A Non-Soccer Fanatic’s Guide to Surviving the World Cup with a Soccer-Crazed Partner

It has been 12 years since my introduction to the World Cup, and with 11.5 years of marriage, two kids, and three World Cups under my belt, I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two along the way! Thought I’d share these little survival tidbits with y’all!

10. A World Cup game will take precedence over “Spongebob” or “Sofia the First” on your DVR. This is a good time to teach your kids that “life is not fair”.

9. Know when the games are—especially the big games—’cuz the only place your partner’s butt will be during those games is on the couch. I mean, your cousin will get married again someday, right?

8. Cross your fingers for good weather, ‘cuz if your DirecTV/Dish/Comcast goes out during the game, you may witness your partner regress into a two-year-old before your eyes. Yes, that may involve tantrums and thumb-sucking and an occasional diaper change.

7. Make sure your electric and DirecTV/Dish/Comcast bills are paid for the month (make it two months), ‘cuz #8 ain’t pretty. You’ve been warned.

6. Regardless of how good or hands-on of a parent your partner is, the rule of thumb during a game is “Children should not be seen nor heard”. Seriously. If you don’t want them picking up some very colorful language or tearing off their shirts while running around and yelling “Gooooooooooooooooooooool!!!!!!!” in the middle of the Target aisle, keep them far, far away.

5. The World Cup doesn’t care if you were about to find out who won Wheel of Fortune or who got blown up on “24”. Your partner doesn’t care either, as that channel is a-changin’ at game time!

4. If you need to ask your partner a question during game time, make sure you wait until a commercial. Even then, you may want to ask while hiding yourself behind the couch. Cookie sheets and your kid’s Captain America shield will come in extremely handy during this time, too.

3. I don’t care what the ref says—your partner’s call is always right. Never side with the ref unless your partner agrees with the call. If you mistakenly side with the ref, make sure you have a cookie sheet or Captain America shield nearby, ‘cuz looks can kill during World Cup time. For reals.

2. Your partner’s vocabulary during the World Cup may consist only of grunts, groans, “Woo-hoo!!!!!”, “Yessssssss!!!!”, “Gooooolllllllllllllll!!!!!!”, and other noises known only to cave people. Learn the language and learn it well. Oh, and your partner’s silence during a game is no bueno. You’ll quickly learn when to retreat or duck and cover.

1. Keep your partner well-hydrated and well-fed during game time. Finger food is a must. Be sure to have Domino’s/Jimmy Johns/Grubhub/BiteSquad bookmarked on your computer and their numbers programmed into your phone. They will become your best friends. Family meals at the table aren’t happenin’, so don’t bother with that fancy schmancy meal you had planned. Oh, and be prepared to part with your couch every four years, ‘cuz between the food and perma-buttcheek imprints, your couch probably will have seen better days.

Consider yourself warned. May the soccer gods be ever in your favor.

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