Football season is taken very seriously in our home. Sundays and Monday nights are sacred times when my husband transforms into a completely different human being and sits, zombie-like, in front of our television for 10+ hours. He breaks for the bathroom, to grab a snack, or to check his fantasy line-up, but that’s it. We wear our jerseys, fine tune the surround sound, and eat lots of pizza. The whole time, I hope that my husband doesn’t scream loud enough to scare our dog (and this season, our 5 month old baby).
He also participates in 3 NFL fantasy football leagues. The weeks before the drafts of these leagues, you’d think he’s preparing for the bar exam or taking medical school boards. He’ll spend hours doing mock fantasy drafts online, so that he can practice selecting players and see how his selections affect his final team draw. His friends call him ‘round the clock, asking for advice about their own fantasy lineups — who to play, bench, pick up or trade. These calls rarely last less than 30 minutes and he treats them like he’s writing a thesis on the topic.
I’d be really interested in all of this if it wasn’t for the fact that I have very little interest in NFL football. So what’s a person like me, who’s married to a maniacal football fan, supposed to do?
1. Football time is YOU time.
Reserve football time for getting your own stuff done. If you can’t watch 10+ straight hours of football, plan out how to effectively use this time. I always designated football games as built-in writing time or for getting together with friends who also didn’t watch football. Go to the gym. Visit family. Find a fun hobby and jump in. Sign up for a Sunday class. If you’re watching kids, meet up with other parents. If you’re with the dog, meet other pet owners for a walk. Sign up for a 5K run, which are often on Sundays.
2. Ask for payback.
Watch a game with your hubby (pick his favorite team’s game) and then demand that he watch something of your choosing in return. My husband’s a die-hard Washington Redskins fan. If I watch with him, he’ll watch anything with me including something far more interesting than football — ABC’s The Bachelor. He pretends that he doesn’t enjoy the show, but he’s constantly reminding me that it’s on and loves to ask questions that prove he’s interested such as whether I think so-and-so slept with so-and-so in the fantasy suite.
3. Be a host.
If your significant other can’t be turned away from football Sundays, try bringing the party home. Host a football-watching shindig and at least you will have people who are willing to chat with you. If your husband prefers to watch alone (he HATES distractions or any sort of chit-chat during game time), you can practice your chili recipes, that new dip recipe you’ve been meaning to make, and finally break out that crock-pot. The benefit of trying out new recipes when nobody is coming over is that you will poison less people if the outcome is less than desirable.
4. Take breaks together.
Plan time each week with your significant other that does NOT involve any mention of football. Go to dinner. Go for a walk. Go to a bookstore. Try to remember that your significant other is also somebody other than an insane person who screams at televisions and starts making random arm gestures to represent referee signals. Turn your phones off (or on vibrate) for the entire time and force your significant other to give all fantasy football calls, news, and trades a rest.
5. Keep in touch.
You know how it’s impossible to find time to call anyone back these days? Football Sundays are the BEST time to make actual phone calls! Call your uncle, your grandmother, your long-distance best friend, your beloved college roommate who lives down the street but whom you haven’t seen in forever, and your former work friend that you normally only text. It’s also a great time for writing birthday cards, sending thank you notes, and buying gifts for people (online, if it’s cold out!).
6. Find a hobby.
Take up an equally time-consuming and insane hobby like ice sculpting, mud wrestling, or glass blowing. When your significant other inquires why on earth you would be interested in something like ice sculpting, respond like this, “You think ice sculpting is crazy? How about watching two teams of the biggest human beings on this planet throwing a pig skin up and down a grassy field to each other while they tackle and crunch the crap out of each other repeatedly?” Suddenly your ice sculpting class seems much more civilized.
7. Catch up on your TV watching.
The beauty of modern technology (assuming you have more than one television) is that you can finally watch Season 2 of Orange is the New Black (assuming your significant other has no interest in watching with you, which is a bad bet with this series). You should also try Revenge, Nashville, or Scandal. When all else fails, there’s always a Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Real Housewives of Somewhere, or Jersey Shore marathon on during football Sundays.
8. Primping time.
Get a haircut. Highlights. A facial. A mani / pedi and say “yes” to the 10 minute back massage after. Go on Groupon or Living Social and book a spa package. A wax while you’re at it. Go spray tanning if you’re really feeling ambitious. You will arrive home looking and feeling relaxed, gorgeous, and glowing. Your significant other will have spent 8 hours on a couch and be bloated from all the wings, beer, and pizza.
9. Day trip away.
Visit nearby friends. Meet somewhere unique like a teashop that serves scones alongside your tea. Go to the zoo. See a movie. Find a new exhibit at a museum. I love going to public places on Sundays to observe what other human beings look like that are not controlled by the NFL. It’s fascinating.
10. If you can’t beat ‘em, join them.
Once in a while, plan to do and watch whatever your significant other does and actually watch a football game without protesting. Ask questions during commercial breaks (and only during breaks in the actual play unless you’re looking for a fight). It’s good for your relationship and you may learn enough to keep up with the office chat. If you’re really looking to learn the lingo, join your own fantasy league. Or start one and only include people who have no idea about football. Your significant other will take pride in assisting you with your line-up each week. It may even lead to some actual conversations during football season — a rare and beautiful thing.