The reason I initiated so many family activities on the holiday this year has nothing to do with its importance to me, or with the fact that I look so great in white. It’s because our nuclear family unit is about to undergo a temporary meltdown.
We’ve got few more days in the loving and comforting framework of mom, dad and children, then a piercing shriek is going to tear our family apart - the opening whistle of the World Cup soccer games.
At that moment, and for a month of days, a statue which bears a strong resemblance to my children’s father will be positioned on our living room couch, glued to the TV. The man sitting there won’t be the man we know. He won’t look like my he-man because his eyes will go from bright and searching to a glazed affixed stare of a creature on the couch.
The repertoire: 'Oh' and even 'Oh, Oh'
Best case scenario - he will leave the couch to get something and then quickly return to his seat even before his butt print has time to disappear from the cushion. Most important, he won’t sound like my he-man because he won’t utter a word. Every so often, if I really bug him and ask him the same question seven times or tell him that his son is in the emergency ward, he may respond. He’ll say “Oh,” or maybe even “Oh, Oh.”
We’ve gone through many World Cup's as a couple. I have a number of suggestions worth adopting prior to the games. First, resolve yourself to the fact that the games are a natural disaster and resisting them is a lost cause. In the same way that they stay out of our way, a few days a month when we are irritable, we have to live with this event. It’s not so bad, maybe a little too long, but at least it only occurs once every four years.
Forget lame attempts like sour faces, insults or frontal confrontation. You need to understand that the forces are unbalanced from the get go. It has nothing to do with his love for you or the children or the partnership you have. It’s stronger than him and it’s a man thing.
Give up, nothing can be done
After we’ve internalized the fact that nothing can be done to change the situation, and given that women have survived worse, it is preferable to find the points of light in the month of green fields.
For example, if you have wanted to renovate your kitchen or living room, now is the time to discuss it at length with him. It’s very important to have that conversation when his favorite team is on the field and if the topic is really important to you; initiate the chat during a penalty or overtime period. You’ll talk and he’ll answer, like I said before, “Oh.” If you keep it up he’ll say again, “Oh.” If the chat takes place at a critical moment in the game, he will say “Whatever you want honey, Go for it.”
The coming month also provides you with a golden opportunity to get out in the evenings. You can meet up with girlfriends, go to a dance performance that he would never have agreed to attend, experience a moonlight workshop. He will welcome every planned outing. Not only can you go out, you can do so confident that the children will be bathed, fed and in their beds a lot earlier than usual - that is, way before the opening whistle.
Just remember not to get to get too excited about his efficiency during this period. It disappears when the World Cup games end. You can also neglect shopping and cooking during the next month. He won’t look away from the screen in any case and will eat whatever is put in front of him. If he invites friends over, don’t extend yourself. Just put out the snacks leftover from the kids' school trip after they sat on them for hours on the bus ride home. The guys will be very happy.
Don't bother to join
There is only one thing that I suggest you to avoid under any circumstances - forget being part of the action. When I was younger, I studied up on soccer, memorized statistics and commentaries and watched all the games with him. When he went to his friends to watch the games I went with him. I sat with them when they came to our house. It was horrible.
No only did his friends throw us awkward looks, they made no bones about the fact that I was stuck there like a bone in his throat and all the rest of these geeks who are awash in testosterone during the games. I never did convince them that I cared who won. They were right; I just got carried away.
So, ladies, we have only a few days left of family life as we know it. Afterwards he will turn into a statue on the couch and we have a month's time to play around. And if he says anything about your new shoes, remind him how much it’s costing to watch the World Cup on cable.