Whine: Mr. Dad has taken over the TV yet again to watch a Really Big Game. Which happens to be Really Big Game #4,238 of our marriage. That’s a lot of Really Big Games. And I’ll tell you a secret, we don’t win them all. Which is why I’m skilled in the arts of both CPR and Tai Chi. (Ok, not Tai Chi, but that would be cool.)
Cheese: We have been married long enough (4,238 Really Big Games, to be exact) that Mr. Dad knows he has to be super-dad for a little while before he transforms into a mindless sports-watching machine. So I enjoyed listening to a rowdy game of hide-and-seek from the other side of a locked bedroom door.
This post is dedicated to that brave and selfless group of women known as Sports Widows. These women weather the ups and downs of every sports season with grace and aplomb. Sports Widows earn their name from the endless evenings and Saturday mornings and Sunday nights and random Wednesday afternoons they spend holding down the fort alone so their husbands can follow their dreams of watching other people play sports.
Are you curious about your status as a Sports Widow? Read the signs and symptoms below to discover if you, too, belong to that most-honored group.
You might be a Sports Widow if…
…there’s a line in your budget labeled ‘Sporting Events’ and it’s larger than the line labeled ‘Shoes and Clothes.’
…the only time you’ve heard your husband threaten to ‘rip somebody’s head off’ was in regards to a made-up sport.
…your best chance for seeing your husband would be to catch him in a crowd shot on the TV.
…you can use the ESPN ticker like a Weather Channel for your husband’s moods.
…your supply of commemorative plastic cups outnumbers both your casual and formal drinking glasses.
…getting ‘dressed up’ for your husband means changing out of his team jersey t-shirt and into his team polo or oxford.
…after a particularly hard loss, people who are not fans of the team or sport call with their condolences.
…in your husband’s opinion, the Sports Hug is the only legitimate man-hug.
…you’ve only ever seen your husband Sports Cry.
…when your alma mater plays your husband’s you root for his team because it makes life easier. For both of you.
…you feel very guilty, but you wish the team would lose in Round 1 of the playoffs so you could have your husband back. (At least until the next sport starts up.)
…your husband spent part of your wedding reception listening to a football game.*
…your husband spends more time writing a trash talk post for his fantasy football message board than selecting your anniversary card. (And don’t even think about him writing in it. He signed it, didn’t he?? Didn’t he??)
…you have ever travelled across the country so he could do a ‘live draft’.
…you know what a ‘live draft’ is.
…you know all the names of the local sports radio hosts because you listen to sports radio… when you’re alone.
…your second-hand sports information outweighs that of most grown men.
…you routinely use metaphors like “hurry-up offense, call an audible, and zone defense” to describe routine domestic events and wonder why the other mommies don’t know what you’re talking about.
It might sound like I’m complaining about my lot in marriage, but Sports Widowhood isn’t all bad.
Mr. Dad pretty much always owes me one (how do you think I got him to approve this post?) and when he’s gone at the game, I get the remote to myself. And I like to pretend that his passion for sports is simply a metaphor for how he feels about me. Because that makes sense, right? Either way, some of the sweetest friendships I’ve formed happened while waiting for our boys to come home from the game.
Those same boys who sometimes surprise us by having those rare ultra-meaningful man conversations sandwiched between analyzing stats and complaining about the refs. Or who stop on their way home from a out-of-town game with a new dining room table they picked up (without prompting) from Pottery Barn Outlet. (Yes, I said Pottery Barn Outlet.) Plus, there’s something to be said for watching Mr. Dad coach the kids on the proper team cheers (Heeeeeyyyyyy, Sic ‘Em, Bears!) and dressing Brother Bear up so they walk around in matching outfits all day.
Besides, it could be worse, at least he’s not into NASCAR.
*For the record, Mr. Dad did NOT even think about doing this. Mostly because we got married in June — well before football season.
This post is dedicated to my own band of Sports Widows, who have made this job a lot more bearable. Good thing they’ll never know how much fun we have without ’em, right girls?