The question begged to be asked. It was there in my head, knocking on the side of my brain and whispering, "Hello? Please find out for me or I'm going to roam around in here and drive you crazy for the next six hours."
So, I asked it.
"If somebody grabs him by the hair and slings him around, is that a penalty?"
I knew I was taking a risk, asking my better half a question in the middle of a football game. Not a risk to life or limb, but a risk that I would get one of those looks, the didn't-we-agree-you-would-ask-all-questions-before-kick-off look. But, in my defense, I didn't notice the 280 pound spandex-clad man running down the field with long, flowing hair spilling out of his helmet before kick-off.
It was a logical question, but apparently I didn't ask it loud enough.
"Can they grab him by the hair?" I asked, certain he just didn't hear me the first time or he surely would have enthusiastically diverted his gaze from the game and given me his undivided attention, maybe even turning off the television and turning to me lovingly to say, "Oh, honey. I am so glad you asked me a question. I just love it when you do that in the middle of an important play-off game."
Actually, if that had happened, I would have very slowly and quietly backed out of the room and called 911 because (a) he was clearly seriously ill, or (b) someone had invaded his body and he was about to beat me to death with the remote control. No worries, that's not what he said.
"No, they can't grab him by his hair?"
"No, it's not a penalty," he said.
"Then, yes, they can grab him by his hair but, no, it's not a penalty?"
I knew I was pushing the envelope, but I just had to clarify one thing. Make that two - that he had heard my first question and had just ignored me. Yes, and yes.
Over the holidays I got sick. Sore throat. Chest congestion. Headache. Cough. The really bad part lasted about two days.
And then on the third day God gave me laryngitis.
When I woke up, I opened my mouth and nothing came out. Nada. Zilch, save for the tiniest little croak akin to the sound a frog might make if he had a mouthful of gravel. I couldn't say good morning. I couldn't answer the telephone. I couldn't talk to commercials on television. I couldn't communicate with my family.
The children called it their Christmas miracle.
He didn't say it out loud, but I know my husband secretly also liked the fact that I couldn't talk, couldn't voice my opinion on his choice of bad television and, most importantly, couldn't interrupt his game coma with questions he considers annoying, such as "How do they get those skin tight pants on?" and "What do they do if they have to go to the bathroom in the middle of a game?"
I still stand firm in my argument that those are perfectly good questions.
Thankfully, my voice came back after a few days. I welcomed it with open arms, quickly returning to my old self again - telling my family how much I love them, talking on the telephone, and asking questions like, "What happens if his shoe comes untied during a play? Will they stop the game to let him tie it?" He sighed. He gave me the look. Then he spoke.
"Honey, I'm so glad you got your voice back," he said. "I have missed it so much."
Somebody call 911.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.