Surviving the Super Bowl

 By: Karen Fusco
Ah, the Super Bowl. That cold day in January when nearly every husband and boyfriend in America is glued to the tube - and the couch. Though you may have negotiated time off from football during the season, this is the one day of the year no fan will compromise.

Unless you love football as much as your partner, your best bet is to make a plan to not only get you through the day, but have a great time too. Why should the football fans have all the fun? Here are three ideas that are simple to do and may just become an annual tradition:

1. Switch Houses. When you'd rather be doing something else, staying at home with your partner while they watch the pre-game, game, and post-game highlights is a surefire way to start the embers of an argument. If the Super Bowl drives you nuts, it's time to get out of the house.

Put the word out and offer to host a Super Bowl survival party for your friends. The switch part of the deal is one of your friends has to open their home to all of the fans. Those who love football can spend the day in one house, while you enjoy your own gathering with friends - and a clean house! (You may want to split the cost of a cleaning service for your friend that gets stuck with the Super Bowl mess!)

2. One For Him and One For You. If, on the other hand, you don't mind the Super Bowl as much as you are bored by it, why not host two parties in your home this January? Set up one space to watch the game and another space for your own festivities.

This would be the perfect time to hire a caterer. While this may seem like a splurge, having a caterer (or at least an attendant or server) on hand, will save you from the constant requests for refills and snacks.

If a caterer is not in your budget, ask each of your guests to bring an item. Then set up a buffet for the football fans near the television. Make sure you have everything they could possible need: coolers with ice and beverages, extra bags of chips, snacks, napkins, cups, and utensils.

Choose an activity for your own party, so that you will be too busy to get involved in the other party. You might have a mini-spa day, a film fest, or your own game day of board games or card games you like to play.

3. Take a Mini Vacation. If you've felt the need for some down time, the Super Bowl is the perfect excuse to get away from it all. With your partner firmly ensconced in the family room, you can easily slip away for a day - or even for the entire weekend. If you plan it right, you might not even see one commercial, or a glimpse of a halftime show.

The timing of the Super Bowl, just a few weeks after the holidays and school vacations, makes it the perfect time to get a little much-needed pampering. Visit a spa resort or bed and breakfast that offers in-room massage. Many inns and resorts in cold weather climates offer winter discounts that make a weekend getaway affordable.

Shopping trips, theater trips, or a food and wine adventure are also great ideas that will restore your energy and take your mind off the game. Wherever you choose to go, make sure the trip is one that will relax and inspire you. Choose something you wouldn't otherwise do for yourself.

This January, however you choose to "get through the day", approach it with a new enthusiasm. With a little planning, the Super Bowl can promise as much great fun for those who don't like football as it does for diehard fans.
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