Deborah Ross: Confessions Of A World Cup Widow

I'd care if they filled the trophy with pot-pourri
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The Independent Online

OK, I've worked out how to survive the World Cup if you are a lady who is fond of lady-things like flowers and pot-pourri and aprons and doilies and do not like football at all which, aside from anything else, has no doilies in it, thus giving a lady who is fond of lady-things nothing of interest to watch whatsoever. Ah, you may say, it's a bit late now giving tips, with the final coming up tomorrow, but a lady is allowed to be lax with her timings, particularly if she has to refresh her pot-pourri or arrange her flowers nicely* before getting down to anything else.

Anyway, what I have learnt is this: while it is perfectly easy to walk away from the football and get on with your own lady-things - a complex doily pattern, for example, can keep you happily crocheting for months - why would you want to? Where is the fun in that? It is much more amusing to annoy those who do have a very great interest in football, so much so that even when you have finished the doily that took you months to crochet they will not even look up from the TV to generally admire it or at least praise its complexity and lacy ruffles.

The thing that appears to annoy them the most is, I have found, calling out "supper's ready" at the precise moment a game kicks-off and then, when they do not respond, standing between them and the TV, with your hands on the hips, saying: "Supper's ready. Didn't you hear me?" Then, when they ask - nay, beg - to eat in front of the telly, you can tell them that family meals together are very important if you don't want the kids to end up Asboed loonies on crack, and you can tell them how much trouble you went to and, "Look, I've got my pinny on and everything" and you can add, finally: "Do you think I wanted to make supper for you, when I've got all this crocheting to do?"

Of course, they will end up eating in front the telly. That was never in question, really. You just can't prise a man from the telly during the World Cup, just as you can't prise a lady from her lady-things at any time of the year. Still, irritating and disturbing them is exceedingly satisfying all the same, and possibly essential. It is, after all, very trying seeing others enjoying themselves so much. You can even sulk noisily all evening and spit at the wallcharts. That last is just a suggestion. I, of course, would never spit at wallcharts. I'm a lady. And I've got that pot-pourri to refresh.

*Always place vase on a doily to avoid marking surfaces.