I’m sure it doesn’t seem like Dave and I should have any trouble squeezing some date nights into our schedule. We do have the time, and it’s not usually a problem finding something to do that we both find enjoyable, but regardless of that we tend to get a bit lazy. We’re creatures of habit, and I’m kind of an obsessive homebody who thinks her dogs count the hours we spend together, so sometimes it is easier to spend a night playing Yahtzee on the coffee table or catching up on episodes of our favorite shows or sitting in silence while we gaze into each other’s eyes. You know, the normal stuff. Once in a while though, especially before the baby comes, we talk ourselves into the importance of actually doing things outside the house. So last week we got out of our pajamas, got in the car, drove into Dallas, and went to…a hockey game.
Those of you who have spent hockey seasons with me might find this kind of surprising. As much as I love Dave, like hockey, want to be the supportive wife that you imagine in the stands, sometimes I just get worn out. There are A LOT of hockey games every year, and watching them can be stressful. I worry about his physical well-being and remaining dental health during every game I watch, which you can imagine is exhausting in a contact sport played on a slippery surface. I worry about how he will be feeling after the game, because he seems to take every loss or personal mistake very, very seriously, and the wins and triumphs don’t seem to make up for it. Seeing him feel frustrated or stressed makes me stressed, making every hockey game a little bit of a predictor of his later mood. So you’ll excuse me if sometimes, usually around mid-season, I skip a few games in favor of an evening with the Lifetime Movie Network or perhaps I bring a good book with me to the game. Because for real, how often do you get several uninterrupted hours to read in such good lighting? Just saying.
The truth is that I do actually like hockey. I was going to hockey games long before I met Dave. Growing up in the U.P., hockey is a part of life. Part sporting event, part social gathering, part excuse to leave your house in the snowy winter to sit in a freezing rink. I enjoy watching sports, especially those with a good pace. And I do like watching Dave play, knowing how much he loves the game, knowing how hard he has worked to be where he is, knowing that his is appreciative of my support. But even things we like to do can be tainted a tad by having to do them over and over. Watching Dave’s hockey games is a part of my life, and the stress and worry it brings is a part of my gray hair. But going TO a hockey game WITH Dave, that’s a real treat. A game where I don’t have to think about him getting hurt or really give a rat’s about the outcome of the game, that’s fun. I like the crowd and the atmosphere and the concessions. My god the glorious concession stands they have at those NHL rinks. It’s pregnant lady heaven. Dave likes to watch hockey, of course, but I think he also likes to answer the questions I come up with about sports, uniform design and terrible hair decisions made by players. He also gets a kick out of my attempts to pick out the player who skates most like he does, I think this time I actually insulted him with my choice. Just calling it like I see it!
We’ve been trying to get to the movies weekly, walking the dogs on extra long loops of the golf course, making shopping runs and accomplishing other out of the house activities that will prove to be more difficult very soon. But this night was my favorite, a place where we could sit together, talk to each other, yell obscenities at over-paid hockey players together (they don’t know what it is to love the game, right honey!?). The only thing that could have made it better is if we could have gotten a little goofy on some over-priced but ice-cold beer. Maybe next time.