Words with spouses

A sizable portion of my husband’s family refuses to play cards or board games with him. Because he gets a little…competitive.  I think he actually broke his aunt’s Taboo buzzer this one time a few years ago by overzealous use.  People were upset.

I don’t generally let my feathers get ruffled by a little friendly competition, so I’m happy to play gin rummy or whatever with him.  I think it’s hilarious when he gets all exasperated over his crappy cards or performs a ridiculous victory dance after winning what is essentially a game of luck.

But things have now gone to a whole new level in this household.

Most nights, before I shut off my bedside lamp, the last thing I do is update my Words With Friends games.  Usually, the hubs just teases me and mutters about my “iPhone addiction” but the other night, he decided to look over my shoulder and help me figure out what the hell to do with three Us and a C.  (Hint: not much.)

“You should download the app,” I told him.  “Then we could play against each other.”

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I began to wonder whether I’d regret them.

Fast forward to this morning.  My turn.  I paw at the letters for a few minutes before taking a chance on a word that I’m pretty sure is not actually a word.

Shocked at the sight of the little gray “sending” box, I duck in to the bathroom, knowing full well that a whole load of indignant protests are about to come my way.  As I shut the door, his phone buzzes on the other nightstand.

“Patzer? PATZER? What the hell is a PATZER?” I hear him growl.

“What, honey?” I call back, buying myself a few seconds to type the mystery word into the Google box on my phone’s browser.


I open the door a crack. “It’s, um…someone who plays chess poorly, of course,” I say innocently, squinting at the browser’s tiny font.  Of course.  Thanks, Google. 

More grumbles about the game being “unfair.”  And in this case, I can’t entirely disagree.  That’s one of the weaknesses of this addictive little app.  It’ll let you try whatever words you want with no consequences, thereby removing one of the most entertaining and strategic elements of classic Scrabble: the challenge.

Hey, at least we learned something this morning, I point out.

I’m happy to report that we’ve had no other major disagreements so far.  Well, except for a minor objection over CASA, 15 points. (“Seriously? That’s Spanish!”)

I’m also happy to report that I’m currently winning.

Okay…I guess I’m a little competitive too.  And I married a pretty smart guy (that’s an understatement), but when it comes to the written word, I do believe that my skills reign supreme around here. Even when it comes to making words up.  And in the bigger picture, I have to believe that sitting side-by-side on the couch firing made-up words at each other through cyberspace can only enhance our communication skills as a couple.

At least we’re not playing chess.  I totally suck at chess.

There’s a word for that…right?

22 responses to “Words with spouses

  1. haha, i have not yet gotten into words with friends, but i am already so addicted to my iphone, it can’t get much worse…can it? eeeek, i might have to investigate this weekend…

  2. This. is. hilarious. My husband and I had a huge blowout over a Scrabble game once. He straight up cheated. And I had a hissy fit. And we started playing on Facebook and had too many arguments about it so he quit because I kept harping on him. Now he plays with his mom and brother and gets SUPER competitve and literally will sit there for an hour, trying to figure out his next move. I find it mildly amusing, and very annoying. I’m not nearly as competitive when I play and take my turns all within minutes, if not seconds. We also have huge fights over gin rummy and Settlers of Catan. He hates to lose. Especially to me. Which happens more often than not.

    • Haha, I feel your pain! My husband takes FOREVER taking his turn at games, to the point where if we play actual Scrabble, it has to be Speed Scrabble and you only get three minutes per turn. Otherwise he will sit there forever, trying to come up with something better.

  3. Your hubz sounds just like mine when it comes to games. Or anything that could be construed into a competition. Sounds like the universe would implode if they played a game against each other.

    I take great satisfaction at beating him at anything. So far, the only thing I can consistently beat him at is trivia. And even that is hard sometimes.

  4. My husband and I are unbearable to play games with. People have actually told us that. You should see us after he beats me at Jeopardy (which RARELY happens for the record). It’s like the Cold War up in that shit. Taunting dances are performed and choice words are thrown. Bad scene, I’ll tell you.
    On that note I shall send you a WWF request :)

  5. True story: one night my husband and I were lying in bed playing WWF against each other. Rock bottom or totally awesome? :)

  6. Haha! Was that against me??

    Michael is just like your hubby–super competitive. To the point where most people won’t play games with him either. He’s toned it down a lot since he’s been with me because I have no issue telling him to “calm the eff down, it’s just a game.” :)

    We play WWF all the time. Do you want to play against Michael? He’ll make you cry. He usually beats me by about 400 points every game. 😛 For him it’s a math game. For me it’s a word game. Oh well!

  7. I’ve learned I need to date a one-upper/competitor. I get bored otherwise.

    That being said, the boy I’m currently talking to gets SO frustrated with me because we constantly go back and forth, trying to out-do each other in anything. It’s sort of awesome.

  8. I am cracking up over here because we sit next to each other and do the same thing!! We truly enjoy sitting on the couch and zapping words back and forth at each other!

  9. I just got an iPad for my birthday. I think most of my time is spent playing Words With Friends. I may have told my fiancé “I hate you” when he played some word I’m sure he doesn’t know the meaning of. I’m actually surprised at the words in other languages I’ve gotten accepted.

  10. Heh. Ask PhairPhunk about his “pool guy” face.

  11. Hey…I think that is called bonding!
    The Husband has a word search like game on his phone and I am not allowed to download it on my own because then I’ll get better than him. Every once in a while I’ll steal his phone just to beat his high score…pisses him right off. But its not my fault I’m just better with words than he is…right!?

  12. I wondered who this anonymous “maxis” player was….it’s on now!

  13. I love playing Scrabble against Chris because he thinks that he is a super smarty pants, but that is one game that I can almost always beat him at.

    He takes a lot of pride in calculating his odds during Yahtzee… So annoying, just roll the damn dice already!

  14. I suck at games like this. I feel all sorts of pressure and my brain shuts off. I can’t think of any words and just sit there putting out words like to, too, two, a, at. I’m the worst.

  15. I’m in the same boat. Maybe you should also try “Hanging With Friends”… it helps when you have multiple games going on so at some point both people will win something. I love winning, it warms my tiny little heart – especially when it’s against my husband.

  16. You can also play all of the Hebrew letters (i.e. “Zayin”). Not that I would know.

  17. They really need to expand this to blackberries, so I can whoop all your asses.

  18. When aren’t you winning in this stupid game?! I didn’t know Words with Friends scores could get that high until I started playing against you :-(