Forced time outs


Time out in life is good, I know that but forced time out — is that good? No, it simply gives you time to fill yourself up with lots of anger and frustration. FIFA matches are doing that to me. I am no sports enthusiast and have zero passion for sweaty men on ground. The way they spit, the way they jostle, topple and then scratch various parts of their bodies in front of millions is just a big turn off for me. I know this might be rubbing a few (or many) people the wrong way but hello, I’m entitled to my opinion– ain’t I?

This is what I am going through.

The spouse sets alarm on his mobile for evening match schedules — the freaking mobile trings in my ear at 11:50 pm waking me up when I all I want to do is throw the darned device out of the window. No amount of screaming, pleading, blackmailing will prevent him to not keep the alarm away from the bedside. So, last night when I switched off the alarm (yes, I am a shrewd wife), the spouse surprisingly got up at 11:45 pm mumbling in his sleep, “Oh, how come the alarm didnt go off…Argentina’s match is critical. This cant be missed.” Yeah, as if I care whether the Argentina scores a goal or takes a hike.

This level of dedication to FIFA gets me wondering when did I get this kind of attention. And the answer is quite obvious, but I don’t want to write it out.

My requests to visit the grocery store are usually ignored by the spouse but last Thursday when I grumbled that house was running low on food supplies, I was pleasantly surprised to see him offer a ride to the store. I was happy to see a change and secretly was congratulating myself for making this happen when it dawned on me that Friday-Saturday-Sunday were ‘big game nights’ and he wanted to stock the shelves with goodies that could be munched on and beverages that could be chilled before hand. Naive me!

While the matches are on, my spouse is a  picture to see. All eyes and ears, mind, cells and sensory nerves on the TV and players. Nothing goes unnoticed — who kicked from where and why the goal keeper should have turned left or jumped straight. It’s called “experiencing game” he says. I would like to argue, why don’t I get a quarter of this attention sphere when I am describing my “experiences”.

My TV room + living room + the only big windowy room in this 1BHK in Mumbai has been taken over by my spouse and the couch reserved for his legs to sprawl. I have to make do with the corner mattress and my iPhone, laptop to pass my time — which are good enough but on weekends its a not-so-pleasant exercise to get the spouse to speak anything but matches, players’ stats and a particular team’s chances to win over.

My weekend trips to restaurants, malls, shopping and even mundane chats are now regulated to the first half of the day. Second half of the day is for FIFA and match analysis, goals, and loud abuses hurled at every goal the opp team scores or every goal the favorite team misses. Worse, making statements such as “it’s only a game” or “don’t worry, they’ll have another chance in four years” further fuels the anger. I tried to sneak the remote control away while the channel was replaying the goals, but that was a mistake as spouse came jumping from the kitchen, screaming “replays are important.” The FIFA highlights on ESPN are shown every night and are just as important as the games themselves, I am warned by the spouse.

No wonder, I am not enjoying my forced time outs.

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