I knew about a little about them before I ever even met my husband.
I had tried them in high school, but even though all my friends liked them, I didn't really get the appeal.They made me look bad, like a weirdo who had no idea what she was doing (which I didn't).
As an adult, I started to like them better. I’d try them on the weekends from time to time, usually when I had nothing better to do.
As my relationship with JT grew, I began to truly understand the depth of his infatuation with them. He never lied to me about it. He was always upfront.He had loved them long before he loved me, and he had no plans to stop. I got it. Sort of.
It wasn’t really even until this past year when I really started to dislike them. For weeks on end, they were all he could talk about. There was no escaping them. I’d try to read or listen to music to distract myself from them, but I just couldn't.
Granted, it was the playoffs, but still.
My husband, as many of you know, is a sports junkie. He works in the field, but far exceeding his professional obligation is an intense passion for anything in life involving competition, preferably when the fate of a football/baseball/basketball/puck/spandex-clad man is involved.
His obsession was tolerable at first. Fortunately, many of the teams he holds most dear aren’t what many analysts would call “good.” Therefore, some seasons (coughfootballcough!) were kept pretty short. His favorite teams are from another state, so most times, the games he wants to see don’t even air here. Which all worked out just fine for me. (JT is probably filing for divorce over this paragraph at this exact moment.)
However, a few weeks ago, a culmination of events led to what can only be described as a seemingly unending torture-fest for me.
It all started when the projector in the Man Cave died. That was JT’s preferred sports watching arrangement, which had always been A-OK with me. A dead projector - and the ridiculously high repair cost - meant a couple weeks of saving up money and relying solely on the living room TV for entertainment.
Unbeknownst to me, several factors were aligning that would render my home life unbearable for the duration of those weeks. (An aside: Fans of the following teams, do not hate me. I wish no ill will toward your beloved team. I support the local teams, though I will never pretend I watch every game. I’m happy when they’re doing well and when I do get to go to any live sports event, I always love it. It’s just that, like I said, I prefer to watch sports in small doses. Not every waking minute of my existence for weeks on end. We good? OK.)
The Capitals had not even made the playoffs, so that hell was avoided for yet another year. But the Pens were still in it, so JT shifted his attention to them. At the same time, the Wizards were also suddenly playoff-worthy. Between the two teams, I swear there was a game a night for two weeks. Add his weekly ritual of watching Monday Night RAW and the Orioles randomly popping up on local channels and I can honestly say I did not watch one thing I wanted to watch on TV for a solid two weeks.
I did, however, listen to A LOT of screaming. JT screaming. Announcers screaming. Players screaming. Fans screaming.
I also read, watched stuff on my computer (though my computer is very old and very sucky so quality was lacking at best), read some more, ate dinner alone in the dining room, moped around, sighed loudly, and went to bed by like 8 p.m. every night, annoyed and wondering what I’d missed on any number of the shows I actually looked forward to watching. You know, non-screamy ones.
This went on and on until one evening, as JT climbed into bed after his nightly shouting fest with the TV and I decided to say something. He’d always been honest with me, right? Time to return the favor.
“Baby,” I asked, rolling over to face him.
“Yeah, babe?” he asked, snuggling toward me.
“I love you,” I said.
“I love you t-”
“I’m not done. I love you, but unless you want me to murder you in your sleep because I can’t get the sound of thousands of people screaming out of my head, you will FIX THE GODDAMN PROJECTOR. OK? OK. Kisses. Love you. ‘Night.”
I don’t really know if it was my pillow talk that night, or whether teams stopped playing sports, or what, but JT never asked me to watch a game in the living room again. The projector still isn’t fixed, so I assume the latter.
My intervention is working for now, but I know it's just a short summer before football season starts again. Of course, he'll relapse, but that's OK. At that point, I'll be the fixed projector's biggest fan.