When my wife-to-be and I were dating, our favorite activity was attending sporting events.
We sat in the upper deck at Reunion Arena watching the Mavericks stumble around the court. We checked out a polo match back when there was a field at Willow Bend. We even went to a high school football game to watch two teams neither of us cared about just because watching sports was something fun to do.
But no sporting event offered the sheer enjoyment of professional baseball, where we sat in cheap seats and bought cheap hot dogs. (My wife’s was smeared with so much mustard you couldn’t see the dog or the bun from the top.)
And then something happened that dramatically changed our lives — we were married. And only then, after the wedding gift exchange and the honeymoon and the new house, and once her name was all over my meager but still estimable assets, did I find out the truth: My wife hates sports.
It’s not that she harbors resentment toward sporting events; she absolutely, positively yawns through sports of all kinds and, as it turns out, always has.
Well, I have to say that for a while, I felt duped. This revelation shook our marriage. I considered, privately and without consulting my wife, whether counseling (for her, of course) might help bridge the gap between us. But when I weighed the cost of counseling versus the number of annual sporting event tickets that would then be unaffordable, I glumly accepted my ‘til-death-do-us-part fate.
From time to time thereafter, I tried to conjure the old magic, slyly leaving tickets to a particularly enticing sporting event on the kitchen table — the Stars versus the Red Wings, or the Mavs against the Pistons, or the ultimate sporting event, a Rangers double-header (two games on the same day!).
There seemed to be no way back from this deep, dark hole in our lives, even as we trudged forward with a happy public face.
And then, something happened that completely and dramatically changed our lives again: Our two sons were born, and they loved sports, too!
As the boys became older, and as their interest in sports grew, we did what any self-respecting family does when confronted with life-altering choices.
We voted on which activities to attend, and we agreed that majority ruled.
Rangers game this weekend, who wants to go? 3-1 in favor! Mavs vs. the Thunder? 3-1 in favor! Stars vs. anyone? 3-1 in favor!
Married life is good now, but I’m becoming a little worried since we’re losing our oldest to a college out of state next year; I’m afraid the vote might start looking like 2-1 more often, and that’s a little close for comfort.
But I have an ace up my sleeve for that day when son number two inevitably hits the road and I’ll be looking at a 1-1 standoff again, harkening back to those early, difficult years after we were married.
It turns out, unbeknownst to my wife, that I don’t like shopping. Never have and never will.