Its basketball season, as you may know. Right now, in my living room, the Ohio State Buckeyes are playing, and, unless I want a lot of husband-moping, winning their place in the final two.
For the record, I don't give two shits about basketball. All televised sporting events are, to me, completely un-necessary and clutter up my cable with many useless channels. Don't even get me started on the Olympics. They can't even keep to their own channel, they have to mess with the channels I actually watch, and my Parks and Recreation re-run will be preempted by curling, or dancing around with a ribbon or some such nonsense.
But during the 15 years of my marriage, I have learned to sit quietly and feed my husband take out food and bring him beers while he enjoys his little sports things. When we first met, he would watch any sport on TV: ping pong, bowling, dancing around with a ribbon, you name it. I managed to wear him down to where 1) he only watches the finals of things; super bowl, Wimbledon final round, The Masters. 2) He only watches his favorite teams (Bucks, Reds, Tiger Woods) instead of every team ever formed around any game every invented. 3) He prepares me at least 48 hours in advance by telling me he will be watching sports for a few hours, thereby allowing me to adjust my expectations about my evening or weekend, and then he records the event on the DVR so he can skip commercials and the whole thing doesn't take as long. Before you berate me for "wearing him down" remember that I have been worn down too. I no longer scowl at him, complain, ask how much time is left on the clock, or, at my worst, storm out of the house and go to a bar. (This was before I learned that baseball games are played in series, and that was why, night after night, the Reds were on my TV.) I also provide him with snacks and beer, and try to keep the kid out of his way. See? We're even.
The one thing that has never changed and never will is his vocal passion when it comes to these games. He has broken a remote control by "flipping" it onto the floor, he has pounded the floor with his feet so that the whole house shakes, and I am sure that Leila has learned all the swear words she knows from being near him while he's watching sports.
Case in point: We were in the car together today, getting delicious take-out from Chipotle, and I tell Leila, "Daddy is watching the Buckeyes play basketball tonight, so we're just going to get him something yummy for dinner. You know what we can expect:" and she says, "WHAT THE EFF!! COME ON! JESUS CHRIST! SON OF A B.!!"
They are, the three of them (Daddy, Leila and the dog) piled on the sofa, and so far all is quiet. But its only half time. I have been married long enough to know that the last ten minutes on the clock of a basketball game not only bend time and space and turn into a half an hour, but are also when all the swearing happens. Pray that by the time you read this, my remote control is still intact.