There's no use trying to escape World Cup fever. At lunch today I watched in awe as the man behind the counter threw my sandwich together with nary a glance away from the small-screen TV broadcasting the game; people in the office have been trading their lunch break for their fix of the coverage; and forget trying to watch an uninterrupted segment of the news. The madness has inspired all sorts of conjecture about how women will respond; amusingly, the biggest concern seems to be how women will cope with their boyfriend or husband being distracted during the monthlong trial.
A limited survey of 1,000 Italian women (clearly to be taken with a grain of salt) found that a third considered the Cup "a nightmare." It seems an exaggeration until considering that a quarter said they believed the event could lead to the "breakdown" of their relationship. Factors contributing to domestic disharmony are their partner's abandonment of household chores, tendency to go MIA for prolonged periods of time and general grumpiness. Apparently the Chinese media predicted an all-out war of the sexes, and China's Tianfu Morning Post recently reported that a woman committed suicide by jumping from her 17th-floor apartment Sunday after arguing with her boyfriend because he wanted to watch the game.
Friday, the Associated Press reported that some businesses are even offering a "girlfriends package" that allows a respite from soccer mania. For the price of $238, "women who want a break from their World Cup-fanatic husbands or boyfriends" can enjoy a two-night resort stay and daylong spa visit. But it seems the demand might have been overestimated. Christiane Martin, whose hotel offers this girlfriends retreat, said, "Unfortunately, we've only had two women here yet and so far we have only one more reservation for the rest of the World Cup."
I appreciate the concern over how women will weather the World Cup season, but I think we'll be OK. Underreported are the women who are truly diehard soccer fans, enjoy hosting gatherings for loudmouthed fans or take delight in the monthlong parade of eye candy.