It was close to bed time, when my seven year-old produced the board game Clue with wide eyes and wider expectations. “Can we play?” He asked, his green, green eyes earnestly pleading.
I considered saying no. We were finally back to school, but our routine was still on vacation. We were going to sleep too late, and I was dragging my youngest and my oldest out of bed in the morning. I checked the clock and sighed. It was after 8 pm and teeth still needed to be brushed. Plus, getting them all settled in bed could easily take 45 minutes.
“One game.” I warned. How could I say no to his happy, little face? Especially since, that face was the one that lashed out the most and could be the hardest to reach. I love his happy. His happy is gorgeous.
He and my oldest set the board up and handed out the cards. My husband also decided to play and teamed up with my five year-old, immediately initiating a lot of dramatic high fives as to the ‘awesomeness’ of their ‘team’. It had been a while since I had played a board game with my husband, but it only took the first high five before it all came flooding back. My husband was a competitive ass.
I recalled card games years before which had him casting sneaky, sideway glances at our friends or throwing his winning cards before them with a triumphant and challenging, “Aha!” As a team, I’ll admit to being caught up in his win at all costs attitude. We were unbeatable at Pictionary and Trivia Pursuit. After a bit, the game phase faded with our crew, or more likely, we stopped being invited.
We started playing, asking our questions, searching for clues to uncover the murderer. Me to my oldest, “I think it’s Green, in the living room with a dagger. Can you confirm anything?” As he nods and slides a card my way, my husband’s voice penetrates with loud, boisterous glee. “Ah, I see! Yes!! Now I’ve got it! Hoo Hoo Hoo. I’ve so got this!”
The boys and I roll our eyes and continue, but with each turn, my husband interrupts with hoots and commentary. “Oh, I get it! Do you guys get it! See what I’m doing here?! I can show you how it’s done.” And then there’s the crazy laughter, “HAHAHAHA! I’m going to win!”
His aggressiveness is a little scary, and my youngest decides to switch to my team. We all try to ignore him. It’s his first time playing, after all. He doesn’t even know how to play. When we remind him of a rule, he says things like, “What? That’s ridiculous. I don’t think that’s correct.”
Still we forge onward, getting deeper into the game, crossing more and more would be murderers off our list. Miss Scarlett is no. Colonel Mustard is a no. My husband’s bragging and obnoxious behavior reaching new heights with every turn, until finally, he screams, “I’ve got it!”
We were all closing in, but I thought I needed another turn or two to be certain. I figured he was taking a risky leap of testosterone faith. “It is Mrs. White, in the garage with the wrench.” He smugly turns over the hidden cards. And, he is…right! Damn it. He is right.
I am so annoyed. I hear his insane, booming voice, “You want to know how I knew? First off, I was so bluffing with the wrench! You got to know how to play if you want to play with the master! Bet you’re sorry you switched teams now, buddy! HAHAHAHA!”
My boys are yelling at him in frustration. “Daddy! You just guessed you didn’t know…”
But he is in his glory, reveling in his win.
As his laughter penetrates my ears, I consider my husband as the next victim of the game. It would be Ice Scream mama, in the kitchen with a spoon. I don’t think he’ll be allowed to play again anytime soon.