him up to our closet between games, and he lets me watch. Yeah, baby, the blue one. No, the other blue one. Oh, that’s it, right there, next to your little league uniform. Oh, baby, these thirty-four jerseys taking up valuable real estate in our closet are hot! Yeah, that’s my fantasy.
It’s not like he doesn’t snap right out of it at the end of the evening each Sunday, because he does. Well, right after he does the stats and sends out the newsletter, complete with quippy football comments, while watching Sportscenter. Then, he snaps right back to being the guy I fell in love with, the guy who made me believe in love again, and the guy who continues to hold me after the regular hug has ended. He is this guy six days a week (save for a couple of hours Monday evening), and seven days a week for half the year. Why, then, can I not help rolling my eyes when I overhear him on the phone with one of his fantasy friends, behaving like Ari Gold trying to work a last minute trade with some maniacal producer?
Right now, you might be thinking that I am that spouse – male or female – for which nothing is ever good enough. Well, the truth is, nearly everything is always good enough, and my husband would be the first to say that I never complain. That is because my husband, ironically, is a fantasy husband. He is my best friend. He is the guy who never leaves me hanging, if you know what I mean. He brings it. He is the guy who sees a pile of clean towels in the laundry room and puts them away. Hell, this is the guy who goes into the laundry room! (I know a woman who once hired a hooker to hang out in her laundry room, just to see if her husband could find it. Three days later she sent the lonely whore home.)
Maybe it has nothing to do with my husband. Maybe it’s my dad’s fault for punishing me with the same weekly clapping and yelling for my entire childhood – back when fantasy leaguers didn’t have computers. My dad and his friends had fifteen sheets of binder paper taped together that they scribbled their points down on as they happened. I must be suffering from PTFSD – Post-traumatic Football Stress Disorder.
Perhaps what I need is something to do on Sundays that gets me out of the house and away from the mental triggers. Just so that I can fully relate to my husband, to see things from his perspective, it will be something that never gets boring, and that I won’t know the outcome of until it’s completely finished. It’ll chew up hours and hours of my time, but I’ll have a lot more to show for it at the end of the day than empty beer cans and ranch dip stains on my shirt.
Interestingly enough, it rhymes with “ball.”