Yes, it’s true. I’ve lost my husband to soccer the way countless other wives lose their husbands during football season.
If you’ve been following sports news lately, you understand why.
The 2008 Euro Cup is underway and while I’ve taken the boy out of Germany, I can never take Germany out of the boy. There is nothing I can do to pry my husband’s attention away from the television. This has been going on for about a week.
It doesn’t help that we’ve recently purchased a DVR that can record shows and provide instant replay. That alone has fueled Martin’s already-burning interest for soccer, because now he can watch the games any time he wants.
So, I’m not the Julie he rushes to when he gets home from work. Instead, he goes straight to Julie Foudy, the gorgeous brunette ESPN anchor who is narrating the games. Oh, did I mention she use to be a professional superstar soccer player? She doesn’t give Martin strange looks about chip shots or back headers. Oh, no. She knows everything about soccer and relays it with passion and excitement. How can my “that’s great, honey” compete with that??
Today, the “affair” peaked as Turkey and Germany played against each other in the semi-finals. Martin avoided the Internet ALL DAY to avoid the headlines. He even avoided his cell phone because our friend, Tamar, was constantly texting him.
This is NOT typical behavior. Tamar is one of our dearest friends. His little girl, Celin, is one of Miss C’s best friends. Tamar helped Martin move our furniture into the new house in the midst of a massive thunderstorm. We love Tamar. However, Tamar is from Turkey and is also a huge soccer fan. I need not say more.
So, I got home from work today and found my daughter rummaging through the fridge, pulling out the ingredients for peanut butter and jelly.
“Where’s Daddy?” I asked.
“Watching soccer,” she said. “He said I could eat a sandwich.”
That’s when I looked over in our family room. There was Martin, sprawled on our couch, his arms raised with his fists clinched.
“AGHHGHGHGH!” he yelled. “Turkey scored!!”
That’s all I needed to see to know. Wives just know.
So, Miss C and I did our own thing this evening. I scrapped in my scrapbook room. Miss C played with toys and watched a Disney movie. Occasionally, when I grew bored, I went to the family room.
“Did I tell you the doctor called?”
“They actually miscalculated my hormone levels and misread the last ultrasound.”
“We’re having twins!”
Grunt. Pause. Grunt.
“And I’m thinking of enrolling Miss C into that ballet conservatory up the road.”
“We can arrange our finances and afford the $10,000 tuition, right?”
Little grunt, followed by a sharp intake of breath.
“WHAT?” he screamed. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!”
“No, it really costs…..”
“DIDN’T THE REF SEE THAT??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT!”
Yeah, he hadn’t heard a word I was saying.
It went on like that for about two hours.
I was in the kitchen when the game ended. Miss C was up in her room. I knew the tension was building as Turkey and Germany both scored goals in the final minutes of the game. It didn’t help that ESPN kept losing the signal, too, resulting in a black screen until The Other Julie came on to soothe a very panicked Martin. However, fortunately, ESPN picked up the signal again and Martin was able to see Germany claim the win. I can’t even described the sounds Martin made. The television screen was filled with black, red and gold flags, waving frantically.
“YES! YESSSS! GERMANY WON!”
“No kidding, Martin. I wouldn’t have guessed!”
Still no recognition of my voice. No matter. He had already made his way to the phone.
“Hey, Tamar! Yeah! So Germany kicked Turkey’s … Oh, yeah. I just watched it on DVR. I turned off my phone when you started texting me. Yeah. Yeah. I’m sorry your team lost. Well, no, not really, but good game!”
He actually spent a good amount of time on the phone with Tamar, describing the game, talking tactics, rating players. I think he actually floated back to the wall to hang up the phone.
It took awhile for Martin to get off his soccer high. He noticed the clock and saw the sun going down, so he immediately rounded up Miss C to go outside and search for lightning bugs, as promised earlier with the condition that Miss C not interrupt his game. As they rushed out the front door, he did plant a kiss on my cheek.
So, he did know I was there, after all.
In the mad dash to spend time with Miss C, he forgot to turn off the television. It was just me and The Other Julie, who was talking about the game with her fellow ESPN anchors. I picked up the remote to turn her off, but I paused.
You may have my husband now, Other Julie. And you will definitely have him for the final game.
But this Julie is no substitution.