In general, neither Diana nor I are the type of person who feels he or she needs to be right all the time – especially when it comes to the big questions and decisions in our marriage. We’re usually pretty good about talking things out and seeing each other’s point of view… unless we’re playing what Diana calls “the Win Game.”
The whole goal of the Win Game is, of course, to win. The rules are pretty fluid except for one overarching principle: whenever Diana feels she has the upper hand, the game is over and she declares herself the winner. This is how bored old people amuse themselves when they don’t have any actual hobbies.
Today’s round of the Win Game began as I was making a list of items to get at the grocery later.
“David, when you go to the store, can you pick up a basting brush?”
“I think we have one.”
“Oh, that’s right, we have that yellow one.”
”Umm… no, it’s blue.”
“No, it’s yellow.”
”No, it’s that crappy teal blue color. Don’t you remember all those hideous teal kitchen utensils Amanda bought from Big Lots right before she got married? They matched her bridesmaids’ dresses. We still have some of them, and one of them is a basting brush.”
“No, it’s not teal, it’s yellow with a black handle.”
“Are you sure you want to play this game? You know I have a better memory than you.”
“Your superior memory didn’t seem to help you remember our anniversary this year.”
”Yeah I wondered how long it would take you to play that card. Fine: you’re better than me about remembering future events, but I own the past and you know it.”
“Not this time. The brush is yellow
“I’m afraid you’re wrong, Darling.”
”No, you’re wrong, Sweetheart.”
We stared at each other for approximately 5 seconds and then both leapt to our feet at the same time. Diana was on the long couch and had easy access to the kitchen. She stumbled out of the blocks but managed to get a hand down, got her balance back, and was off like a rocket.
I was on the love seat which is perpendicular to the kitchen, so I attempted to jump over the back of it and cut her lead. Since I am no longer twenty years old, I ended up face down on the kitchen linoleum with one leg still hanging on the back of the couch. I tried to grab Diana’s ankle as she was flying by, but she’s freakishly agile when she’s trying to prove me wrong. I just missed her ankle, and by the time I scrambled up, Diana was already digging through one of the utensil drawers. I opened a second drawer and started throwing things everywhere.
I worked my way to the back of the drawer, and suddenly I saw the basting brush: yellow with a black handle. Dammit! With my right hand, I kept moving utensils around to make cover noise, while with the left, I started easing the brush out. I decided if I couldn’t win the Win Game, I could at least not lose it. My plan was to slip the brush up my sleeve and throw it away in the trashcan outside. Then, after exclaiming we didn’t have one after all (but still insisting the old brush WAS BLUE), I would just buy a new basting brush at the grocery. This probably sounds wasteful, but it’s worth a couple of bucks to avoid Diana ending every future debate with the phrase “Well, you were wrong about the basting brush and you’re wrong about this too.”
“I told you it was yellow. Give me that.”
Diana had been watching me out of the corner of her eye and caught me before I could David Copperfield the brush up my sleeve.
“See? I was RIGHT. Yellow and black. And that makes you….?”
”No, it makes yoooooouuuu…”
“Wrong. I was wrong.”
“Booyah! I win!”
“It’s what winners say.”
With a smug grin and wrapped in the warmth of her own genius, Diana victory-danced her way back to the couch waving the yellow brush over her head. I accepted my defeat with my usual good grace by pouting and making as much noise as possible putting all the utensils back in the drawer.
About thirty minutes later I was getting a measuring cup out of the drawer Diana had been looking in, and I noticed a just hint of teal peaking out of a pile of utensils in the back of the drawer. I dug to the back and there was the teal basting brush. I picked it up and turned to walk back to Diana in triumph. She was already looking at me and grinning a particularly evil grin.
“Diana, you saw this the whole time, didn’t you?”
“Yeah… I did. But I pushed it to the back of the drawer and tried to bury it so you wouldn’t see it.
”I was going to wait until you were out of the kitchen, then sneak it out and throw it away in the trashcan outside.”
”I can’t believe you would be so cutthroat that you would lie just to win. At least I have some sense of honor. I would never have done that to you. I’m so disappointed.”
”I didn’t lie, Darling, I just didn’t tell the truth. There’s a difference. I still win.”
”No, we were both right.”
“Doesn’t matter. You admitted you were wrong, so I win.”
”That was before I found this.”
“Well, that’s what you get for giving up so easily… loser.”
“I didn’t lose.”
There was a long pause, and then I heard a tiny whisper: