In the grand tradition of Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, Ross Gellar and his first wife Carol, and that governor from South Carolina who went MIA for two days to “hike the Appalacian trail”, my marriage was based on a lie. No, I’m not a neo-Nazi man whore, a closeted lesbian nor do I have a secret Argentinian mistress for whom I would abandon the government of an entire state to canoodle with but nevertheless my lie threatened to rock the very foundations of my early wedded bliss.
See, I did one of those terribly stereotypically girly things that I’m embarrassed to even call a girly stereotype much less cop to doing it. I lied about liking to watch sports.
When my husband and I first met I was so charmed by his rakish good looks and blatant lack of propriety (he fell asleep on the front row of the very first day of class – and even drooled!) that I was determined to do anything to get him to keep hanging out with me. This desire to be near to my crush led me to do several unfortunate things like inviting him to “take my dad’s car and go get doughnuts at Smith’s” (to which he replied witheringly, “What are you, 16?”) and agreeing to sit on an ice block at the winter carnival until I won a free t-shirt (and hopefully his heart). But the most egregious was my sudden interest in all things sports.
Up until I met him, I had never watched an entire game of any team sport. Figure skating, sure. Swimming, yes (you’ve seen Michael Phelps, right?). Gymnastics, absolutely. But no basketball, football, soccer, rugby, volleyball or even tennis match had ever washed over my bored retinas. Having done everything I could to escape the horror of gym class in high school, I didn’t even know the rules to any of those games much less who to scream for or what color to paint my face. True story: in college I once went to a football game on a date. I brought a 700-page novel to read. I didn’t even notice when he left me. Another true story: in high school a friend’s dad got me and a few girl friends first-tier seats to the final playoff game between the Bulls and the Jazz. We left during half time because the cheerleaders sucked and we wanted Chinese food. (My husband dies a little more every time I tell that story.)
But then love came into my life bringing not only mushy notes and roses but also sports. Specifically, basketball. My husband has always loved basketball. College, pro, kiddie league – if it was there, he’d watch it (he’s watching the NBA finals as I type this). So I pretended to watch whatever he was watching so I could go to the sports parties with him and snuggle up in the stands with him and wear his Utah Jazz sweatshirt so I could smell him (this was back when the Jazz were good).
I know. I want to smack myself too. It’s girls like me that give girls a bad name. It’s bad enough that I hate watching sports. But to lie about it?
And then we got married and it all stopped. Instead of the final four, I was glued to Felicity (ohmygoodness SHE CUT HER HAIR). When he suggested an away game date night, I made plans to go away… to the Indigo Girls concert. When he bought me my own school mascot t-shirt I wore it every day… to bed. He felt betrayed. He’d thought he’d found one of those cool girls that every guy dreams of but exist far less in reality than they do in Doritos commercials. Instead he got Bill Walton, if Bill Walton narrated the Miss America pageant.
To this day I still feel bad about my trickery. And this guilt has led to me to occasionally watch something sports related with him. I have discovered that team sports are not as boring as I thought they were! For instance, you have Venus Williams’ flesh-toned undies and crazyawesomeinsane tennis costumes to keep you glued to tennis:
And with moves like these, no wonder soccer is the number 1 sport in the world!
Any sport that has fans like these must have a good sense of humor:
And then there is my husband’s beloved basketball:
This is pretty much exactly how I play basketball.
And this may be the best sports picture ever taken. How could I not love this game??
Have you ever lied to impress a date? Do you like watching team sports? What do you think about Venus Williams’ underwear – distracting and unsportsmanlike or fun?
*That would be Gym Buddy parlance for sweaty crack. We’re gross, I know.