We’re not sports obsessed but I keep an eye on a football team and I love the big games. They don’t come any bigger than the European Championship final on Saturday and I asked my partner if she would like to watch it with me in the evening. “Oh Yes” she said. “I like the big games”. Sure enough, come seven pm and there we are in front of the TV as the build up begins. The pundits are discussing the strengths of my team who are considered the underdogs. Already I can feel my stomach muscles tightening as I wonder how the game will go. My partner watches with me, then casually picks up her magazine. At this stage I’m watching and also looking at my laptop “I’m already feeling nervous” I tell her. She grunts a response. I get the feeling she is not as riveted as me, but at least she’s here and it’s nice to have the company.
Time passes and we are getting nearer the kickoff. I can feel my nerves rising but I am also excited. “Do you want some tea” a voice chips in to my thoughts. “Great” says I. She vanishes into the kitchen. As always, making tea involves cleaning over the kitchen surfaces, and moving around mysteriously, pondering the possibilities being in the kitchen offers. “The game’s starting in a minute” I shout in case she misses the kickoff. No doubt she getting everything ready so we can watch the match.
As the ball is kicked and the game swings into action I am sure she will be with us soon. I’m gripped but I’m miss my companion. At last she returns with a tray of snacks and the tea. “Lovely” I say. By now my laptop , though still on, is resting on the coffee table before me and I am concentrating fully on the game. “Which of these dresses is nicer” says a sweet voice . The opponents are sweeping up field in a series of fluid and penetrating movements and I can feel the tension rising. “The red or the green one” she continues and a magazine is thrust in front of my face. Baffled by the sudden change in view I look quickly at the frocks. “The green one is nice” I say, and the magazine vanishes just it time for me to see our goalkeeper parry a shot away from one of their strikers. “Heavens, that was close” I say but her eyes don’t seem to be on the Television and I think better of pursuing the conversation.
Shortly afterwards the opponents score and I feel a wave of anxiety and depression sweep through me. Nothing could be worse than this but I will my team on. I feel the tension rising when a voice cuts across my thoughts. “You laptop is filthy. Look at the marks on the screen. You should clean it now” This is a valid observation but not necessarily urgent. I realise I will have to placate her if any sort of watching is to continue. “Yes” I say. I’ll have to clean it. ” Her concentration on the ebb and flow of play doesn’t seem to be all it might be but at least she’s there. Hoping the subject is closed I watch as my team battle against their mighty opponents. We are surging up field and a flurry of quick passes bring us within range of goal. I see the strikers foot move towards the ball, but my vision is suddenly obscured by an arm and a squirt of liquid hits the laptop screen in front of me. “Gooooooaal” says the commentator as the arm moves vigorously back and forward against the computer .”I think we ‘ve just scored”.I say. “Never mind, she says. “. By now her back is firmly censoring all sight of the game and the cleaning frenzy continues without mercy “It’s filthy” says my partner, clearly engrossed in her task . I’ve missed the goal but what can you do. at least the hummus is good. She makes it herself you know.