48: A Weekend of Freedom

48: A Weekend of Freedom

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

A Weekend of Freedom

The reason women don’t play football is because
eleven of them would never wear the same outfit in public.

~Phyllis Diller

I’m not showering this weekend. I’m not shaving, either. I’m not doing a lot of things. My wife has gone to visit her parents, so I’m going to park myself in the recliner and watch football. I’m not talking about one little game here, either. I’m talking an entire weekend of gridiron action. I’m talking forty-eight hours sprawled out in the La-Z Boy, armed only with a remote, snacks, and a cooler full of beer. I’ve got two full days to myself, and I’m going to make the most of it.

Yes, it’s time for a husband with floors to vacuum and windows to wash to cast all of that aside and tune into football. The next forty-eight hours will either be spent watching a game, recovering from a game, or preparing for the next game. I plan to stay in an adrenaline-laden state of bliss the entire time. I’ll eat what I want when I want, and wear the smell of body odor like other men wear cologne.

My selfishness will be breathtaking.

My wife doesn’t like football. Actually, she hates it. She and football mix like nitroglycerine and band camp. Whenever I ask her to watch a game with me, she gets a look on her face like I just asked for a bowl of baby toes.

“I’ve got better things to do with my time,” she says with irritated sarcasm. “Like clean the toilets.”

“Football is great,” I explain. “It builds stamina and character. It produces the qualities we look for in our leaders.”

She laughs in response, gives a caveman grunt, and makes a few derisive remarks about blood lust. My wife doesn’t care who wins or loses the game, or even if the entire stadium collapses at halftime, killing everyone. But I certainly do. I think football is about the finest spectator sport ever invented. Much like a Whitman’s Sampler, it seems to offer me a bit of everything.

That’s why a spouse-free weekend is the best marriage therapy money can buy. My wife goes to visit her family, and I watch football. It’s a win-win situation.

So here’s my plan: I’m going to flick on the television and start enjoying myself any minute now. What about cleaning the bathrooms? Ha! Forget it. Bathroom cleaning will be unthinkable. I’ll sweep every room with a glance, whisking by the untended laundry and the sink full of dirty dishes on my way to the couch. I’ll become the anti-Martha Stewart.

Let other men be whipped slaves to their chores, living on a short leash with a massive honey-do list. Those kinds of guys have about as much spontaneous mobility as, say, a lump of cheese. I’ll meet every day as a new adventure. My only decision will be what football game to watch next.

Heck, I might even wear my team colors if I get the notion. I’ll put on face paint and haul out my Styrofoam finger. Other fans will be all sizzle, no steak; big Stetson, no herd; wild horses, no rope. In spectator terms, I will stride the earth like a colossus.

What’s that? The lawn? Forget the lawn. I’ll mow it when I get around to it. Back off, will ya? Live-for-the-moment dudes like me sometimes don’t feel like mowing lawns…. Okay, at the moment my lawns are mowed. But that’s because I chose to mow them.

There is one embarrassing part to this entire football weekend I’ll tell you about, but only if you promise not to let it get around. It confirms people’s worst suspicions, is the thing. And it doesn’t make me look very cool.

I haven’t actually watched one single game yet. I thought I’d change the sheets on the bed and do the laundry before I get started.

But I absolutely refuse to fold the clothes. Not folding clothes doesn’t rattle a carefree guy like me. I never worry about such nonsense. Not when there are more exquisite forms of fun straight ahead.

Also, before I get settled into the recliner, I thought I would head down to the grocery store and get the shopping done for next week. I might even trim the hedges and change the oil in the car.

But like I said, keep quiet about this, okay? It takes a while to warm up to this kind of freedom. Besides, there are just some things people don’t need to know.


~Timothy Martin

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