Tag Archives: Friends

There is no Off-Season for Me

16 Jan

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.

Yet.

I would like to apologize now to my future daughter-in-law/sports widow for letting it start so early.

*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?

Hardcore.

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Leavin’ on a Jet Plane. Never Again.

26 Oct

Whine: I got myself whipped up into such a cleaning frenzy today that I cleaned the girls’ toy kitchen. Oh yeah, and I pulled a muscle (or two) in my glutes. Now that is some SERIOUS cleaning.

Cheese: Our actual kitchen is still a disaster. Spaghetti and a one-year-old anyone?

 

Well, I foolishly promised a post today. And technically, it is still Monday, even on the east coast (barely). But I wanted to share my latest travel adventure with you, as my own personal Aesop’s Fable. You know, the made up stories that show how the character with the tragic flaw inevitably meets his/her doom because of it? Yeah, like that. Only this is my real life and not a made up cautionary tale.

Travelling alone with my two small children (and the one inside of me who always seems to be throwing some sort of party–or temper tantrum–I’m not sure) seemed a like a daunting task even to me, the often over-optimistic one (see? my tragic flaw). But when the siren song of my alma mater, Wheaton College, called me back for a ten-year reunion, I couldn’t resist. Being on campus with almost all of my old roommates and reliving the glory days of our hysterical lameness was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

So I packed up our bags, weighed them on the scale to make sure we made the weight cut off (we didn’t), took some junk out, weighed them again and rushed us all to the airport. And actually it wasn’t so bad. They let me cut in the security line and Big Sis was the model helper throughout the whole take-your-baby’s-shoes-off-because-she-might-be-a-terrorist thing. We got on both our flights with relative ease and arrived with our chariot (aka Katie and Eric) awaiting us at baggage claim. It was so uneventful I even had the foolish nerve to say, “See, that wasn’t so bad.”

Famous last words.

Our time in Wheaton was lovely. Except for the part Chloe where started puking and infecting everyone’s kids with some weird virus. But, you know, kids puke, you move on. I got to see some of my old professors (who remembered me, or more accurately, my penchant for dramatic breakdowns.) I got to show Sophie the campus and try to counteract some of the constant Baylor/TCU indoctrination that goes on around here. And mostly I got to hang out with my friends, people who have known me since I had a perm and tight-rolled my jeans and still like me. We mostly just sat around and talked over really delicious Chicago-style pizza. Life. Theology. Books. Movies. Old Times. New Laughs. It was a good fabulous weekend.

Until the trip home.

I should’ve known it would be a disaster because we were on time to the airport. That was the last good thing that happened that day. Our initial flight was delayed an hour. Which, of course, meant that we would miss our connecting flight. After getting off the first flight (from the very last row, thank you very much) we “ran” (me with a loaded stroller and Big Sis wandering aimlessly staring up at the ceiling) to the opposite end of another terminal and caught another connecting flight just in time. The plane for that flight was tiny and apparently tiny planes shake and shudder every time a bird flies by. There were lots of birds flying by that day. I thought we were going down for sure. Although my lunch certainly was not. Finally, having narrowly escaped death in a tin can, we arrive to find Mr. Dad. But no luggage. Of course.

But at least the end was in sight. Right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

No, Mr. Dad, in a rare show of airheadedness (that’s my department, Mr!) had locked his keys in the car. We spent another FOUR HOURS at the airport. Two of which were spent with Mr. Dad trying to open it himself, ala Man vs. Machine. I imagined him out there trying to wrestle it into submission. But we apparently found the one thing he can’t fix, so we waited another two hours for the locksmith. Meanwhile certain children were having intestinal issues (tiny planes, anyone?) and the ariport Chili’s was out of corndogs. I mean, can you believe our luck??

After a twelve-hour travel day, we made it home and into our beds. It took me a week to recover from the trip. So like any good character in a cautionary tale, I can say: lesson learned. Period.  And next time my buddies beckon with offers of deep-dish pizza and a trip back to old times, I am definitely going to say that I can’t go.

Maybe.

Oh, who am I kidding, I would do it all again tomorrow, wouldn’t I? Make that lesson unlearned. I’ll save the fables for Aesop.

Plane ride to Chicago

Flight to Chicago, pre-misery. Well, mostly.