Welcome to the new weekly column from your boys at Middle Easy, #AskMEasy. As a fellow MMA fan wadding deep into the culture, we understand that its hard to balance your love for mixing the martial arts with a thriving personal life. So, we’re here to help. Your boys at Middle Easy got this MMA obsession/social skill balance down to a T. We live with women who tolerate us. Shit, we even hang out with people who don’t know who Sage Northcutt is. But we get it, it’s not easy.
So we want to help the rest of MMA fandom strike their own life balance. Every week we’ll take a question from Twitter, about all the problems you can encounter in the real life of an MMA fan. Love life, friendships, impressing your parole officer, smuggling alcohol and weed into public venues. We’ll talk about all the things that affect your life directly.
This week’s question comes from Brad Wharton, play-by-play man for Cage Warriors. You can find him on Twitter @MMABrad48,
#AskMiddleEasy I'm on holiday in Egypt, how do I convince the Mrs to let me watch the Mark Hunt fight instead of visiting the coral reef?
— 𝙱𝚛𝚊𝚍 𝚆𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚘𝚗 (@MMABrad48) June 10, 2017
Brad’s question is an interesting variation on the eternal question for the dating MMA fan. How do I get away with watching some fight when I told my girlfriend we’d do something else? Brad here is taking it even another step further, by not only asking for a pardon, but also cancelling a planned event, while on vacation to boot. Bold man. This, my friends, is a bold man. By the very nature of the question, I can tell the Mrs. in question has already endured plenty a Saturday night without her man. So, no ordinary excuse is going to do.
When you just begin dating, it’s easy to blow off a planned event to watch MMA. Your typical date-ditching excuses that don’t involve too much follow through should be solid. You’re “feeling ill” is always a nice one. Just remember to take the night off Twitter because it’s kind of hard to milk the illness sympathy you’re going to get if you were Tweeting out jokes about Bruce Buffer’s suit all night. But how do you deal with a more savvy veteran significant other?
First, let me address one keystone of good MMA relationship co-existence. Do not lie to your spouse or long term partner. Yeah, I know I just suggested that you fake an illness in the previous paragraph, but that’s only if you’ve just started out. White lies to get out of casual obligations is all part of the initial dating game. Lying your way out of a date to watch some fights is almost charming in a roguish way, at least early in the relationship. But when you’ve been together for a while, it just makes you a d**k.
When determining how to bail from obligations to watch fights, use this three step process to understand your best course of action.
First, determine if the card in question in worth the grief you will catch. Understand that no matter how well you play your hand here, you are going to catch some grief. That’s just the nature of choosing MMA over other people. It makes you a bad person. But hey, I’m not judging. I’m a much more terrible person and would bailed on the coral reef without hesitation. In Brad’s case, he has to weigh the awesome experience of seeing Egypt’s coral reef (which before Googling, I would have bet is 100% to be a made up thing), and watching the legendary Mark Hunt fight in his home country against The Black Beast. I’ve been hearing that pollution is destroying the coral reefs, so I’m gonna assume the visit would be a let down. Therefore, Brad’s well within his rights to blow off this event.
A quick side note here, work around the prelims. If you can swing a quick scuba in a coral reef and make it back in time for the co-main, buddy you’re living the high life. Don’t turn down life experiences and incur the wraith of a women just to see JJ Aldrich beat up Chan-Mi Jeon. If a prelim fight ends up being dope, someone will tell you, you’ll see it.
Second, if you’ve determined you are going to blow something off, mitigate the damage. Never just let your lady know you don’t want to do something because of MMA. Just let her know you don’t feel like doing that particular event. But she’s going to be pissed right? Well, just have alternative events ready to suggest. It’s the same system in non-vacation life. If you are spending Saturday watching fights, take your girl out to movies on the Friday, or brunch on Sunday. For a vacation let down, think of the most terribly boring thing your wife/girlfriend has given up all hope of getting you to do. Now, be willing to do that think in exchange for the fights. Seems drastic? Yeah, so is watching seven hours of combat every weekend of your life. Get tough.
Offer these alternative plans to your wife as you are bailing on the event. But don’t use up your best ammunition right away. The idea is to play the excitement of the new event against the disappointment of the event she’s just missed out on. This way you can judge the amount of disappointment happening and offer the proper amount of sacrifice to make it up to her. Sometimes, you won’t even have to sacrifice any future time, as your wife/girlfriend is usually feeling ill, hunger or just annoyed an dis looking for an excuse to bail anyway. Then as you talk about how you couldn’t stand doing this event, mention that maybe you just relax and watch fights. That way it’s just a thing occupying your time, not the reason you’re bailing on her. I’d also suggest snacks. It’s my experience that feeding people sugar along with bad news minimizes negative reactions. Which brings us to our third phase.
Finally, you must provide an alternative task, especially in a vacation environment. There is just no way around this one, fellas. You are going to have to provide alternative entertainment for your spouse while you watch seven hours of goddamn fighting. This is when you need to balance how much prelim action you can watch versus how long you can keep her occupied. Considering in this case we are in Egypt, this would be my play in the situation. I would look to watch the last two hours of UFC Auckland (fuck that prelim nonsense), reschedule our coral reef exploration until the next day, and suggest the wife spend the next two hours at the spa while you “rest your eyes”. I’d even go as far as make a message reservation for her. She thinks you’re giving her a romantic surprise, while really acting in your selfish self-interest. Mission accomplished.
For a more budget and entertaining approach, get your wifey bombed the night before. I mean really wasted. Hopefully, she wakes up with a massive hangover unable to scuba. Because of the time difference in Egypt, she can blissfully sleep while you catch some early morning Super Samoan action, all the while your girl’s snoring in the bedroom. Just make sure to wear your headphones while watch and leave water and two Advil on her nightstand.