In our house this evening there is a football match on the television. It’s Wrexham vs Luton, and we have actually paid to subscribe to a channel for the night just so we can watch it.
I say “we”, but although the money comes out of an account with my name on it, I’m not taking advantage of this purchase. My husband, brought up in North Wales, is the one glued to the box, groaning as his team seem to be losing quite badly. I gather it’s some kind of playoff, but I can’t tell you what for.
There was a time when I made more of an effort to know these things. When we were first dating, I did my best to get to grips with the different leagues and cups, and what they used to be called before it was all changed. I knew the names of the Wrexham players and sort of understood the offside rule. I even donned layers (so many layers) of warm clothing and stood on the terraces to cheer on the team.
I admit that part of my motivation, for away games at least, was a night in a hotel, plus the promise of a pie at half time to help keep the cold out. But clean sheets and warm pastry can’t be the full story. I’m not *that* easily bought.
It certainly wasn’t a genuine love of the Beautiful Game (which I always felt was at least 30 minutes too long.) I can only assume that it was a desire to share in the interests and passions of my not-yet-husband which provided the incentive for me to endure those cold, windy out-of-town football grounds. What else but a wish to find common ground and experiences could have driven me to learn all those unsavoury anti-English football chants?
So does the fact that I no longer feel the need to watch the football – even from the comfort of my own sofa – say something about my relationship with my husband? Do I feel less of a need to connect with him now we are married? Have the incentives disappeared now I have his ring on my finger?
Or is it just that we now have other shared interests and experiences which help to bring us together? Things like buying a house and having a child – events that are (dare I say it) even more important than a football match.
That’s my theory. And I think it’s a good one. Especially as it absolves me from having to watch Wrexham ever again.
(This post was originally written in May 2011)