“Chips, chicken wings, pretzels and pizza!” husband-head ordered as I got ready to head to the grocery store. “And lots of beer. Don’t forget the beer.””That’s what you want for dinner?” I said, scrunching my nose in disdain. “You’re going to be, like, so ill.”And then it hit me.”Oh no,” I started, before husband-head interrupted.”Oh YES!” he cried out in glee, clapping his hands together. “It’s that time again! Football is BACK!”With that, he did a little happy dance around the living room, while the dogs – sensing that something really good was happening – began jumping up and down, too.”The Hall of Fame game is this Sunday,” husband-head went on excitedly. “And the pre-season games start next week!”With hands clenched in a fist and arms raised high, he sang out as loud as he could – “Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?”No sir, I am not.It’s still summer for God’s sake. We’re still grilling out, swimming, boating, enjoying the sun … and, for the love of Pete, the AIR CONDITIONER is still on!In my mind, the beginning of football season conjures up images of fall, cool weather, Thanksgiving, bar food, drinks and feeding husband-head lots of Excedrin the morning after a big game.Not that he ever really took much of a break from football since the Super Bowl in February. For months now, he has been scurrying like a surreptitious little rat down to his computer in the basement to do his fantasy football thing.”Call me when dinner is ready!” he shouts as he hightails it into his hole.In fact, on the morning of our wedding anniversary last month, he rolled over, looked lovingly into my eyes and whispered, “I need to check my draft.”He also informed me he needed $150 for his fantasy football games.So now I was going to be poor AND lonely.”I suppose I won’t see you now on Sundays or Monday nights,” I sighed, preparing for a long spell of football widowhood.”That’s not true – you won’t be seeing me on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays,” husband-head corrected me with a big grin. “There will be even MORE games on television this year!”I thought he was going to literally explode in ecstasy.”What if I cut off ESPN?” I said, getting extremely jealous of the TV and the NFL in general”Then I’ll cut off the Lifetime-Men-Bashing-Television-for-Women channel,” he retorted. “And I’ll go down to the bar and watch football anyway!”This was clearly not a game I was going to win.It briefly crossed my mind to wonder whether “NFL” could be listed on divorce papers like “irreconcilable differences.”Instead, I tried to think about the positive aspects. At least he’s at home and not engaging in some sort of illicit behavior. And yes, it brings him great pleasure and yes, he usually scores some good money from his fantasy football winnings …It’s just that halfway through the season, I really start to miss him.”Between August and February, the only thing you say is, “Beer Me!” I whined. “You never want to talk about our relationship and the innermost feelings that come with being totally committed to each other and the entertwining of our souls and how they connect with the universe and …”Husband-head looked at me as if I’d gone off my rocker.”Knock it off,” husband-head scolded. “I don”t complain when you watch figure skating competitions in the winter. You have your sport – I have mine.””But I have to watch ice skating – my dad is a professional ice skating coach who had skaters in the Olympics!” I said defensively. “At least I don’t sit on the couch for hours on end and scratch myself, scream at the TV and bash beer cans into my forehead…”The conversation was obviously not going anywhere, so I went to the store. When I came back, husband-head was in the basement checking his draft.”What’s for dinner?” he yelled up. “I’m hungry!”Chips, chicken wings, cheese sticks and nachos – with extra jalapenos …Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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