I want to take the kids to the theater. He wants to watch a football game.

My husband “Frank” has a stupid favorite football team which is in the playoffs this year for the first time in about a hundred years. A long time ago I got theater tickets for our entire family. Well, it turns out one of his oh-so-important football games is at the exact time as the show. My suggestion that he TIVO the game was turned down since apparently, “it’s not the same” to watch a recorded game, plus Frank is afraid that he will somehow hear the score or hear someone talking about the game while we’re out.

The kids and I have really been looking forward to this show, but I don’t think it will be the same without my husband there. Should I make him come with us or be nice and let him stay home and watch his game?

You have two options:

1. Make your husband come to the show. Hustle him out to the car with a paper bag over his head. Blindfold him, turn off the radio, and put ear plugs in his ears at any time when the performance is not actually occurring, including during intermission and if he takes a break to go to the bathroom. (This might be tricky when blindfolded, so you’ll have to help him.) This way, he won’t accidentally hear anyone talking about the game or inadvertently catch a radio or TV update. Also, be sure to turn off his phone in case someone texts or calls him to talk about it. When you get back to your house after the show, race inside, turn on the recording for him, lock the door so no one else gets in, and let him watch the game in peace. Please keep in mind, also, that the entire time you’re away from the house and the football game, he will enjoy nothing, participate in nothing, and have no other thoughts than, “I WONDER WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING WITH MY BELOVED FOOTBALL TEAM. I HATE THE THEATER. I HATE FAMILY THEATER. I HATE FAMILIES. I WANT TO GO HOME.”

2. Find a friend, your mom, your sister, or one of your kids’ friends to go to the show with you. Afterward, go out for ice cream. Let your husband stay home and watch the game.

I strongly favor option #2. Kindness goes a long way in a marriage.

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