Thursday, March 17, 2016

March Madness Widow Survival 101

Ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year, the time we Americans have collectively come to know as March Madness.

Ah, March Madness, the time of year when our annual obsession with college basketball is front and center; a time when basketball dominates the news, when the words bracket and busted are used in common, everyday conversations. It is the time when, for three weeks out of the year, our culture's passion for and obsession with college hoops disrupts work productivity as employees work feverishly filling out their brackets and watch the games on their smartphones. It is also a time when many women find themselves "put on the back burner" by their husbands or boyfriends, becoming what many call "March Madness Widows."

I am one of those widows. 


Yes, every year, shortly after the flowers and tree buds emerge from their winter hibernation, I get... benched.  How 'bout that for an appropriate metaphor! Basketball is in the forefront of my husband's mind as well as the topic of most of his conversations.  Basketball games dominate our tv, trumping all other shows, and all plans that include him must work around his basketball viewing schedule.  

I'll be honest. There were several years in which March Madness caused some serious problems between my husband and I, but that's another post for another day. The important thing is that my husband and I are still together and that I learned how to not let March Madness get the best of me. 

Given that I'm not a college basketball fan and my husband is, I've learned a thing or two about how to survive this trying time over the past thirteen years. If you find yourself in competition with the Wildcats, the Aggies, the Tarheels, or one of the other 64 teams that start tournament play today, don't fret - you are not alone.  Take comfort in knowing that this will not last forever.   And from one widow to another, here are some ideas of things to do during the upcoming weeks that will help you survive this annual event.

Make your own plans.
Is there a concert in town that you want to go to? Is there a movie that you really want to see? How about a museum exhibit or perhaps a book reading? Go. Do those things. Get with some gal pals who might also be "widowed" during these three weeks or go by yourself. Over the years, I've gone to see The Hunger Games and Divergent. One year, I even saw Daughtry in concert. My point is, don't put your life on hold during these three weeks. Go. Do. See. Experience.

Catch up on shows that you've meant to watch.
I have several friends who save their binge watching for the last two weeks of March, when their husbands and boyfriends are glued to the TV. I prefer to do my binge watching in January, but I digress... This year, however, I may re-watch several episodes from Outlander's first season in preparation of season two which starts April 9. With Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, On Demand, and DVRs, the options are limitless. 

Catch up on things you need to do around the house. 
Do you need to do some closet purging? Need to switch out seasonal clothes? Have you been tempted to try out the KonMari decluttering method? Although these activities may not be that fun, they are essential. You may want to use this time to your advantage and get ahead in your spring cleaning. Do it now and that way you won't have to worry about it later when the weather is more consistent and warm.

Try something new.
It's easy to get stuck in a rut and blame our stagnation on not having time to explore new things. March Madness, from the selection show to the championship game, spans the course of three weeks. There will be dozens of hours of televised basketball during this period. This allows for ample time to try out a new hobby or perhaps a class that has piqued your interest. If you need ideas, peruse Living Social or Groupon for discounted fun things to do in your area. Several years ago, I attended a glass mosaic class one Sunday when my husband was busy watching games all day. I bought the voucher on Groupon. Since then, I've made 7 more tile mosaic pieces. Little did I know how much I would love it.  Had it not been for March Madness, I might not have ever tried it out.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
HA HA! Sorry, I had to get that out of my system. Someone once suggested that I watch the games with my husband and I couldn't help but laugh.  I already watch small quantities of basketball with him throughout the season, but I draw the line at March Madness.  That's just more basketball than I care to watch. However, if basketball is your thing, go for it! For two or three years, just for kicks, I filled out brackets.  I had no clue what I was doing, but I did it anyway. Even though I wasn't actively watching the games, I kept up with the winners and this gave my husband and I something to talk about during the basketball saturated three weeks. 

Don't try to change your significant other. 
This one is, in my opinion, the most important tip I can offer you today. If your significant other is a die hard college basketball fan, then March Madness is to him (or her) what Christmas is to children. My husband loves this time of year, absolutely loves it. He watches the selection show, dutifully fills out his bracket(s), and watches hours upon hours of televised b-ball with utter and absolute joy. His love for the game is part of what makes him him and therefore the man that I love. Why would I want to change that? I wouldn't want him to try to change me or get me to not participate in something I loved doing, so why would I do that to him.

Lastly, take comfort in knowing that March Madness will not last forever.
As my grandmother used to say, "This too shall pass." While in the midst of all the March Madness madness, I know it sometimes feels as if the endless stream of ballgames will never end, but it will. Remember, March Madness only accounts for about 0.057 of the year.  Even though it's just a small snippet of time, you can definitely use it to your advantage.  Make the most of it and hang in there!

If you are a college basketball fan, best of luck to your team!  I hope you enjoy the next three weeks.  If you are a March Madness Widow, hang in there!  Now, get out there and do something productive and/or fun!

Do you have any tips for surviving March Madness?  If so, please share.  As always, thanks for stopping by.

P.S.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Linking up with Kristin @ Stuff, Things, Etc. 
and Joey @ Hodgepodges.


Linking up with Penny @ Penny's Passion 
and Vanessa @ X-tremely V.

7 comments:

  1. Ha! I enjoy the Madness, but I am not obsessive about it. I do find college basketball (especially at tournament time) exciting!

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  2. HA! Cute post. I wish my man did do March madness. He is a doer all the time and wants me doing too. I would love him to sit and watch games so I could sit here and blog.

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    1. LOL! That's great! That's definitely a different spin that I hadn't considered before! Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Maybe when you're older, I'll explain to you how a wife can compete with March Madness.

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    1. ...Says the single guy. Thanks, but no thanks. I'm old enough to know that I don't have to compete with anything or anyone.

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  4. Did you give an Aggie shout-out for me??!! I'm going to pretend you did and be super happy about it. I am the sports fan of our house. My husband could really care less. Plus, you know, he's Australian, so a lot of the American sports, he could really, realllllly care less about them. With the time difference, I actually have been known to get up at odd/crazy hours to watch sporting events. With my Aggies in the tourney, that may happen this year. The first game for my team is in the middle of a work day, so I will just keep the laptop tuned in and watch when no customers are here.

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    1. You know, I actually did. :) It occurred to me as I was drafting this post, when Kentucky was playing Texas A&M for the SEC championship, that you went to Texas A&M so I through the Aggies in there. (My husband is a Kentucky fan, otherwise, I probably wouldn't have been aware of the game between the two schools! LOL!) I can imagine how the time difference makes viewing the games...challenging. LOL!

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