Every marriage has its problems.
When my husband and I attended pre-marital counseling, we discussed in great detail the myriad of challenges we might be forced to face in the years ahead. We looked deep into our souls and shared with each other our most shameful flaws in an attempt at full disclosure. We spoke of hurdles large and small and how we might overcome them. We discussed our expectations regarding money, careers, and child-rearing. After this exhaustive personal journey there seemingly remained only one insurmountable impediment to lasting martial bliss.
This being the fact that even though the New York Football Giants are the greatest team in the history of human everything (and, according to several leading Biblical scholars, also Jesus' favorite team) my husband insists on being a fan of (let's all say BOO! together) the Dallas Cowboys.
Now, I know what you are going to say. I should never have married such a character in the first place. But what can I say? He's ridiculously handsome, wildly intelligent, and fantastic with kids, so, like so many brides before me, I turned a blind eye to the warning signs and went ahead with the wedding.
Maybe I thought he'd change. Maybe I allowed myself to believe that someone so wonderful couldn't really mean it when he said he'd go to his grave rooting for a team like the Cowboys. Even my father, a great fan of my husband's since their first meeting, shook his head sadly when I announced our engagement and asked,
"You're sure you can't at least find someone outside the division?"
But as Woody Allen will tell you, "the heart wants what it wants". And so it was that Monday night found our household thrown into a state of marital crisis as the Giants v. Cowboys MNF event loomed large.
Having been in a mixed marriage for almost three years now, at least I knew what to expect.
The matchup day begins with hostile glares over the breakfast table. Then, after some time apart at our respective workplaces, we reconvene for the ritual changing into team colors before kickoff. The children are, regrettably, fair game. Whichever one of us reaches them first outfits them in jerseys of our choosing. Has the phrase, "Do you love mommy? Then you must put on this Eli Manning t-shirt immediately!" ever been uttered? I won't say no.
At this point, it is time for a review of the ground rules, which include but are not limited to the following:
1. No taunting,
2. No excessive celebration. (including any and all "in your face" style hand gestures or dance moves, see above)
3. No pity cuddles should be offered in the event of poor performance by the opposing spouse's team.
The list goes on and on, but let's face it, the reality of being in a marriage like mine is that one of us is going to end the night deeply unhappy. That's why it is so important to remember that while football games will come and go, it is the the deep and abiding respect with which we treat our partner that will be the trait which truly defines our marriage.
And we are totally going to start that next week. Because first I need to tell you that THE GIANTS WON!
GIANTS - 41
DALLAS - 35
"Boo-ya! In your face hubby! Giants RULE forever! WOOOO-HOOOO!"
*insert unsightly butt shaking dance here*