Monday, January 20, 2014

Football vs. Downton Abbey


To any younger men who read this blog who might be wondering what it’s like to be married, I have an informative anecdote to share. It happened last night and in many ways perfectly illustrates what it means to be married.

My wife and I have a standing date with the Fort family on Sunday nights at 9 o’clock. They come over around 8:45. Sometimes it’s just Leigh Ann, sometimes Katy shows up and on occasion Gordon makes an appearance. Pam makes a huge bowl of parmesan cheese popcorn. We stand around chatting for a few minutes until the clock strikes 9, then hunker down to watch….Downton Abbey. For years it was “24” but that show ended and we needed another excuse to consume large quantities of popcorn slathered in butter and cheese, so thank God for Downton Abbey.

Well, last night presented something of a problem, a conundrum, a sticky wicket as it were. The San Francisco v. Seattle game was only in the late stages of the third quarter, with local kid Russell Wilson and the boys down 17-13 and about to stage an epic comeback about the time when the curtain went up on Downton. What to do?

Being married, one of the options of “what to do” was not telling the ladies that the travails of Anna and Mr. Bates would have to wait. That would have been about as popular as a story line featuring a gay love scene between Tom Barrow and Mr. Carson. No, instead of incurring the wrath of three women, I simply dialed up the ESPN app on the old smart phone and tried to keep up with two of the most incongruent simultaneous story lines imaginable. One minute I’m wondering why if Julian Fellows wanted to introduce a black jazz singer into the show why he didn’t cast one who could actually sing, and the next minute Marshawn Lynch was running over his own teammates on the way to a 40 yard touchdown. Five minutes later I’m about to start crying over poor Anna’s post rape torment at precisely the instant when Russell Wilson hits  Jermaine Kearse with a 35 yard scoring strike. Talk about your cognitive dissonance? You try fighting the urge to fist pump a winning score while Anna is asking Miss Hughes if she can move back into the big house? And poor Bates is left totally confused because he has no clue why his sainted Anna suddenly doesn’t want anything to do with him. How, pray tell am I supposed to celebrate the Seahawk victory with this sort of personal tragedy unfolding on the screen?
So, my young, single guy friends, this is just one of the many balancing acts you must learn to perform if you want to be married. There is a time and place for everything, and when it happens to be the same time, only the seasoned professional husband can hope to succeed