The Other Half and I have an ongoing semi-serious spat about my use of the phrase "Football Widow" which he seems to take rather personally. No matter how much I try to explain that this is a phrase in common use (also for golf, rugby, pubs, etc.) and not one of my digs at "the beautiful game", he's adamant that I'm talking rubbish (again).
Bless 'im, I know he doesn't mean it. At least, I think so.
I just remind myself of the first rule of a peaceful marriage: some things are sacred - politics, religion, mothers, football (not necessarily in that order) - so hands off!
But the truth is that the thought of a bunch of men kicking a ball round an often muddy pitch just leaves me cold, despite the fact that the game has captured the hearts and minds of 99.9% of the population of Planet Earth. I just don't get why it excites such passion and devotion. It is - after all - just a game, isn't it?
I don't mind being in a minority - I'm used it actually, and it's OK (I'm also in the minority for my constant use of the word "actually"). But I do object when 'certain people' imply that I'm a freak and a traitor to my homeland. How is it possible, they wonder, to grow up in the land of Danny Blanchflower, Bobby Charlton and David Beckham and not bow down to the mighty ball? It's like an English woman not liking beer, they say. (Yep, that would be me again folks).
And now I can't even have a good natured moan about the game, 'cos my Dearly Beloved's job deals directly with it. So shtum is the order of the day if I value the source of half our family income.
Just don't expect me to get excited about it. There are some things I might fake, but many I won't and enthusiasm is one of them. If there's footy in the box when I get home tonight (and there always seems to be), I'll just zip my lip and retire with a nice cuppa to catch up on my reading.
But of course, I'm always delighted when the Other Half's favoured side wins... Life is so much easier when he's in a good mood!