Sideline experts can be found with their butts planted firmly in their chairs on the sidelines somewhere shouting advice and criticism like it's going out of style. The first time I had the "pleasure" of encountering this species, I was at a sporting event (can't remember which one at this point). Perfectly normal parents turn into people YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW when they are sitting on the sidelines. I used to sit among them and cringe or try to ignore their antics, but that proved to be of little help because sideline experts WANT TO BE HEARD. Anyway, the thing to remember about sideline experts is this: they never make a mistake or lose a game when they are sitting safely on the sidelines--they are incredibly perfect and knowledgeable while shouting their criticisms/advice out to those people ACTUALLY IN THE FIGHT DOING SOMETHING. It wasn't long before I found myself securing a spot away from the crowds when watching my children play sports. I did not care if I appeared aloof or antisocial or even snobbish because I felt any of those three descriptive terms would be preferable to being a SIDELINE EXPERT.
My husband has, on occasion, taken on the roll of a sideline expert, much to my chagrin. For as long as I have known him, on the day before Thanksgiving, he feels the need to tell me HOW TO CORRECTLY COOK A TURKEY SO THAT NONE OF US GET SICK AND DIE. It should be noted that no one has ever gotten sick from my cooking--EVER. It should also be noted that in the 26 years I've been married to him, he's NEVER COOKED A MEAL TO BE KNOWLEDGEABLE ENOUGH TO TELL ME HOW TO COOK A TURKEY. This annoys me to NO END. The first couple of times he did it, I let it pass without comment, but the last 7 years or so, I've told him to just shove it whenever he attempted giving me cooking tips on the turkey. I mean, he actually thinks I should take him seriously. It's completely insane. I told him to save that advice for himself the next time he buys a turkey and cooks it for us. Oh, and every night after we have Thanksgiving dinner he tells me that "next year we ought to just go out because it's just too much work for US!" Huh? Us? I mean, really. This is what I live with.
And now recently, I have taken on the task of painting the inside of our house. It's a big project, but there's something very calming about having a task ahead of me that takes patience. I like seeing the progress as I paint along--it makes me happy. My husband wanted to pay someone to do it but I'm confident I can paint walls with no problems. But all of the sudden, he's suddenly giving me painting tips--telling me what kind of roller I should be using, which way to paint the walls (up and down--not sideways!!), and that I need to use a drop cloth while I'm painting! Really? OMG. I never would have thought of using a drop cloth if he hadn't suggested it.
Anyway, the painting is coming along great despite my own personal sideline expert interfering at every turn.
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