Well, we made it! Whew! Another gauntlet of a regular season in the NFL, 3 playoff rounds, and a meaningless Pro Bowl and the Grand-Daddy of them all…The Super Bowl…in two weeks that is :)! The question is can we hang on? Can we come up with enough collateral from the “Love Bucket” to stave off spousal elimination?
It won’t be easy. It will be draining…and before it is all said and done, Normal Males around the country will be making sure the walkway is clear of snow/mud/Christmas tree remnants, the trash and its’ receptacle are spotless, the pets cared for and the children happy. There will be many joint ventures to the grocery store and possibly the mall if some can handle it.
You see for most men and Normal Males the dawn of the Super Bowl can be the scariest time of year for themselves and their relationships. And, before I get back-channel emails with upset readers who say I am embodying the very same stereotypes I refute daily…back off…take another sip of your Earl Grey because even Normal Males can and do like sports…and well they should…more on this below)
Scary because so many males have been jockeying since late August to watch their favorite teams and so many of our lovely spouses are tired of our dog-and-pony-act. And, really who can blame them?
We turn into public defenders fresh from law school…passionately stating our case and our need to just be as we watch grown men hurled at each other like a Consumer Reports crash test on fender durability. Watching football is a release…a journey back to the days where we could bound around the playground for 3rd grade supremacy and the twinkle of endorsement from the cutest girl this side of Topeka.
So…I have stated the challenge before Normal Males…the reasons, subtly I might add, for our female partners to, potentially, cut us some slack and let us relish in the two week tease to the most watched sporting event in our country.
But, you wouldn’t be reading my blog if you didn’t expect to hear the other side…now would you? Guys, we play a pivotal role in the support of our wants and needs, and selfish and childish responses to the one we love only strengthens their association with football AND stupidity.
As Normal Males we cannot treat our motives as so many do when birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentines Day role around. We cannot role a year or a months worth of family responsibilities into one day prior to the big game. Women are extremely smart and they will notice if your efforts have been sub-par throughout the year. So, the next time you think that you have “gotten” her by helping out around the house or going to the grocery store or mall once in the last month…think again!
I would propose that if we were smarter we would increase our overall participation in our families ten-fold because we might find our spouses a heck of a lot more agreeable to our weekly need to take sides and grunt over a bowl of chips. But, too often we don’t and we “cry” and moan when asked to participate in activities our spouses enjoy which is why when we “spring” it to them that this Sunday’s game is the most important they give us a look that could kill.
Both sides would benefit greatly from increasing our participation in the activities and enjoyments of our loved ones because…just like sex and football “privileges” come with a more participatory husband and father who goes on more trips to the mall, spur of the moment grocery stops, and spontaneous back rubs when our wives and girlfriends want them the most…so do “team” trips to the mall, visits to your favorite Aunt and the like when the females in our lives increase their understanding for the needs and wants of our more participatory husbands and fathers.
We each hold the key and holding one activity hostage for another slashes gratitude and build up bitterness. Sometimes we have to understand that it isn’t ALL about us and if we understand dosage rates and extended-release euphoria for events born out of spontaneity…we might all get to enjoy those bits of life that make us uniquely human and desired spouses.
And, if we need inspiration we can look all around us. We all have a buddy whose spouse is so supportive of their activities that we often wonder, “what is his secret?” Ask!
Or…you could look under your very own roof. Every morning I “Open” our house. I walk downstairs…turn the alarm off, turn the radio on, get the coffee going, turn on necessary lights and open the blinds to the sunshine just waiting to pierce through the window pane.
The last on the list is the most enjoyable and telling of them all. You see, we have two kittens that are growing like “weeds” and the routines that the get into are both enjoyable and illustrative of sharing and giving back. Gracie is our little Dennis the Menace…always getting into something and always wanting to be a part of the action whereas Lilly is the strong silent type…will love you on her terms and will often be the follower to the kitty hi-jinks that ensue on a daily basis….
…that is until I go into the dining room to roll up the shades. This is when Lilly takes charge, assumes her position directly below the long chord and behind the curtain and waits…waits patiently for the chord to come within “hunting” range…and then she jumps and bounds about trying to bat the chord like a Kardashian in the boxing ring.
You want to know what…Gracie/Dennis the Menace sits, perched up beside Lilly and watches her in her daily ritual. Never interfering or stealing the one daily pleasure Lilly gets besides sleeping 18 of 24 hours.
We can all learn a lesson from the Lilly’s and Gracie’s of the world. Know when our partners want our attendance and participation and how we can support their “loves.” It always takes two to tango, as someone once said, and being able to sit and watch a football game without worrying about retribution or a building chores list as payment goes a long way in enjoying something that ought to be enjoyed.
Men and Women of the world…da dada da!!! Support each other not just on the days or times when YOU want something, but also on those days and during those times when least expected. We will all come out better in the end.
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male