What follows is a note on the first-hand experience my non-imaginary girlfriend wrote for me. Maybe you can relate. And please be civil in your comments. Thanks.
Life is challenging and difficult on most days and even more so when you are in a full blown relationship with a football fanatic. This isn’t a memoir of a geisha or a surly old housewife; it is an outer body observational piece of a girl who is dating one such fanatic and even more perilously a Gunner.
Before getting into the sacred psychobabble phase, I must declare that I have an issue with how the English Premier League functions. I think it is rather selfish of them to schedule matches in the graveyard shift, don’t they realize there are people in this country who get their boxers in a twist every time one of Arsene Wenger’s little French babies miss the mark. Notice how I write people when I actually mean the raving-raging lunatic football fanatic who glares at me from across the hall because I breathe too loudly during the game.
As sweeping generalization, it is safe to say that in our country when one says sports one thinks Cricket. I am dating that set of the Venn diagram that threatens to fall out of the universe. I didn’t think too much of it when we just started dating, anyhow when people just start dating molten butter has more viscosity than our preciously protected thinking organ. Dating the minority subset does have its pros like when you want to throw names like Schweinsteiger and Zlatan Ibramovich while you giggle and think of how fun they would be in a drinking game. Also let’s face it, football jerseys are way more fashion forward, I would rather be traded for camels by a Ukrainian dealer than have my boyfriend wear a KKR jersey.
The cons, on the other hand, are several like when you enter a Sports Bar in the upbeat suburbs of Mumbai and the only channel they have on is the one that plays the IPL and your boyfriend is up in arms with the captain. The corollary to this incident is that several pitchers of fermented fluid are consumed following which you, the hapless girlfriend, must endure a rant about how a sport as sacrosanct as football isn’t respected and all this country is interested in is eleven men waiting for a ball to fly. It is really funny up until the time when you are inebriated enough for the visual imagery to follow. Then there is a plan B, go to a bar where they service the needs of the football crazed. One would think that would be enough, a hearty game of football, chilled beers and everyone goes home happy. For a regular couple, yes; for us it is quite different – if the bar screens a game of a certain team that was formerly known as the Newton Health LYR F.C, there is dismay that follows. Now one must endure a rant about how people don’t understand the sublime skill and technique of the Invincibles. All in all, it is quite certain that once this couple gets home their pillow talk will be spiced with transfer window deliberations and the state of the I-League. On a brave day, it might even be grand declarations of how this footballer will buy a club and do a Fergusson. (This reference I am going to pay for)
You would think the conundrum of every woman dating a football fanatic would be the same; I’m here to tell you, it isn’t. While I do sympathize with the girlfriends of men who support Blackburn or better still, Fulham, it is definitely a task to date someone who actually plays the game. It is heart wrenching when he comes home to show you an inked homage he got for his club (Arsenal, you know who you are) while you were expecting a grand declaration of well, something. It is exhilarating to watch a live football game, especially if someone you are with is playing. Well, it gets old really fast when he berates you for cheering without appropriate timing. From a layman’s point of view, Defenders don’t have that much pressure put on them; they just have to follow their natural caveman instinct. Strikers are a whole different story; ask a woman how difficult it is to stop cheering abruptly when the ball not only misses the post but flies into a whole other continuum, try putting up a supportive face after that.
Don’t get me wrong, Football is an exciting game but dear fanatics, on behalf of ‘WAG’s’ around the world, let me tell you – Don’t expect us to be kicked, pun intended, by the revamped away jersey of your clubs or bummed out by the fact that E-bay hasn’t stocked them yet. Lastly, it is definitely not appropriate to scream one man’s name from 1:15 am for the next ninety minutes (RVP) and consequently dedicate all your social media application statues for him.
Dating a footballer is hard work, you may be caught offside for the most part but when you score, you’re home.