Thursday, July 2, 2009

Put Your Foot Down, Or Look the Other Way?

I am not sure if you all caught the last episode of Tori & Dean, but the two got into a little fight over Dean's motorcycle racing. He had a very minor accident, but thanks to an overly dramatic phone call from his friend, Tori was under the impression that Dean was seriously injured. 

Like any hysterically panicked wife, Tori drove an hour to the race track to make sure Dean was okay. And when she got there, he was perfectly fine. I know she felt relief for about two seconds and then the rage set in. 

She has already been a little upset with Dean for racing because this hobby takes time away from her and the kids and...above all is dangerous! So at the end of the last episode, the two talked about whether or not Dean should quit racing. On one hand, Tori thinks he should quit because she doesn't want him to get hurt but on the other hand, she doesn't want to be the bitchy wife that tells him to stop doing what he loves. She is in a tough situation. But like Dean said, she either lives with the guilt of making him quit, or she lets him keep riding and deals with the fear of him getting hurt. Neither situation is desirable for her, but she knows it has to be one way or the other.

And you know...I can COMPLETELY relate to this argument. First of all, Eric does have a motorcycle. He doesn't ride it often and he doesn't race (thank God) but I know how dangerous they are and I really wish he would sell it. But...that is never going to happen and I have learned to accept it. And I suppose if this were Eric's only hobby, I would definitely be able to look the other way. But this is just one of Eric's many hobbies. He fishes, hunts and plays softball. Fishing and hunting are once-a-year hobbies so again...I don't have any complaints (although I may be singing a new tune when Eric goes hunting this year while I am 8 months pregnant. But I'll save that for another post). Anyway, the one hobby that has been the subject of MANY discussions since we got married is softball.

Now, let me just say that I have nothing against softball. I think it is great exercise and when the kids get older...they will probably enjoy watching their daddy play. Also, Eric is smokin hot in his softball pants and that alone is reason enough for him to play :-) But...Eric's modo has always been "go big or go home." How does this translate to softball? Well, it means that instead of just playing one game a week or every other weekend, he played AT LEAST 1-2 games a week and had at least 2 nights of practice. 2-3 week nights and every weekend was a bit much in my opinion, especially when you have a family and lots of other responsibilities. So after we had Addie, I revisited this discussion. Eric was ready for this conversation too with lots of points about why he should continue to play. Here are his points and my responses:

Eric: I get a lot of exercise. It keeps me healthy.
Jen: But you drink beer and eat hot dogs in between games.
Eric: Yeah...but I burn those calories playing.
Jen: You stand in the outfield.
Eric: And sweat. I probably sweat a whole beer each inning.
Jen: Sick.

Eric: Playing softball is a LOT cheaper than a lot of other hobbies. It is free to play!
Jen: Didn't you just spend $100 on a new uniform?
Eric: Yeah...but you said I look hot in my pants. Right?
Jen: me there.

Eric: Softball isn't a dangerous hobby like riding motorcycles.
Jen: Really?
Eric: Damn it.

Eric: Softball is something the whole family can get into.
Jen: Yes, when the kids are old enough to watch you play and understand what is going on. Addie just wants to eat sand off the field right now.

I think bringing up Addie was my only successful bargaining tool. He knew he would be gone a lot and that meant sacrificing playtime with his baby girl. I think she was reason enough to take the season off so that is exactly what Eric did this year...took the season off. At first I was happy about his decision. I didn't ask him to take the season off and I certainly didn't pressure him into doing it (really...I swear I didn't!) so the fact that he made the decision on his own made me very happy. I could get out of this guilt free. But then, as we were watching this episode of Tori and Dean, he kept whispering "softball" in my ear every time Dean talked about not wanting to give up something he loved. 

So I guess Tori and I are in a similar boat. Do I now encourage Eric to play softball in order to keep from being the bitchy, controlling wife who makes her husband quit something he loves? Do I look the other way when I am feeling upset and angry about his insane schedule? Or do I put my foot down and say "hey...I am happy about this decision. You should be spending time with your family instead of living out your glory days on the softball field." Both don't seem like the perfect solution. The only happy-medium would be for him to play...but play less often. Sadly, there is no happy-medium in this scenario because that is not how the team works. So what's a girl to do? Anyone esle's boyfriend or husband have a hobby that takes a lot of time, is dangerous, or just plain annoying?


  1. Brandon's biggest hobby is golf. He grew up on a golf course. He's played since he was a tot. Went to state in high school, got a minor scholarship @ a community college. We moved down to AZ for a year for him to play... for whatever reasons that didn't work out. He recently tore some muscles playing (WTH!? Thought it was a lifetime sport!?) so he hasn't been playing much. However, since his parents still live on said golf course last summer we joined their "Couple's League." Yes, being early twenties, we were by FAR the youngest couple. But, I must admit... It was fun! We both work so much that he doesn't have a ton of time to golf. But more than twice a week? That's too much for me. Especially when we have kiddos. Although an activity outside of home and work is healthy, there's something to be said about family time. Good luck with that battle!

  2. Jen-

    I feel you on all of these issues. Wayne had a motorcycle, but he sold it Thank God. I refused to ride on it, and I guess it wasn't as fufilling as he thought it would be, but every now and again he brings up getting a new one. I think I have him convinced that a sports car is a better goal because at least then we can ride together! As for the hobbies, I swear men are just boys. Wayne plays golf and hockey, but since we had Z he only plays hockey once a week and golfs two to three times a month. Sometimes its annoying, but there is no way in he** I could talk my stubborn husband out of doing things he loves. He would be miserable and therefore so would I. I think if Eric gave up the sport on his own, then leave it alone. If you felt slightly annoyed at his playing with one child, imagine how you'll feel with two little ones running around? I feel your struggle, but unfortunately there is no win/win on this, and aren't women on the losing side a little too often? Enjoy it, and don't feel guilty!

  3. Your Dad used to scuba dive and ski. Once the three of you were born the tanks and skis got sold. That was 30 years ago and every once in awhile it still comes up in conversation that he gave them up! Why is it that as Moms it's just a given - with guys it's a compromise! They are all alike!


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