He’s sitting on the couch, his brow furrowed as he scoots to the very edge, and rests his elbows on his knees. He’s staring straight ahead and frowning. Occasionally he interrupts me and curses- sometimes loudly, other times under his breath. He can’t believe what he’s seeing. Forget what I’m saying to him, all he knows is that he’s angry at what he sees. No amount of pleading with him will get him to put down his Xbox controller and come to dinner. The Federation must be destroyed.
Does this sound familiar? Have you experienced something similar in your house? According to a recent study published by Pew Research, men spend a whopping 37 hours a week on leisure activities if they don’t have children, and 28 hours if they do. “37 hours!?” you say? Yes, THIRTY SEVEN HOURS. In the civilian world, that is equivalent to the amount of time the average husband spends at work.
“So you mean to tell me my husband devotes as much time to his
addiction as he does to his job?” Well, too be fair, not exactly. If your spouse has a work schedule like mine did in the fleet, he averages 65 hours a week at work, roughly 10-13 hours a week at the gym and/or PT’ing, 12 additional hours if he has an overnight duty, and let’s not even discuss field operations, TAD orders and the random little extras like staying late for field day in the barracks. By that math, an active duty military member spends an estimated 90 hours a week working. Factoring in those 37 leisure hours, your husband is left with slightly less than six hours of sleep per night. No wonder he’s so cranky with the Federation- aka- his ‘other wife’.
A few days ago, as I was staring at my husband- again- wondering how in the world he can get so consumed with Call of Duty, I wondered what activities other men are consumed by. Not the “magazine in the bathroom” type of activities, but the leisure activities. So I asked on my facebook page and found that video games is a big one, in addition to hunting, playing around with firearms, card and board games and watching television. Curious, I wondered what the military ladies in my life do to distract their husbands and get their attention back where it belongs, on themselves (because it’s really all about us, right?) Surprisingly, the replies were rather mixed and rated G! It seems the most widely used form of distraction is bribery. Sheer bribery. One woman did mention the use of a fireman’s pole in her bedroom. Another woman admitted to throwing her children at her husband. I like that image, actually. It’s like Angry Birds, only with kids.
This reminds me of how I used to get my husband off the phone when we were first married. He would return home from work anytime between 8pm and 10pm and immediately call his parents. I would wait around awhile, pacing. Then I would put our daughter to bed, slip into something comfortable, pour myself a drink…. and make dinner. Yes, food used to work. Of course, the little trip down memory lane made me contemplate more creative ways of getting my husband’s attention. So, for your reading pleasure, here is my list of top five ways to get your husband to forget about his “other wife” and pay more attention to you.
1) Remove the firing pin from all of his sport firearms (not to be confused with the 1911 under your bed that he protects his house with) and refuse to give it back until he takes you dancing. Or at least out for ice cream.
2) Glue pictures of your face to all of his magazines- even his Sgt Grit and Men’s Health. Extra points if you wind up with a stunning photo of yourself in the center of your television.
3) Change his character on his gaming system to reflect the more feminine him- and then set a password so it can’t be changed back. Exchange the password for five hours of quality time. Extra time should be awarded if you change his name, as well.
4) Hide his game system in your underwear drawer. But not the one with all the granny panties and long johns, the one with all the thongs and lingerie. By the time he makes it through your pile of crotchless panties, he shouldn’t care about Call of Duty.
5) Block his view of the tv/computer/whatever wearing nothing but your Chanel No. 5
Update: I read this list to my husband- in between levels of Call of Duty. He shook his head and simply declared, “I don’t like this.” This tells me that this is an excellent list. How do you distract your spouse to get his attention? Share your ideas.