Sunday. Is. The. Holy. Day. For. Mr.Mck. Because football is on. So for the entire day he will sit on the sofa watching the game, sometimes flicking the channel to see F-1 and rugby matches, sometimes golf competition, but football is the main menu.
Last weekend I was sitting with him, not paying attention because I was busy surfing Gucci website, but I glanced once in a while to see what’s one, and this time it struck me.
It’s basically the same thing all over again. 22 People chasing after 1 ball. After 90 minutes, it will be another match for another 90 minutes. And another. And another. And another. The difference is only their costume color, which determines the club or country they represent. I asked mr.mck how could he stand for watching the same thing all over again for hours?
If it’s 90 minutes game, I could understand. But to see the camera moves from left to right and back again, for hours? If it’s me, I would have had a seizure after the second match….
My comparison is to see the fashion show on F-TV with models walking back and forth the runaway. Same movement, different outfit. Multiply it by 3 hours if you’re not going insane. Even I don’t watch fashion show. The only time I know that people are actually watching F-TV was when they showed a bikini photo shoot sessions in Aphrodite’s. And that’s because almost-naked ladies were on TV, it’s nothing to do with fashion sense whatsoever.
And then The Sopranos will start at 10.30. When the show is on, I won’t be allowed to ask any single question (except during the commercial break), I won’t be allowed to give a comment, to cough, even to breath. The room must be completely, absolutely silent. He treats the show as the holy show. Even though he watches it regularly rigorously, he still tapes it (just in case he’s got to go for toilet break during the show, but God forbid, or missed a meaningful blink from Tony Soprano).
My comparison to this total devotion would be, well, nothing. I’ve never had the show I love so much I ban people from my total trance moment. But I don’t like people giving comment when we’re watching a show either, so I could understand it. For fun I told mr.mck that I know how The Sopranos will end (this because I watched Emmy show the other day on E!) and he was panic I will tell him eventually and makes me swear not to (with additional remark, “I wouldn’t do that for you!”).
But football match is not only on Sundays. It’s on everyday. Last night mr.mck got home a bit early (which means it’s 5.30PM. In Jakarta I would still have had my second last meeting at 5.30PM. Rocky and Max would still have had their afternoon snacks in Frankfurter (after pay day) or street stall at the corner of JSEB (before payday). My earliest day would have had done at 7.00PM. Damn three-in-one rule and traffic jam!!). Anyway, mr.mck nicely made pea&pesto soup (copied from Nigella Lawson’s recipe), heated the chocolate sponge cake up for me, and made some tea. He was being so nice serving me dinner and treating me like a princess I had to ask him what’s going on. Ah, turned out there was gonna be a football match on TV at 7.30PM and he hoped he could watch it without me protesting too much (I didn’t, I was happy reading my book and watch George Michael’s Unplugged show in the bedroom like an old lady). What happened was it’s not one match at all, but five at the same time. His 42inch TV screen was divided into 5 small screen where he could watch the whole 5 games, live, or checked out the scores of each game. It’s interactive so if he must had a toilet break, he could pause the game went back to where he exactly left off. How he could break his concentration between 5 games altogether at the same time, let alone follow the move of 5 balls, and didn’t mix up which team playing against whom and who scored goals, I had no idea. You tell me…
Some say that football was invented so guys don’t have to talk when they’re in the pub (as you know guys don’t like to talk, about anything). They don’t need to sit in front of each other and, but rather side by side, so there will be no eye contacts at all except to TV screen. No intimacy. No bullshit deep feeling interaction or sharing like what girls do when they sit down and have coffee with their friends (where the story can start from the new toenails color, the hairstyle of the waiter, the boss who likes to grope his staff, until the scandal of a celebrity everyone think they know by heart). Football was invented so men could escape from home on Sunday afternoon to hang out with their friends with an excuse like, “But honey, it’s a rather big game.” How come it’s a big game every single weekend, or worse, almost everyday?
Then it’s another thing of watching football match live, in the stadium. I suspect it’s nothing to do with watching football though. Because by having corporate tickets, mr.mck and his friend must dress up (I mean seriously, with jacket, shirt and tie), and are served with champagne, beer, sandwich and everything else. So the guys are practically busy with beer in one hand and sandwich in another one. Having football match in front of them is another way to divert their eyes from each other and stop themselves to share their feelings but still be together with their friends. Share some bonds but not too much. Close but not too close.
Tonight the boys will come around to watch the game in our place. Apparently there will be an important game tonight. Which I find out is not entirely true. There are at least eight games. And mr.mck and his friends determine to watch the whole 8.
Of course beer and pizza are the ultimate accessories. I’ve made pho bo (vietnamese beef noodle soup) for dinner tonight, and although mr.mck kept peeking his head into the kitchen and kept commenting how good the smell was and he looked hungry, he refused to eat it, because he was going to watch football. And eat pizza. God forbid he eats anything else than pizza during the match. What pizza’s got to do with the football match, I have no idea. But I’m pretty sure the guy from Piccollo Pizza must be really busy taking orders tonight from all the boys who are watching football matches like mr.mck, because he forgot my chicken wing and had to run back to the shop to get it.
Oh well, no matter what, I still don’t understand men at all. I don’t pretend I do anyway. Like I still don’t understand why most the guys here like this Cadbury Chocolate Advert, which shows a gorilla playing drums and no mention of chocolate at all, or what went through mr.mck’s mind when he decided to put a Scoobydoo poster up in the bedroom (I don’t dare to go through that discussion, I’m too afraid to find out the reason behind it! But Scooby is down now, replaced by our wedding picture, thank God).
I still don’t get the answer from Sunday football’s comparison to fashion show, though. I tried to make my point to mr.mck’s friend, Matt , during our couple dinner last Wednesday. I went for a length explanation and comparison between watching football matches for hours and watching fashion show for hours, and his reply was only, “Umm, Anita, are you crazy?” (what he meant was there is nothing compares to football match and I’m basically insane to compare it to fashion show). And then he unconsciously diverted his eyes to the TV screen that showed a football game (we’re in the pub, by the way).
But I have nothing against football, as long as I don’t have to watch it. In fact, I think I’ve found a recipe for guys to make peace between football and a lovely girlfriend/wife:
- Have more than one TV and put them in different rooms. So you guys can watch football match in the living room and the girl can watch E! News in the bedroom, or vice versa.
- Everytime you watch football, your girl entitles to indulge herself on shopping trip. Your treat, of course. So you could sit and watch the match in peace, drinking beer, putting your feet up on the coffee table, picking nose, and farting, without having someone else reminds you to behave. Or better, without having someone asking where Jose Mourinho is or why David Beckham is not playing tonight with MU or why there is a guy with flag in every corner….
- You must do something nice prior to the match i.e. cook dinner, accompany the girl for grocery shopping, etc. Yes, it’s like a bribery.
- Never, ever, force your girl to watch the game with you, no matter how important the game is. Unless you’re sure that she’s a football junkie as well. Unless you’re up for a risk of going to search a perfect party dress for next month’s event together with the girl in 7 different malls and hundreds different clothing shops.
- Never try to explain the difference between Champions League and Premier Leagues, unless you’re ready to know the difference between platform and wedges, or between maroon and burgundy, or between pouch and wallet.
- Record the game and watch it while she’s sleeping.
- Do not dare to watch the game while eating but not paying attention to what she’s cooked. Unless you’re ready to buy her a Louis Vuitton Lockit bag or worse, take her out for dinner every single night for the rest of the year because she refuses to do it again (come to think about it again, LV bag turns out to be much cheaper than 10 times dinner at 4 Seasons…).
- You might try to repeat the story of your favorite team’s victory. But be prepared to hear the victory of your girl of finding a vintage Fendi for 20 pounds.
I only manage to find 8, but I think it’s enough to start a truce…..