Z is for Zizou

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ZI’m not a jealous person by nature but sometimes at night when it’s time to go to bed, instead of following me into the boudoir, my husband, hypnotized by the glow of his laptop will murmur, “I’ll be there in a minute.”

And then I start to seethe.

He’s not coming to snuggle with me under the sheets because he’d rather watch videos on Youtube. Specifically, clips of French Algerian soccer star Zinedane Zidane. Most likely, my husband is watching the “best of” video of “Zizou” (as the superstar is known to his fans), a montage of the best career shots edited down to seven minutes against the backdrop of Coldplay’s “I Will Fix You.”

“Honey, watch this! It’s the game against Brazil in 1998. Look! He totally deeks Ronaldo right…there! There’s nobody like him. Nobody even close.”

He was drooling when he said that.

Then he tells me how “Zizou” was so sinewy and fast! in the early years. How he’d smoked cigarettes at halftime. How he apologized to the children after he head-butted Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup Finals. How unbecoming “Zizou’s” haircut was when he played for Real Madrid and how much better he looks with a shaved head. There’s so much reverence and awe in my husband’s voice, I’m surprised that we didn’t name our twins “Zinedane” and “Zidane.”

Zizou

I remember when I used to have that “Zizou effect” on my husband. But we’ve been together now fifteen years. Has our sizzle fizzled? Have I been replaced by a bald Frenchman?

The other day I tested him: I had run a Google search on the words, “Zinedane Zidane Coldplay” and when I found a link to the video, I played the audio.

“Do you know what this is?” I asked.

I wanted to drive home the point that he was spending a little too much time ooh-ing and aah-ing over Mr. Happy Feet and not enough time ooh-ing and aah-ing over me.

My husband one-upped me. He listened to the soundtrack for a moment and said, “That’s not the right one.” (Apparently there’s a rival Coldplay mashup of Zizou shots on goal and my husband can hear the difference). “Here, I’ll get the right link for you. We’ll watch it together. Ohhhh-hoh-hoh! I haven’t seen it in four days.”

And then he let out a little moan.

I was writing at the time (a rough draft of this blog post, as a matter of fact), and I just glared at him, shaking my head. Then I went back to work.

A few minutes later my husband said sadly, “We’re not going to watch it, are we?”

“I’m going to bed,” I huffed.

“I’ll be there in a minute,” he said, putting on his headphones and starting to hum.