It has become something of a tradition in our house: Football season begins and my wife and I go our separate ways. I try and get her to sit down and watch four quarters of a game with me. She nudges me in any direction away from the couch on Sunday. But this has become our pattern, our life. It's not like we live a completely stereotypical sit-com life, but in this one regard all we are really lacking is a laugh track.
Probably the most amusing weekend is the very first of twenty-plus: The NFL kickoff weekend coincides with my wife's annual pilgrimage to the Gatsby Picnic, an Art Deco event that allows her to indulge in her fantasies of a simpler, more refined time. She eats sandwiches wrapped in wax paper and wanders about the grounds of a mansion beneath a parasol, chatting with friends in period-perfect costumes as they admire her own period-perfect costume. But before all that, there is the preparation. Hours before that relaxed stroll, there is a flurry of ironing, salad mixing and sandwich trimming, hair spray, and a half-dozen changes of these shoes and those accessories before everyone piles out the front door and into a decidedly non-period hatchback for the trip to the past.
All of this takes place in and around what could be considered prime viewing spots for the early game. I try to be supportive during commercials and time-outs. "Yes dear, that looks great," or "I think I can find that picnic basket for you." At this point, I am thankful for instant replay and a digital video recorder that allows me to pause the live action that is taking place all around the league while the womenfolk collect themselves and their accouterments tumble out into the light, leaving me in the cave with my manly pursuits. With the faint smell of nail polish remover still hanging in the air.