I love games. Board games. Card games. Trivia games. Drinking games. A combination thereof. You name it. But it is not the competitiveness aspect of games that I like. I could care less about winning. If the game is not neck and neck, I will probably give hints to help you along and I expect you to do the same. Admittedly, I sometimes suffer from Alex Trebekitis - Gatekeeper of Answers, All-Knowing Answer Card Holder. Like Epstein in Welcome Back Kotter - "Ew! Ew! Ew! Me! Me! I know this! I know this! Mr. Kott-ah! Mr. Kott-ah!" And so when you have the answer card it is power - you feel like you just might know everything in the world. See? We gave Alex Trebek too much power and he grew right out of those britches. Therefore, I hate when the Answer Keeper says, "Oh come on, you know this." And you don't so you feel like The Idiot because you don't know who was buried in Grant's tomb. I'm not Alex Trebek - I can't know everything! Help a player along.
So no, it is not about winning. Instead, what I really like about games is the social aspect. I like the friendly flexing of the mind - or liver. It's for the advancement of my intellect or tolerance - for better or for worse. Apparently. And, well, whenever I get together with my sister and brother-in-law – then the games and the drinking always transpire. Most recently, Thanksgiving. My sister doesn’t remember making the dinner. I don’t remember eating it. But I'm sure there was dinner. It was probably turkey. Just a hunch.
And so this past Saturday when My Guy asked me what I wanted to do I knew I had to let him into my life more. There was some talk about this. He is slowly dismantling that wall I put up to keep out Ghosts of Past Mistakes. My Knight. So I declared that we were having "game night." Ooooh fun!
So, kids, here is my recipe for a rip, roaring Game Night:
1. Start with a dinner of Negro Modelos and tacos that you prepare together. Most definitely do not make fajitas with some kit you buy from the Giant. Just so you know, the "chipotle" sauce tastes like lighter fluid sauce. Stick with the tacos and all will be well.
2. One roaring fire that your guy has to kindle because you are AFRAID of the fire. [People, I can not express the fear of fire enough! --Phobia Compartment in my Mind]. For a special twist, ask your guy to take off his shirt while he does this. Guys, if your girl does not have the fear of the fire, then ask her to kindle! Don't be surprised if he thinks you are joking. But don't get distracted anyway because you have a Game Night to partake in. The excitement builds...
3. One bottle of Knob Creek - or, as we determined, 3/4 will probably be enough. Feel free to substitute a liquor of your choice. Bottles of wine and/or cases of beer have been known to work in the past. But for this special Game Night we decided to class it up with the bourbon.
4. The XM "eclectic Christmas music" channel where you get to hear jems like Little Drummer Kid, about the kid with the drum that he "rum-pa-pum-pums" on all the live long day, driving his parent's crazy, and joining up with another kid with a guitar to form a garage band, or, my favorite, The 12 Drinks of Christmas which by the time the "singer" gets to the "twelfth drink" he can't remember the others. Sing along the rest of the night and into the morning. "Four black-what are those people?" "Russians." "And five Roy Robs?" all the way down to the "tree with the....bird" finale.
5. And the main incredient is a board game of your choosing. We happened to pick out a lovely one at the Target that day by the name of.....Battle of the Sexes. And, hell, invite Alex Trebek.
Have you seen this game? Better - have you played it? Gloria Steinem is disappointed. Rush Limbaugh wants to play. And John Gray is selling more books. "Mars and Venus Go Shopping!" "Mars and Venus Pick Out Paint Colors!" "Mars and Venus in the Kitchen!" Essentially, as one could surmise, the males have to answer the female cards which consist of “girly” questions that presumably only girls can answer. These fall into the general categories of sewing, cooking, and weddings. Because all girls want to fix a man, hence sewing buttons on their shirt, all girls like to cook for their man, and all girls just want to get married. And the male cards have questions for the women in the general categories of sports, fishing, and motorcycles. Because only men howl at the moon, sweat, wrestle, and get tattoos.
We had a friendly battle of sugar and spice vs. frogs, snails and puppy dog tails. Get your boxing gloves and aprons on! Because we are going to rumble and bake. Hot.
Actually the questions weren't so bad because really are we that divisive? My guy can sew a button himself, is better in the kitchen than me, and seems to have more interest in marriage than me. And I know what ball goes to what sport, can throw a football, and drink a beer. But the component of the game that one could find offensive - or amusing if you don't take it seriously - are the wild cards that you can not avoid. The wild cards will have things like, "You wash the car in your bikini, move forward 2 spaces." or "You used the wooden chair he made you into firewood, lose a turn." or for him: "You ask her to get you a beer during The Game, go back to start." or "You buy her diamonds, you win!"
Keep drinking the bourbon.
And this is kind of how the game went. Battle of the sexes? We did some total probing of Mars and Venus alright.
Me: What is the main ingredient in tequila?
Him: It's not the worm?
Me: It's liquor, honey, you know this answer.
Alex Trebek: All Knowing Card Holder? That is my job! Let me see it!
Him: Just because I drink it, doesn't mean that I know all the ingredients. And I don't really like tequilla.
Me: What!? No tequila? That is crazy. I hate when people say they don't like the tequila because of one bad experience with cheap tequila in college. We are in our 30s - buy the good stuff. Start again! Besides, my specialty is margaritas. I make the best margaritas! Now you won't drink my margaritas?
Him: Well, I wouldn't know that because you have never made them for me....
Me: Right. I'll get on that. But the game! I'm going to help you out here. Why don't you go pull the bottle and check it out. I'll let you look over the ingredient list.
Him: (running to the liquor cabinet, reading the ingredients which by the way, did not indicate the answer)
For those playing at home, the answer is....Agave. Who besides Alex Trebek knew?
Him: Oh! You know this one!
Alex Trebek: So do I! I know all the answers!
Him: What is the [something] that does [something] on a motorcycle called?
John Gray: Venus' eyes will glaze over when the parts of a car or motorcycle are uttered by a Martian. She will not remember the words she heard the next day.
Me: Hmm...Can I go out to the garage to look?
Him: What? At the ingredient list?
Me: There might be some clue. I'm sure if I just look around the bike.
Him: Honey, it's not a picturebook.
Him: What does trinitrotoluene stand for?
Me: Not a science question!
Him: Give up?
Me: Can I phone a friend?
Him: Who would you phone?
Me: You. You are the science guy.
Him: Give up?
Him: I still can't believe you are afraid of fires. If you only knew the things I did building my airplane engines.
Me: Right. Don't tell me. And don't EVER show me.
Him: So you never even played with, say, sparklers as a kid?
Me: NO! I hated those too. All that fire sparkling all over your hand. Ow. And besides they can start fires you know. They are not as innocent as people presume. When my grandfather was a little boy he threw the sparkler up on the roof of the house and the roof caught fire.
Him: Well, you don't throw them.
Me: He was a kid. He was a little boy. Boys experiment. He was probably told that sparkler "can't hurt you." Therefore, my kids will NOT be allowed to play with them.
Him: Well, if this is OUR children, then yes they will. I'll teach them proper safety.
Me: Well...thennn...why don't you just let them ride the Harley to the fireworks store then?
Him: Oh you probably won't know this.
Him: What sport has facemasking as a penalty?
Me: Are you kidding?
Me: I won't know this?
Me: Are you kidding?
Me: You know I know sports don't you?
Him: Well, no, you have never shown that side of you to me.
Me: Honey, this game is teaching you so much about me.
Him: Or you have just been closed off to me and are now starting to open up.
Me: You are crushing me.
Alex Trebek: American football!
Alex Trebek: What? I thought you were giving up. I know the answer. I know all the answers. (fading out)
With that, I picked the card that would crush me. I forgot to buy beer at the store and the guys were coming over to watch the Big Game. Apparently a huge faux pas in the Battle of the Sexes. Because, girls, just so you know, the boys like to drink the beer.
The Little Woman is in the kitchen mixing up a batch of margaritas he tells me he wants to taste. Sigh. A woman's work is never done.