Dear Puddinette, I’m sorry to have to tell you like this, but as of 1:00 PM this afternoon, I will officially become totally ineffectively as a husband, father, friend, roommate, confidant, and home-maintenance worker. This period of uselessness will take place for a minimum of 3 hours weekly each Sunday afternoon. I will be unavailable for light janitorial work, any manner of home repair, and/or child attitude adjustment. Should the house catch on fire or an equivalent “Act of God”-style emergency occur, I may be available to flee for my life when the television ceases to display images of football OR when halftime occurs.
Normal puddiny dependability, such as it is, will return in February following the completion of that one game with the roman numerals (not mentioned by name for fear of legal reprisal – cease and desist letters from the NFL™ do not a happy household make).
I realize fully that this development will almost certainly have you rarin’ mad on more than one occasion throughout the upcoming fall and early winter seasons. As such, you are welcome to refer to yourself using unhappy terms such as “football widow”, and the use of disparaging remarks in reference to my behavior is completely understandable and approved. I probably won’t be listening anyway.
I would, however, ask that you refrain from judging me too harshly. While there can be no doubt or denial in the circumstance that it’s not you, it’s me, it’s still not totally not my fault. In January 1982, the Cincinnati Bengals appeared in and nearly won the aforementioned, mysteriously monikered game, this one with the numerals XVI (that’s 16, to you and me). On that day, a lifelong fan was born, and I have been helplessly and continuously tortured with mediocre football since.
My dedication to football is unfortunately out of my control. As a child and adolescent, I was drawn to the game because I noticed it was played largely by gentlemen of a more generous proportion. As a, um, stocky young fellow myself, my interest in the sport only made sense. Sure, sports like gymnastics and long distance running are full of drama and impressive personal achievements. They’re a little hard to identify with for portly fellows, though.
I recognize the difficulty in living with a useless man who’s mood on any given autumn Sunday will mostly be determined by external factors such as the volume of malt-based beverage consumed and the outcome of a game being played somewhere else altogether. In my defense, at least there’s a chance my mood will improve with a team victory, unlike some people, whose moods can change erratically week-to-week based on hormonal influences (that rarely seem to an overall positive effect).
Forget I said that.
In summary, NFL™ Kickoff weekend is upon us (huzzah!). I’d like to go ahead and apologize for the fact that the Cincinnati Bengals will effectively be in control of my man-period every Sunday afternoon from now until February.
If you need me, I’ll be available around Groundhog Day.
Your loving husband,