EDITOR'S NOTE: Men of various ages answer a question about sports and parenting in this extra edition of the regular 20-40-60 Etiquette column that runs in The Oklahoman and on NewsOK.com.
QUESTION: I have been married for six months. There are times when I really would like to stay at home at night and my wife has this “really great” party she wants to drag me to. Is there a way for me to tell her to take a girlfriend and go on and have a good time or am I really required to attend all functions with her?
NICK TANKERSLEY, 30s, Web editor, NewsOK: I can only assume as to what the other answers for this question are going to be; you should just tell her you don't want to go and trust that your wife isn't the type of lunatic who comes unhinged for the least possible offense. That's what I would say to you, but I think, just for the sake of science, that I'll give you the OPPOSITE advice — something to compare to the majority opinion.
Keep your mouth shut. Every time she wants to go anywhere you should jump to your feet, glad that this beautiful woman has decided to include you in her world. The fact that you wouldn't be at her immediate attention for any such social gathering implicates you as failure as a husband and a man. What is it you're bringing to the table? When was the last time you had a really great party to go to? She's out there meeting people, keeping things relevant and you want to stay in and watch the last four episodes of Law and Order: SVU on USA? Why? You already know that nothing's going to happen between Olivia and Elliott and if they don't have a prime suspect in the first 30 minutes whomever they introduce in the last half is going to be the culprit. Is that how you want to spend your evenings? Awash in a predictable sea of procedural crime? I didn't think so. So put your pants back on, find some nice socks and get out there and stand by your woman, and above all, keep your mouth shut.
FORD SANGER, 30s, local businessman: As you mentioned you have been married for six months. You will be faced with these types of situations for the rest of your life.
My suggestion is to pick your battles and if this is one event you feel you need to pass on that is your decision. Just remember when the big game or some event comes around and you want to go to or watch, your wife might have other plans for your evening together. You can always look back at this party and say “remember when I went to your party?”
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