I Realized I Was Having an Affair With Leslie Knope

Amy Poehler is a beautiful woman. But I am not particularly attracted to her.

But I love Leslie Knope, her hilarious character on Parks and Recreation. In fact, I love her too much.

On Monday, late in the day, I sent an email to my wife. It read,

Parks and Recreation - Season 6

I’m tired. Very. 

How about quick chat about our days, Parks and Rec, then sleep? Please?

Love you,


I confessed to Chrissy later that I actually had to go back and add the part about us chatting. Oy.

Something had slid out of whack.

I wanted to watch the 22-minute sitcom more than to talk with the love of my life. That isn’t so bad by itself. But it comes during a busy season, when we are probably not having 22 minutes of real conversation most days.

For a while now, I’ve tried to save some energy for to talk with Chrissy at the end of the day. Sometimes I fail and need to apologize. Chrissy is grateful when I succeed and gracious when I  don’t.

I thank God that I’ve been getting better. Chrissy has even noticed.

It may be worth mentioning that we do not own a television. You can read why in this blog post by Chrissy. And while we’ve  been married nearly 15 years and things are going pretty well, I think my problem is not unique.

We all do this to some extent, of course. But I think we often divert too much attention away from our wives (or husbands). They would love to have a bit more time with us. And it’s not just TV that competes for our attention.

How many of us are “having affairs” with exercise, volunteering, movies, hobbies, books, work, Facebook, or other good things? As I’ve written elsewhere, I think getting this right is the most important skill in 2014.

When we were dating, I was happy to do anything with Chrissy. I couldn’t not pay attention to her.

Now, I’m living out that vow. My time and attention have to reflect that.

I’m not going to stop watching Parks and Rec with Chrissy. But I am going to make sure Chrissy gets the attention she deserves.

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all.

If you think I’m on to something here, please share this post with your friends.

  • http://jessicafick.com Jess Fick

    I have a girl crush on Amy Poehler. We decided to stop watching so much tv a couple weeks ago and it’s been great just to be on the couch talking together or even (gasp!) doing dishes and catching up one each others days. Donald Millers Storyline productivity schedule was what helped to hit the reset button for me- asking the question- “if i could live today over again what would I do differently?” this has helped start the day with the right priorities.