Have you seen that commercial on TV where the hockey dad brings his wife her coffee in the hockey stands, just in time to see their son score a goal? Mom and Dad erupt into cheers and beam at their little guy with genuine heavenly pride.
I’m not buying it.
For years, it was very rare that my husband and I could attend hockey games together, let alone sit in the stands together. With three hockey players in the household, evenings and weekends typically meant going our separate ways with a kid or two each. Our brief moments of togetherness involved sexting—but not the sexting you’re thinking of. What “sexting” means in our now almost quarter century old marriage is a hockey Score update via tEXT—I was sexted the final score of the game. Of course the back-and-forth, play-by-play sexts are the best, but usually there’s only time for the final score.
Now that we’re down to one hockey player in our family, we actually do have the occasion to attend hockey games together as a couple. Yet, how often do you us sitting together in a hockey arena? Rarely. In fact, next to never.
Yes, my husband will occasionally bring coffee to me in the stands but then quickly disappears to the predestined Hockey Dad Corral while I sit with the Hockey Moms in, on, or under our hockey blankets, depending on whether we can find a functioning heater.
I am convinced this predilection to spectator zones was secretly buried somewhere in our wedding vows way back: I, Peter, take you Astra, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer or poorer still, in sickness and in health, in wins and losses, each to our own designated spectator zone, to love and to cherish; from this day forward…
I may be stereotyping men and women and their holy hockey matrimony here, but this is the way it’s been in my marriage. I often point to the empty seat next to me after unrolling my hockey blanket on the bleachers beckoning to another hockey mom, “Please. Come sit.” To which a hockey mom will often respond, “Won’t Peter want to sit there?” and I reply, “Not unless the Maple Leafs are making a Stanley Cup run.”
And it’s not just during hockey games that couples take different stances. Outside the arena, there are just some things that I take care of that my husband generally does not.
Me: washing jerseys and Under Armour, preparing the pre-game meal, washing mouthguards, filling water bottles, making sure the family calendar is up to date with the hockey schedule, coordinating carpools, mending hockey pants, making hotel reservations for out of town tournaments.
My husband: getting the skates sharpened, taping the sticks, buying the beer.
Hockey moms are the key to a smooth hockey season! If I had a nickel for each time my husband headed out the door with one of our kids and asked me, “So where am I going again?” I’d be able to pay for next season’s hockey registration!
I guess in some ways, it’s better this way. At least until death—or the blueline—do us part!
Three cheers for the home team—whether you’re sitting with your spouse or not!
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