Hobbies make people interesting. But, they also make people really annoying. Like the guy who does CrossFit who has to tell you how many Tabata squats he can do or what the hell a Tabata squat is. Or the bird-watcher who stops you mid-conversation to tell you about the Rufous-Sided Towhee that just flew overhead. And if your hobby is shopping, video games or binge watching any series on Netflix, rest assured that I don't want to listen to you talk about it. But what if you're married to someone whose hobby you hate? And you are contractually obligated to endure it?
Ok, maybe hate is a strong word. I don't necessarily hate my husband's hobby. But, it is really annoying. Especially because I hate birds and he loves them. Which is how I know about the Rufous-Sided Towhee and that the screech at the beginning of Northern Exposure when they show an American Eagle is actually the screech of a Red-tailed Hawk. Blasphemy! But, the bird watching isn't even the hobby that's annoying. Because bird watching for the most part is a quiet, unobtrusive activity. But, being in a rock band is much louder and way more obtrusive.
Don't get me wrong, I love when he performs. And he's a really good guitarist and he even sings sometimes too. His guitar solo on Alice in Chains' Man in the Box is off the chain. However, to get that good, it requires practice. Lots of practice. Lots of listening to him play Don't Stop Believing by Journey. Over. And over. And over again. I really can't stand that small town girl. It's a one night stand that never ends. Ever. Not only do I get to hear it all the time, but sometimes he starts practicing in the front room directly adjacent to the office where I am, at 6am before he goes to work. SIX IN THE MORNING, I SAID! No one even wants Jessie's Girl at that ungodly hour, never mind a nameless small town girl.
Then there's my hobby. People have told my husband he's so lucky that I pole dance. But, the truth is, he really doesn't reap any rewards from it. (Maybe on Valentine's Day, if he's lucky.) Because I practice when he's at work. So he only sees me dancing on Instagram like everyone else. Unless I pole dance weekend mornings. Upstairs with the doors closed trying not to wake our teenagers. But, he can still hear the (muffled) music and me thumping when I land hard on the floor. And then there's the swearing when I can't figure out a new trick. And usually when I'm practicing I'll have the same song on a loop. The last time I annoyed him this way on a Saturday morning, he interpreted the lyrics "I wish I was the driver" through the closed door as "I wish I was in China". Which he probably really did wish. When I'm done, all he can see are the bruises on my body in weird places and me complaining about how sore my muscles are. My god, he's so lucky!
But really, the people who hate our hobbies more than we hate each other's are our kids. Because starting ridiculously early on the weekends, while they're trying to sleep in, they get to hear Foreigner and Audio Slave. Sometimes at the exact same time. Which seems like ample punishment for us having to endure their accelerated teenage metabolisms and their indulgent sleep schedules. So, I guess it all works out really.