Tuesday, May 01, 2007

All's fair in love and Scrabble

If anybody ever tries to tell you that marriage is a compromise, or marraige is sacrafice or any of those other platitudes is either A) trying to sell you something or B) obviously not married. You want to know what marriage is? Marriage is a competition. And everything in the relationship actually consists of several smaller competitions. Who gets to take out the dog is usually settled by a highly contested game of 1-2-3 Not It! The nightly battle of "Who makes sure if the door is locked downstairs is usually decided by a best 2-out-of-3 (highly contested) round of rock-paper-scissors, closely followed by an argument about cheating and that you can't change from rock to paper a SECOND after you clearly chose ROCK (FIGHTING NUN!). Who gets to wash dishes, who gets to cook, who mows the lawn, all part of the competition that is marriage. And the good thing about this competition is that there's at least of 50% likely hood of pulled hair. But still sportsmanlike. Definate sportsmanlike hair-pulling going on.

But when the competition of marriage actually involves an actual competition? The gloves come O-F-F. You wouldn't think so. You'd think a friendly game of Scrabble would be just a friendly game of Scrabble. You sir, would be wrong. How wrong? I once saw Fighting Nun accuse my own mother of cheating because she used the triple word score. That's how wrong. Awhile back, for example, I think I was officially written out of Fighting Nun's will because I used all my tiles (worth a 50 pt. bonus!) to spell "wrinkled". He was trying to burst me into flames with his eyes.

"How dare you."
"I was thiiiiiiis close to catching up and then you spell 'Wrinkled'. Wrinkled?"
"Let’s do a quick game recap, shall we? You put frozen down, which was on a double word score, then you put vacant down, now there’s wrinkled? You’re cheating."
"How am I cheating? I’m just using big words. It’s allowable. Not against Scrabble rules."
"You’re getting all the consonants, with high scoring value. Meanwhile, I’m stuck in vowel-land. You rigged the tile bag."
"I rigged the tile bag? How could I possibly rig the tile bag? Like I put little tracking devices on all the consonant chips? Besides, vowels are important."
"Actually yeah, I do believe you could’ve done that. Also, vowels are only important if I wanted to put e-i-e-i-o down on the board. Which I don’t."
"I’m sure you can use all your vowels."
"Shut up. Wrinkled? Jesus."

A few turns later, now Fighting Nun won’t admit this if you ask him, but he admitted defeat and asked if we could quit the game before the carnage got too great. As soon as I accepted his white flag, with only a mild gloating grin on my face, he tossed the tiles over the bed and said "Winner gets to put it up." You win some. You lose some.

Civility isn’t one of our strong suits during game night. Civility definately doesn’t have a place when the in-laws come over for a "friendly" game of parchessi. Civility is usually in the other room where people aren’t threatening physical violence against other people because of two doubles in a row. The insults and accusations run rampant in the both families, which makes playing games with extended family fun, if by fun you mean utter mayhem. There is something to be said about watching your brother-in-law openly accuse his wife's grandmother, a frail lady who can't go anywhere without her oxygen support, of outright cheating (which it turns out, she actually does), but what is to be said I don't quite know yet.

Also not one of our strong suits; losing gracefully. See the aforementioned example of 'Winner gets to pick it up'. Also, we don't win gracefully either. Do yourself a favor and don't ever smugly eat a cookie after winning a game of chinese checkers because you will only get looks of disdain and disgust from the other family members. Not that I would know from experience... cough.

I know what you're going to say. You're going to convince me that it's all fun and games and we as an extended family unit shouldn't take it seriously. Well it is, but it isn't, and we don't but we totally do. Hey if the Scrabble board doesn't get flung around at least once during a family gathering, than we as family members, neigh, as people, are not doing our job.

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