I guess I shouldn't be quite so dramatic; when compared to preseasons of the past, this one wasn't particularly hellish. In fact, it was probably our best yet. That said, it's still my least favorite month and a half of the year.
There's no PHPA here, which means there are no rules about how long players can be at the rink each day. Preseason, or camp schedules vary from team to team but my husband's experience in Germany has consisted of two-a-days, daily team workouts, almost daily team meetings, exhibition games, exhibition road trips to God knows where, and team binge drinking ... er ... bonding.
The "bonding" isn't hard on anything but their livers but the rest of it seems ridiculously draining, a little over the top, and somewhat pointless.
In 2010, as I sat on our couch in lingerie waiting for my husband to come home (from one of those pesky mandatory team "bonding" nights) and celebrate our first wedding anniversary (by midnight as he had promised), I decided that preseason and I were officially friends off. He came home at 3 am, intoxicated, so you can't blame me.
Last preseason, I declared that we were friends on again. That declaration was probably premature. I was so grateful that my husband had another opportunity to play in Germany that I either overlooked or embraced the imperfections. The truth is, he was just as busy and under just as much pressure as he was in 2010. I had simply developed better coping mechanisms.
His first priority was definitely hockey, which took up 80% of his time. But his second was poker. And the other 20% went to that.
He was so excited to be able to play PokerStars and FullTilt again that I'm pretty sure he completely forgot that he had a family to worry about - or even check in on. You've seen his poker set up. If he wasn't at the rink, his ass was planted firmly in that seat and he was starring at the screen. We had a few small tiffs. And one big one. Looking back, it wasn't very nice of me to call him an "addict", even though he so totally is one. But it wasn't very nice of him to ignore us, either.
We survived but it wasn't without a few bumps.
After this preseason, I'm reconsidering our relationship status.
Maybe "it's complicated" would be the safest option?
|Preseason fun with Daddy (and his crack)|
Scratch that. We loved each other.
It helped that he didn't feel the same pressure to perform or prove himself that he had felt in previous years, but his schedule was just as demanding, if not more so.
The regular season has officially begun, his pace has slowed and his schedule has evened out, but he still isn't playing much poker. He is offering to pick Linden up from kindergarten. He is offering to go grocery shopping. He is taking Linden skating on a regular basis. He is spending quality time with me after Linden goes to bed.
The other night, instead of firing up the computer and playing a few time-consuming tournaments at PokerStars, he suggested that we do a little quick online gaming of a different variety. I've never participated in online gaming but I figured, aside from a few bucks, what did we have to lose? I was just as shocked as you when he suggested BINGO, of all things. Not just any BINGO. Foxy BINGO. (Kym, if this isn't a sign from God that you and TJ need to play BINGO, I don't know what is).
Anyway, we had a total blast! Hangin' in sweatpants, sittin' on his lap (no easy feat with this big ol' belly), eatin' popcorn and playin' some good, not-so-old-fashioned BINGO.
I'd ask who he is and what he did with my husband but I like this dude better.
And I want to keep him.
So yeah, it's complicated. But we're on the right track.