In Which We Find A New Hobby For The One We Love

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to or by dropping us a note at our tumblr.


Football season is on the horizon. My boyfriend Stephen is a big NFL fan, and he spends all of Sunday drinking and eating a variety of disgusting foods, while watching no less than three games of what looks like grown men killing each other in order to be the one with the cooked ham.

I struggle to not think less of Stephen because of his interest in this ludicrous pastime, and he dies in occasion make an effort when it is something I am interested in. But the deal is this: I am not sitting through any more Sundays like these; not now or ever. I don’t want to take away something he enjoys, but am I wrong to think it is obsessive?

Ann C.

Dear Ann,

The NFL is likely using its army of lawyers to pressure Stephen into watching these dull marathons. The alcohol abuse and obesity they promote is just a delicate icing on the cake of death that is football’s final solution.

This habit is unlikely to get better before it gets worse. zunfortunatrly, oversaturing yourself in your boyfriend’s hobby is most likely to just make him tell his misogynistic pals how ‘luck’ he is. Sports not involving Ronda Rousey are just a waste of time.

You could restrict him to two full games a week, and use thst time to write a touching memoir about how your boyfriend became overweight and unattractive as he watches murderers run around in what appears to be someone’s yard.


When I was young and stupid, I was in jail for three months due to drinking under the influence. I was 20 and it was a harrowing experience, but I have never been in trouble with law enforcement since my incarceration. Am I required to mention this to women I meet, and what is a good time to bring it up, if you think I should?

Sam C.

Dear Sam,

You should never bring up anything negative about yourself to a woman. Even Nelson Mandela’s wife disparagingly called him ‘convict’ — even though as a political prisoner, this maybe seemed a bit uncalled for.

If she somehow finds out that you were in jail for three months, it can probably be smoothed over.

If you tell her of your own volition, it seems like you ascribing a lot of importance to it, and a curse will befall her and those she loves. If if comes up organically, like if she suddenly asks, “Have you ever been in jail??” you should laugh hysterically and reply, ‘Have YOU ever been in jail?” and then quickly switch the conversation to something more neutral, like whether she has ever had a sexually transmitted disease.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.

“Almost Home” – Ben Rector (mp3)

“The Men That Drive Me Places” – Ben Rector (mp3)

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