Last week my eleven year old son coined a new phrase: Rage Quitting. I am sad to say that he did not come up with the phrase to describe his own pre-adolescent behavior, but rather mine. My son, Montessori schooled from practically birth, is a wonderful sport and I have never seen him react poorly to losing. I, however, must shamefully admit to having rage quit a game once or twice. In his presence. With copious cursing.
In my own defense, I am generally a fine loser. At sports, in poker, at Candyland, I can gracefully lose with the best of them. And I am always a good loser when playing a game alone with my son. I will congratulate him happily and say “good game” when he trounces me at Quirkle once again and be on my merry way.
I get into trouble when playing with Momus (either with or without my son present). Momus has a way of playing games with strategies that are guaranteed to put me on tilt. This is most common in card games (Rummy 500 and heads up Texas Hold Em), but can also happen in other games as well.
I have to admit that I am not a strategic game player. I am most comfortable playing games that use my processing speed, verbal skills, and/or expansive trivial knowledge to carry me to victory. Finding little loopholes that will give me an additional edge in an otherwise straightforward game is not my forte. Unfortunately, it is Momus’.
So Momus and I will sit down to play a game such as Rummy 500, and I will start happily playing my cards. When I get a set or a run, I lay it down like you are supposed to. I am strategic enough to keep track of the cards Momus appears to be collecting so as not to feed him something he really needs, but otherwise I’m playing my cards. Like you are supposed to.
Momus, meanwhile, is gathering his forces to unleash complete thermonuclear destruction on my poor, straightforward self. To put it simply: he is a big fat holding holder! When he gets to his set or run, he will not lay it down. He will hold on to it and wait until he can lay down all of his cards in one fell swoop and go out of the game. Thus leaving his unsuspecting opponent (usually me) holding any number of high cards in their hand for a sizable negative score.
This has been known to get under my skin.
I have unfortunately been known to end said game in a less than gracious manner. There might be yelling, accusations, demeaning of character, cursing, or all of the above. Sometimes followed by dramatic storming from the room amid declarations that I will never play this game again.
Thus, Rage Quitting.
Sadly, this dynamic is not limited to Rummy 500. Momus has expanded his evil ways beyond the class of card games, and now finds ways to screw me in word games as well. He will have perfectly playable words, but find ways to ditch letters and lay in wait until he can play some ridiculously high value word like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and leave my puny little 5 letter words laying in ashes.
I say this is cheating (when you have a playable word, you are supposed to play it, dammit!). He calls it strategy. I call him names. He smiles beatifically.
And then I Rage Quit.
Momus Response: Mostly I just pray Cassandra does not Rage Quit the relationship altogether. But in my defense, I never cheat. If a game is largely luck, contingent on the drawing of cards or tiles, then strategy has to come into play to make it interesting. I just often get more in the “interesting” department from Cassandra than I intended.