Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Evening the Score

I have a pretty severe competitive streak. Ask anyone who knows me. It’s kind of ridiculous. When I’m driving, I feel like I’m running laps at the Daytona 500; I zoom here and there, obeying the speed limit usually but always, mindlessly, competing with the other drivers. I’m an especially bad passenger, a backseat driver to the extreme, constantly egging my husband on. “Don’t let them pass you!” “Can you believe they cut you off like that?” “Be sure to get a good jump at the red light!”

What kind of crazy, competitive person am I?

My grandmother once told me that someone was always going to be in front of you driving, so there was no need to hurry. Life’s not a race. But I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my head around that fact.

One of the first big fights I had with my husband was caused by my competitive streak and his penchant for cheating. I had just got a board game called Scene It, and I was super excited to start playing it…until I walked into the living room and caught him reading the answer cards. He’s pretty competitive, too, and he was trying to get an edge on the game. Not cool, and I let him know it.

Since then, we’ve understood and respected each other’s limits regarding games and competition, and we’ve mostly avoided any further conflict as a result. Mostly. When we pull out the Monopoly board, however, there’s bound to be a little drama. I whine because I never land on the good properties during the first few rolls. I whine because I get sent to jail more than a drug-addicted celebrity. I whine because after a few times around the board my husband seems to own every property and has started developing houses and hotels on each one. Forking over those little colorful bills makes my heart hurt, and of course, he’s got a smug smile on his face the entire time we’re playing.

He denies it, but I know he’s smug. I know, because on the rare occasion that I actually beat him at a game, I’m smug. Nope, they don’t come any smugger than me.

In fact, just this last week I’ve had much cause to be smug, because I finally, finally found a game that I actually beat him at. Smug smiling and happy dancing ensued. The game may be one that you’re familiar with: Words With Friends.

 Now, for the longest time, I was able to avoid this popular, dare-I-say viral online game. I typically avoid trendy stuff, and Words With Friends seemed just about as trendy as you could get. But, alas, on a particularly boring Sunday night, I gave in to the craze.

For those who may be unfamiliar with Words With Friends, it’s basically Scrabble on a computer. You spell out words with letter tiles on a game board full of wonderful little bonuses, like “Triple Word” scores and “Double Letter” scores. It’s basically the Olympics for word nerds like me and my husband, and I was the gold medal winner for the first ten games or so. Until…

Until, my husband played a single word “overmeek” and earned 115 points with it. Ah, my friends, the tables turned. My smug smiling and happy dancing came to an abrupt end. My favorite competitive phrase “nanny nanny boo boo” died on the tip of my tongue. My smarty pants, equally-competitive husband is the winning family member, the head honcho, the supreme Ross…for now.

But, never fear! I plan to pull out Jenga later and even the score. 

Are you a competitive cat? What drives your competitive streak? 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...