I’ll get to Dwight Howard and Houston in a minute. Please just bear with me while I set this up. We have all seen the sad couples who are sitting across from each other in a restaurant. Usually middle age or more, who order their meals and politely wait until it’s served. Then they proceed to slowly eat and maybe within the 40 or 50 minutes that it takes until they drop their forks, get the bill and leave…they never say ONE WORD to each other. Not one word.
Amazing. Are they in a fight, one might wonder. Not likely. Usually there are no glaring looks that can kill – more like complacent ho-hum gazes. Sad.
I always turn to My Guy and say, “We are never going to be like that. We are never going to sit at a dinner table and have absolutely nothing to say to each other.
Well, guess what…I don’t ever have to worry about that. Why? one might ask...
Let me explain. When you have a Sports Obsessed Guy like I do, they will often have “sports based” conversations with you that you absolutely cannot relate to, just because they have a fiercely driven need to talk sports, and there are no other Sports Guys around. You have no idea what they are talking about and they actually know this, but it doesn’t matter. They will just ramble on and on, talking about whatever bizarre sports trivia or breaking sports news that is exploding in their brain.
The only requirement is that you are in the same room and that you have two ears on your head. Consequently, they assume that you will continue to listen to their very animated one-sided conversation about blah blah blah.
To continue…recently, we are at a nice restaurant, good food, ambience, etc., and there was a teeny lull in our normal small talk.
So, My Sports Guy’s eyes widen and he throws out the following statement, “Dwight Howard is going to Houston.”
Now, I don’t say anything, but within a few seconds I am thinking…Who? Dwight Howard? Name doesn’t ring a bell…maybe a business acquaintance of his? No clue. Going to Houston? I’m thinking…is there a going away party? Are we invited? What should I wear?
Then, I am listening further and I am picking up bits and pieces of what the hell My Guy is talking about. I make the big mistake of asking, “Who is going to Houston?”
And now it begins. I won’t bore you with the whole”greek to me” story, but some of the highlights included…NBA player…L.A. Lakers…over-paid…over-babied…catered to superstar…entire city of LA begging him to stay with the team…free agent…dumps the Lakers…big bucks…money grabbing…no loyalty...goes with the Houston Rockets…on and on and on, all emphasized with an assortment of expletives.
My advice on what to do when the uncontrollable Sports Rant begins:
NO EYE CONTACT. Find an object in the room and remain fixated on it. A chair, a picture, anything. Stare at it and become catatonic.
NO BODY LANGUAGE. Even a raised eyebrow or a cocked head will be interpreted to indicate that you might actually be interested and this will prolong the Rant.
TRY CHANGING THE SUBJECT. Difficult, but worth a try. Say something like, “Would you rather have sex with Demi Moore or Adele?” Although, if the Ranter is anything like My Sports Guy, he will not know who Demi Moore or Adele is, but the word sex will catch his attention for a brief moment. Hopefully this will confuse his thought process long enough so that he’ll lose his sports train of thought.
LAST RESORT. If all else fails, start drooping your eyelids, feign nodding off and let your entire head fall into your plate. If he is still rambling pretend to be quietly snoring.
Hopefully, it won’t get to this, but this will be a pretty sure-fire ploy to stop the Rant. He has lost his audience. He’ll probably say something like, “Are you listening? You’re dozing off!” This won’t compute with him at first, but as you wipe the mashed potatoes off your face, just say, “Sorry honey, I was listening, but I guess that I am just really tired.”
This should end the Rant, and now you must quickly segue to something else like…”There's a shoe sale at Macy's tomorrow.”
Take it from there and run with the conversation. It’s all yours now. Talk about the neighbor’s dog or The Ranter’s chore list for the weekend.
Warning: At this point the tide could turn and he might doze off into his plate. In which case, everyone will be staring, including the couple across from you that do not speak to each other. On the plus side, maybe this will give them something to talk about…or on the other hand, maybe Silence Is Golden. Good luck Dwight Howard.