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the stupor bowl

My husband has become a football fanatic. I tried in years past to get into it with him, but the sport leaves me cold. Worst of all, he gets so wrapped up in the Bills that the disappointment of a loss doesn’t end on Sunday. He drags it on through Wednesday, when he finally starts looking forward to the next game. They lose, and the cycle repeats. I pray for a winning season, but I’ve done that before to no avail.

The sad thing is, he didn’t used to be this way. We used to go and do things on Sundays. Go to the park. Go hiking. Go to a movie. Go shopping. Now, he just wants to drink beer and shout at the TV screen. I stood in the other room and watched him watching the last game, and he just looked like a child throwing tantrums. Not at all like the man I married.

Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to a long, cold, gray winter, with my husband moping around. What can I do?

—Second String

The Straight Skinny: I think you should have an affair.

The Gay Perspective: Ewww. I know what I’d do, but I can’t in good conscience recommend the same course of action to you. Better judgement tells me that in this, as in any similar situation, forthright communication is vital. His love of football is one thing, but allowing this to dictate the rhythm and spirit of the entire week for both of you is unreasonable, manipulative and borders on... Well, never mind. Why is he withdrawing from everything else in your lives and fixating on a sports team? Speak to him. Explain to him how his behavior makes you feel. Ask him what this is all about. Determine your next decision based on his response—or responsiveness. I’d give him a week to begin to make accommodation—two weeks at the most. Then, honestly, if nothing improves, I would seek the help of a professional counselor. If you already have tried to speak to him, the moment is past and you should get help right away. You should not have to live on egg shells just because the Bills lose a game.

The Practical Cogitator: I think you should call a few football-phobic friends and go hiking, go to a movie, go to a matinee in the theater district, go to a Sunday performance at the BPO... or go shopping. Let your husband sit home with his TV screen, and consider Football Sundays a day for yourself, and your friends. There are several perks to this new schedule. First, you now have the next 16 Sundays free! Second, the retail stores are not crowded at all on Sundays, easy parking and no dressing room lines. Also, consider a lovely Sunday brunch at one of buffalo’s best, their will be very little wait and you’ll be able to enjoy a leisurely meal and the New York Times. My point here is, if Hung-up-Husband-Football-Fanatic-Fred wants to watch sports in the Living room End-Zone, then scoot out and enjoy the free weekend day. I’m sure you’ll both be happier, he can watch his game without a parade of chores going on around him and you can enjoy your day off, and your city.

Dining Out says: Unfortunately, many females face this situation. And the tragic part is, there’s a different sport for every season! Some women feign enthusiasm for violent contact sports and pretend to enjoy hanging with the boys at dive bars. Because I’m not one of those women, I’d say ‘to hell with it’ and pursue your own interests. Let your husband sit on the couch all day and watch TV with his Bud-drinking buddies. You can designate Sunday as makeover day and hit the gym early. Or hire a good looking tennis instructor to help improve your skills and get you in shape. Demand that your husband also hands over his credit card or a wad of hundred dollar bills and go shopping. Lunch with the girls, have high tea, and find spas that stay open on Sunday. Also book a few weekend trips with the girls to exciting cities that offer plenty of shopping & nightlife activities. When your husband begins to realize that you’re not around to refill the chip bowls and his credit card statements start rolling in, he’ll start to rethink how he spends his Sundays. As for the rest, my fellow experts are right on: Time is the only cure. And a little self-reflection, leading to corrective action, is a good way to pass that time.

Dr. Sigmund Fraud says: Nonsense. The Straight Skinny has the right idea. Kickoff is 4:05pm this Sunday. I’ll leave a key for you at the front desk over at the Mansion on Delaware. Say your name is Monique.

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