Monday, November 03, 2008

Couple Time: Not a Trivial Pursuit

"Couple Time" can be defined as planned activities for married adults who are confined by children to the home for the evening. In an effort to have some time as a couple one weekend, and since we are too broke to call the babysitter, Milk Man and I list our options.

1. Sit here watching episode after episode of SpongeBob SquarePants until our brains rust.

2. Watch Election coverage until our brains implode, (much quicker).

3. Go out to get a bite to eat at the risk of being jailed by leaving a sleeping five year old in charge of himself, and two younger children.

4. Shut off the television and talk. (Is there possibly ANYTHING we don't know about each other after almost ten years of matrimony?)

5. Play a board game and fight.

We choose number five, because marital fights sometimes lead to fun, and my husband gets the Trivial Pursuit out of the closet. It's the Genus IV version, and he's memorized all the answers. "How is watching you beat me at Trivial Pursuit for the 1,263rd time, (yes, he's counting), going to be fun, (for me), and a positive use of couple time?" I complain.

For the record, I HATE Trivial Pursuit. I think all versions of this game should be given to terrorist interrogators to be used as a form of humane mental torture. Why, because it's %!@#! boring, and it makes me feel...intellectually threatened. I lose, ALWAYS. It's not that I don't get answers right, because I do. The questions I know are either brainless pop culture, or art and leisure. When the game is over I feel a whole lot dumber. Plus, as I lose I eat whatever food is on the table, probably from game-induced depression, as I watch my husband fill his pie with plastic colored triangles.

Finally, I get a question I'm sure I know. "How many children did the the Brady couple have, biologically?" I sit back in my chair, singing the whole Brady Bunch song, with chorus repeats, before answering, just because I'm bored to tears. I'm savoring my right answer for a bit longer. "Zero!" I say, after my performance is over.

I may have won that chip, but the game goes on and on. At one point I try to make it strip Trivial Pursuit, but now the husband is so close to winning that he is more focused on the game; (Can you believe this?!) I picture myself telling a divorce lawyer the INCREDIBLE story of neglect as I watch Milk Man roll the dice, land on roll again, again, again. I'm starting to nod off.

Finally I get a turn again, and I take extra long to roll, to count, to move my stereotypically pink game piece, (that's the color my Superior 1930's Husband picked out for me when I was in the bathroom). I should know this answer, but motherhood has melted my brain cells. "What machine is most often used in a lie detector test?" I feel like one of those dumb people that Jay Leno questions on the street. All I can come up with is "lie-o-graph." My husband is shaking his head and taking the die from me. "WAIT!" I shout, holding on to my turn. I don't care if I lose this one, I want to go again anyway.

"But that's against the rules." Says the husband. He's seen me go into game anarchy mode before. "This is my house, and I make the rules." I say rolling again. "What! Come on, don't mess up the game." He says. I stand up to relive a playground squabble I had about 28 years ago. "You always win, and it isn't fun. So I QUIT!"

Milk Man throws his hands up in an act of marital surrender. "Okay, You can roll ONE more time." I sit back down, ready to bolt at the next ridiculously easy question that I go blank on. "What architect's 1958 plans were revived for the 1995 construction of a convention center in Madison, Wisconsin?" I sit up, beaming in my chair, because this question isn't all that easy, and I know the answer. "Frank Lloyd Wright's" I say, triumphantly.
Milk Man checks the back of the card twice, surprised. "That's right. How did you know that? I had no clue." I share that I took Art History classes in college and I have an interest in architecture."Oh, I didn't know that." He says.

It turns out that this waste of "couple time" isn't a trivial pursuit, after all. Milk Man learns something he doesn't know, and he still wins. What do I get out of it? I'm not sure. I guess I always wanted to be a great martyr, and being married gives me that opportunity.
Next time, I pick the game, and I'm going to make it really interesting.

Readers, What board games should Milk Man and I play against each other?" Send me a comment.


Romy and Andrew said...

I think Andrew and I own EVERY version of trivial pursuit. The only one I can sort of beat him at (if I go first) is the youth edition cica 1990.
How about hungry hungry hippo? That's a great game!

Frank said...

You have not lived until you've played Trivial Pursuit with John. LOL.

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