free free-time

It’s a thing.

We all know what free-time is, right? You have no current engagements, no pressing concerns, and virtually nada in the way of stuff you have to do.

Couples – married or otherwise – may not get a lot of free-time because, ostensibly, being part of a couple requires that you give up your free-time for that person. So, previously, I might have spent my entire night reading or playing a video game or sewing all of a roommate’s underwear into one GIANT pair. But now, as part of a couple, I’ll forgo sartorial shenanigans in lieu of hanging out with The Wife.

Most of the time this surrendering of one’s free time is a choice considered worthwhile. Every now and again, however, one of you might want a little break, a little time to do as you choose. Depending on the partner, a cost might be extracted for this. So while you might want a few hours to yourself, you might then have to see a movie you’d never choose to see or give your hirsute father-in-law a back-rub.

Enter the concept of free free-time, a concept introduced to me via the show Rules of Engagement. (It’s not a good show but does star Patrick Warbuton’s velvety baritone, which is something.)

Free free-time is time you get to yourself without having to pay for it in some other way. Usually this happens because your partner is engaged in an activity that you are not wanted for or required to be part of, such as girls’ night out, poker night, or unexpected incarceration. Free free-time is obviously much more precious than regular free-time and therefore you put more thought into the activities you might choose to do during said time, even down to food choices.

When Ashley announced excitedly that the Backstreet Boys were doing a show nearby, my first concern was that I’d have to go watch a used boy-band perform their lame songs live. I don’t want her to miss out on things simply because she doesn’t have anyone to go with, so I will often do things with her that Mr. Loaf himself wouldn’t do for love. And such would have been the case with this BSB concert.

But fortune smiled upon me, my friends. Her sister is just excited about the show as Ashley is. So tonight I’m faced with many, many hours of free free-time.

Now, to be fair, Ashley’s not one to put a lot of demands on my time. But such is the exquisite joy that is free free-time, though, that even despite The Wife’s awesomeness, I’ve been looking forward to tonight for a few weeks now.

What will I do? Well, I’ll probably eat something Mexican for dinner, since she doesn’t like Mexican food, for starters. And then…she doesn’t like some of the survival-horror video games I play – and I’ll admit some of them get pretty gory – so I’ll put in a couple of hours at one or more of those. Probably I’ll wrap up the evening with a horror flick, a genre she doesn’t watch at all.

All in all, my free free-time will be fairly tame. It’s not I’ll be torching factories or teaching the neighbors’ dogs secret commands in Basque or something. But it’s my time, my free free-time, and I’ll love every minute of it.


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