On Sundays from the first week of September to the first week of February I jokingly refer to myself as a “Sports Widow”. As my boyfriend watches his beloved NY Giants and keeps up with his fantasy football teams, my Sundays are usually filled with brunches with girlfriends, catching up on my periodicals (US Weekly, InTouch, NYTimes Sunday Style Section), and watching one of several Nancy Meyers movies undoubtedly running on loop on TBS.
Thankfully, the NFL schedules each team a bye week. I’m sure it is for the benefit of the players and their fanatical fans. Give them time to rest, refuel, and recharge for the rest of the season. In my 2+ year relationship, I have learned that games are as tough on the fans as they are on the players themselves. WHO KNEW?!? I like to think it’s for the benefit of me and my fellow “SWs”. It is the ONE Sunday in the season where we are in charge of the day’s schedule and not the NFL commissioner. Yes, I understand that teams also play on Monday nights-but if the football fan in your life is anything like mine, that Sunday is an anxiety filled day awaiting the next evening’s match-up. For NY Giants “SWs” our weekend to claim was this past Sunday and all I wanted to do was to go apple picking ***BUCKET LIST ALERT***. There is something that is so quintessentially autumnal about going apple picking. Luckily, my boyfriend has an apple addiction, so it wasn’t TOO hard to convince him to go on this bye-week adventure.
We researched nearby farms and took my parents’ car straight up the Taconic Parkway. The weather was spectacular, the changing foliage was breathtaking, and the line-up on Sirius Classic Vinyl had us aggressively dancing in the front seat. Since my dad doesn’t believe in GPS (the family Robin has an internal compass) and Google maps doesn’t believe in giving exact exit numbers we circled Yorktown Heights for 40 minutes before finding our apple orchard oasis. Actually, it was more like apple orchard mirage. Apparently, the picking season begins right after Labor Day and this farm was all out of fruit. Luckily for us, we found an alternate orchard just down the road that still had apples.
We grabbed a large bag to fill up and a cage-picker and we were on our way. With the help of a friendly parking attendant we were able to find the one patch of orchard that hadn’t been picked through. We harvested as many Idareds and McCouns as we could get our hands on-but these were like the “picked last in gym class” apples. They were small and dented and not what I had envisioned collecting during my apple adventure. Thankfully, inside the farm stand were barrels upon barrels of pre-picked apples that you were allowed to fill your bag with. I know, I know, I could’ve gone to any supermarket if I wanted to just pick apples off of shelf-but hey, this is my bucket list fantasy, not yours! We also treated ourselves to apple cider, fresh donuts, and a homemade apple pie that we ate during the week (and it was AMAZATORY!).
I am sure that I wasn’t the only Sports Widow to take advantage of their bye week. According to my “research” on Facebook, I saw many an uploaded picture from wineries, flea markets, and pumpkin patches. I even saw that someone got married! I don’t know if her husband is a Giants fanatic or if it were just a coincidence, but if I wanted to get married on an autumn Sunday, I would have to wait for the NFL schedule to be released first.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I LOVE that my boyfriend is so passionate about football. When he wakes up the day of a Giants game it’s like Christmas morning! He is never happier than when speaking of his beloved…team. But for this one Sunday his mind wasn’t on touchdowns, passing yards, and field goals. Thank you Mr. NFL Commissioner for giving me my boyfriend for the day. The Giants’ bye week turned into my week!
**For a glimpse into the boyfriend’s fandom check out his blog New York Sports: Our Love-Hate Relationship**