In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at email@example.com
Find more columns by Palmer here.
If you ever want to see a forlorn, lost-puppy-dog look come over a man’s face, give him a Saturday without football. Last weekend, to the delight of many women and to the dismay of most men, Tim Tebow and the Broncos were not dominating the airwaves. A hush fell across Colorado. There was no hooting and hollering from garages; bags of Chex Mix, salted nuts and popcorn remained on grocery store shelves; and beer sales plummeted.
Broncos withdrawal rumbled across Colorado with the tenacity of a steady thunderstorm. Depressed and confused men wandered aimlessly around their homes, mindlessly clicking their remotes. Trips to chiropractors skyrocketed as Broncos fans emerged from extended periods of “Tebowing” only to realize they were injured. Couples stared at one another at a loss for how to have a conversation that didn’t include the words “Tebow,” “touchdown” and “playoffs.” Reports of sleep deprivation hit record numbers; after all, a day without football is a day without a nap. Huge blocks of time opened up — bills could be paid, dogs could go for long walks and children could be acknowledged.
A sort of gray gloom descended over our house as my mate staggered in from his man cave clutching the remote to his chest as if he were experiencing an angina attack. He could barely speak, and I had to lean close to him to hear him croak: “There. Is. No. Football.”
“OK,” I said cheerily. Thinking a little football jargon might cheer him up, I said, “Let’s tackle some house projects.”
The pained look on his face deepened and he disappeared.
Five minutes later he was back.
“Can you Google the TV listings? Maybe football is on, and I just can’t find it.”
He looked so terrible I contemplated checking his vital signs or enrolling him in a 12-step program for football addiction, but instead, I dutifully booted up the computer only to confirm his worst fears.
“Nothing today. There are two games on Sunday. Can you make it until then?”
“What time? Check the times,” he moaned.
“Are you sure you’re not running a fever? Game times are 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Back-to-back games. Don’t ask me who is playing.”
“But not Monday. No Monday Night Football.”
“Sorry. Nothing on Monday. Ready to tackle those house projects? Let’s put away the Christmas decorations.”
He slinked back into the dark recesses of his man cave.
Just for the record, the Christmas tree has been down for weeks and even recycled, but there still were large storage containers full of ornaments, lights and decorations patiently waiting to be put down in the crawl space. The access to the crawl space is buried underneath carpet remnants that were too awkward for me to move alone.
Nevertheless, a few minutes later he was back, still clutching the remote.
“Ice skating is on. Do you know millions of people watch ice skating?”
“Fascinating. And it only takes one person to help another person put away the Christmas decorations.”
He put down the remote. The lost-puppy-dog look lifted from his face. I’d almost forgotten what he looked like. “I’ll help you now.”
“Welcome back,” I said with a grin.