Monday, January 5, 2009

A Little Healthy Competition

First off, I have to apologize for posting so late today. I'm traveling this week. I will be posting every day, but I've no idea when. So keep checking back--you'll hear from me eventually.
Okay, first confession for 2009: I am a little bit competitive. Okay, I'm very competitive. I mean, I knew this on some sort of subconscious level. I knew that if I was losing at tennis (hi, Theresa!) I got a little cranky. I tried to conceal it beneath some biting wit, but both of us know it ticks me off when I lose. I don't get ticked at Theresa; just at myself.
I also hate playing any game with my husband that I can't win. But see, that's not competition; that's self-preservation. He can get a little smug when he wins. Which tends to frustrate me. Which tends to mess with my mind. Which tends to make me lose more.
I've noticed that my boys have inherited that smugness. It's a fragile balance between putting them in their place and not completely crushing their male ego. I haven't found that balance yet.
But back to my faults: my competitive nature came to a forefront several times during the holiday season, much to my chagrin. In the first situation, we had an ornament exchange at our ladies' Christmas party. If you've ever played White Elephant Gift Exchange, Dirty Santa, etc., it's along the same lines. When your number is called, you get to pick a present from under the tree to unwrap, or you can take someone else' present that they've already unwrapped. It's a basic fact that if everyone plays nice, it's not much of a game. The first ten people or so played nice. As the hostess and the pastor's wife, I felt it was my duty to stir this up into a real game. Plus, one of the ornaments was a cute purse that doubled as a music box. I love purses. I love music boxes. I wanted that ornament. So I took it. The problem was, I took it from a shy teenager. I think she really wanted it too. My action stirred some other people to play the game, and it became fun, but still I basically felt like I had taken candy from a baby. After the game was over, I quietly offered the ornament back to the teenager, but she said she was fine with the one she had. So I hung the ornament on my tree. But I felt guilty every time I looked at it.
New Years Eve we had a service at our church, and then we played games in the Fellowship Hall until midnight. Someone asked if I wanted to play Yahtzee Free 4 All. I'd never played before, but it was a game for six players and it sounded like fun. So I joined it. The object here was a combination of cards and chips and rolling your dice. You could take other people's point cards sometimes and since I play to win, I took full advantage of that fact. I didn't even realize how often I did that until it was pointed out to me. It was pointed out by a quiet lady that hasn't been going to our church very long. Apparently I had taken quite a few of her cards without even realizing it. She had quiet wry humor that my card stealing drew out, so maybe it was a good thing.
When that game was finished, (I didn't win) I moved on to Dutch Blitz with three other ladies. As soon as we sat down, they all started talking about the fact that I was the player they all had to watch. They didn't even know how to play the game; where did they get the idea that I was dangerous? Truthfully, not too many people beat me at that game. In fact, I was losing for the longest time that night, but then I kicked into high gear and passed the front runner for a surprise win in the last few minutes of the game. Boy, it felt good!
After that game was over, I noticed some people getting out Scattergories. That's one of my favorite games, so I asked if I could play. Once again there were comments about stacking the deck and sweeping the game. We didn't finish that one before midnight and I don't think anyone kept score, so I don't know who won.
I should point out that in none of these games did I cheat or attempt to sabotage anyone else. I simply enjoy winning. I only gloated moderately when I did. LOL And I only pouted a little when I lost. Am I the only one that takes games a little seriously? Am I the only one that hates to lose?


  1. I hate to lose, especially all the time! Christmas Day found us at Charlie and Isabel's playing Clue. Normally, I like the game. However, between Charlie and Tim's Scotland Yard act and the fact that they always won, I got a little cranky. I know that I am not going to win every game, every time, but I didn't even get close! I was begging to play something else!

  2. Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one! BTW, why is it that guys can't be satisfied with simply winning? Why do they have to try and psych everybody out too?

  3. Jill, playing a game with you is like playing Rook with Pastor Allison. (You can take that any way you wish!!)
    No, seriously, who wants to play any game just for fun? The "fun" is in the competition!! What's the point of running the race if you aren't running to "obtain a crown"? (See, being competitive is Biblical!)
    Btw, the reason guys try to psych you out is to get into your head so they have a better chance of winning!


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