Can I throw my husband under the bus?
I really don’t hate my husband. As a matter of fact, he’s my favorite spouse so far. But, and this is a big but, he’s a sports freak, and a football maniac. He’s what we in the business call a whack-job.
If I would have known this on our first date I may not have gotten so drunk with him. I might possibly, still, be happily employed in some hell-hole job, miserably trying to balance a corporate checkbook, driving a Saturn and sharing some dumpy apartment with a great guy who I would later find out was gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
But, he worked his black magic and instead, I was hoodwinked, tricked, and bamboozled. When he noticed that I sported a nineteen incher that didn’t even have basic cable, he offered up that he too, didn’t watch much TV. Sure, he held a mild interest in his hometown Cleveland Browns, but the real joys in his life were long walks on the beach - pina colada in hand, and marathon late-night chats of damaged old-flames.
Admitting it is the first step
I admit I’m not the sharpest knife in the deck and in time I figured out this was his ploy to get into me into something more comfortable. But what’s a girl to do when a fella offers to lunch for hours and shop for days at a time? You can understand my dilemma when I found out that, not only was he a football fan, but he was a fan of any ball or racquet or club or stick. He was drawn to ESPN like Michael Phelps was to a bong and I soon discovered just how serious his obsession was.
Sunday morning, during football season, the TV would go on at 9:00 am and four meal deliveries and fifteen hours later, he would finally get up to relieve himself. I once caught him watching “classic” ESPN (which I totally don’t get – you already know who won) and not only had he seen the game a number of times, he was there…at the game…when it was played in 1976! He has a pornographic memory for useless trivia and he can recite any sport statistic you’d care to challenge him on from golf to poker to women’s badminton.
Agreeing to disagree
Over the years we have come to an understanding concerning his proclivities. I enjoy solitary beach walks with my pina coladas and he has agreed to only watch the championship of any sport. But as many of you are aware, there are championships just about every hour on the hour for any sport you can imagine. It has since come to my attention that I negotiated a bad deal but I am not the lawyer in the family. The good news is that, since I have found my higher calling, it doesn’t bother me so much and only when it puts my children’s lives in danger do I even say anything.
Case in point. Because of some minor issues I have, we enjoy driving the twenty hours from Chicago to Florida for family vacations. We have never encountered any substantial obstructions before, but this year was different. Hurricane force winds escorted us out of Florida, torrential rains in Georgia kept us company for most of the eight hour drive through the state, and numerous hail, thunder and snow storms followed us for the rest of the way. We were fortunate enough to be traveling during the college playoffs for basketball so I thought we could take a break from the excitement of listening to comments about sweaty teenage boys (see previous “Tale of Two Loser’s” blog!) but that was not the case.
Now, before I rip my husband a new alligator hole, I will confess I sometimes drive with one hand and occasionally take my eyes off the road. Not at the same time, of course, (the only exception was when I did and hit a bale of straw that rolled off the road and started a small brush fire – that’s a blog for another time). But during that perilous drive through the horrible weather, Craig was continually and frantically searching for any AM radio station that carried the games. He had leaned over to the center of the mini-van, practically in my lap, and must have been steering by some form of sixth sense because I swear, his eyes were glued to the radio pursuing the holy grail of sports stations.
Who’s the idiot now?
There are a few metropolitan areas between Chicago and Naples that broadcast the games but most of the time all the blurted out from the radio was obnoxious white noise with an occasional whisper of an announcer. I couldn’t make out one word but Craig swore he heard scores through the blaring garbage spewing from the dashboard and I was too paralyzed with fear at that point to even argue. As we careened through the mountains during a storm that only Noah could appreciate, my husband was more focused on “his” team making the final four than on making sure I would live to see my tropical drink.
Only once, did I see him revert to the ten-two position on the steering wheel and that was when we were hydro-planing across a small lake that had collected on the highway in Tennessee. As we fish-tailed about the road, barely missing the cement barriers of the construction zone, he reluctantly pulled his hand off the radio and guided us back to safety. If I hadn’t been frozen in terror, the scream still caught in my throat, I surely would have burst into tears or at least stuck him with the plastic knife I had hidden in the folds of my jacket.
So ladies, when your special friend leans over and whispers in your ear, not sweet nothings, but the desire to see “his ” team go to the Super Bowl, or he spends hours hitting redial on his cell, hoping for the opportunity to talk to “Mike and Mike” on sports radio, or even just gazes longingly at girl’s beach volleyball, beware! Red flag alert! Think twice before you take your hand off your pina colada.