The Next Delusion

Seeing Reality and Looking the Other Way

Rage Quitting

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.


Rage by Amy McTigue

Rage by Amy McTigue


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.


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35 thoughts on “Rage Quitting

  • kdcol says:

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who rage quits mainly on their spouse. Years ago I embarrassed myself in front of the in-laws being a sore loser, and I now refuse to play Words with my husband. I kept rage resigning anyway so there was no point. 🙂
    kdcol recently posted…You go girl!My Profile

  • don says:

    Um, so once, when the wife and I were dating, she beat me in a game of bowling. I don’t bowl for a living and I maybe hadn’t bowled in the three years before this particular night, but in my head, I guess I was supposed to be a good bowler. Also, I was at a bowling alley, so I’m sure I was drunk. Anyway, without thinking, I chucked my car keys towards a back wall where they landed under a vending machine. It wasn’t my finest moment.

    If you ever want to test your relationship, or maybe tear your whole family or a friendship apart, I suggest you try Phase 10. It’s like an UNO game, but infinitely more annoying.
    don recently posted…A shooting a mother and her baby…My Profile

    • Cassandra says:

      Ooh. I’ll be sure to stay away from Phase 10. Sounds dangerous.

      Continue to be glad to hear that I am not the only adult who can’t seem to act like one when competing with my significant other.

  • I am not known to handle losing very well…

  • Aussa Lorens says:

    My boyfriend and I played Monopoly a few weeks ago. We’re no longer together.
    Just kidding.
    But it was a close call there for a bit.
    Aussa Lorens recently posted…Let’s Make Messes And Do Big ThingsMy Profile

  • Michelle says:

    Hubs and I play a lot of cards and it nearly always goes well…except for when it doesn’t..

    we both like to win.
    Michelle recently posted…I’m A WitzelsuchtMy Profile

  • ‘Rage Quitting’ is also akin to ‘Rage Logging’, which is a video game term used to describe some asshole who logs out cuz he’s made the raid wiped on that f’ing dragon for the 4th time in a row, leaving your whole raid a man short. Normally, everyone gets made at the “rage logger” and you get pumped up and kill that stupid dragon without him, which is rewarding, but it still makes everyone mad. To be fair, there’s an expletive in addition to the term ‘rage logging’. I think I just sullied your lovely story.
    NATurally Inappropriate recently posted…You’re stupid and make bad decisions.My Profile

  • Eric says:

    I’m a little too familiar with the rage quit. My son would do it when he was younger if a video game was not going as he wanted. He would drop the controller on the floor and storm, red-faced from the room. I put a stop to this behavior by making it a rule that if he did it, he couldn’t touch the game controller again for 48 hours.

    Maybe Momus could take away something you enjoy for 48 hours after a rage quit?
    Eric recently posted…Bacon Physics: Apparently it’s a thingMy Profile

  • Jamie says:

    Rage quitting. I’m going to use that one next time I play Sequence.

  • I can honestly say I am not a rage quitter, although I have yet to meet this Momus. I think it might be a good idea for me to stay away from Momus. Lately my rage is limited to stupid people in traffic (which I can’t quit) and slow computers (also can’t quit).
    Nice to meet you, Cassandra.
    Susie sent me.

  • Oh, I’ve done this and then later had to eat my words. Finally figured out that “quitting” hurts nobody but myself and often the other parties could care less so…why should I?

    Easier said than done, of course! Great post. Oh, and Susie sent me. 🙂

  • “Rage quitting” Oh I love that! Now I’ve got to go find a game that I can get in a rage about just so I can use that phrase! Obviously your son has inherited your way with words.
    Kassandra Lamb recently posted…15 Things You Should Do (or Learn) By the Time You’re 62My Profile

  • Susie Lindau says:

    I love the term RAGE QUITTING! I’ve come close, but have never gotten that frustrated. If Danny and I played more games, then maybe the opportunity would arise. I remember reprimanding him with the kids. Not only would he never let them win, but he would trounce them!
    There’s a great RAGE QUITTING scene in the movie, The Way Way Back. Check it out!
    Thanks for coming to the party! There are many new faces and excellent writers to check out!
    Susie Lindau recently posted…Want More Followers? Use Me and Abuse Me – Colorful Colorado EditionMy Profile

    • Cassandra says:

      Sadly, I have low frustration tolerance. Someday I will gain the wisdom to be more zen about the world.

      Thanks so much for throwing the party. I always find new bloggers to follow when you do.

  • Susie sent me by!

    Sadly, your son didn’t coin the term “rage quit”…it’s been quite popular for a while, now. In fact, I’ve seen a game out there that has “guaranteed to make you rage quit” in the description!

  • Jan Moyer says:

    Rage is my new adjective.
    Rage Hot Wheels.
    Rage Shoe Putting-On.
    Rage Teeth Brushing.

    Can you tell I’m in the middle of raising young sons?

    Great post.
    Jan Moyer recently posted…The Dharma WashroomMy Profile

    • Cassandra says:

      My son has always had quite the sunny personality. Rage isn’t really part of his repertoire. Not sure where that came from.

  • Phil says:

    Dropping by from Susie’s party. Yup, my dad would play rummy 500 with us and make us all rage quit. He never lost. He was more of a rage winner too. He would gloat and laugh. We all stopped playing cards with him. I still think he used to cheat!
    Phil recently posted…The infuriating freakshow follies of lunchtime in NYC.My Profile

  • dana says:

    Hey – we met briefly over at Susie’s party ;-). What a great post and Cassandra – I’m with you all the way in terms of how I too, tend to approach game playing. I’m there for fun and frivolity while it seems everyone I end up playing with (over the age of 6 that is) is out for blood. LOL. I don’t “rage quit” out loud, but you can best believe there are people I don’t play games with anymore. EVER. 🙂
    dana recently posted…I want my waist back, and other laments of a writing introvert.My Profile

  • […] 2. Candyland – Let’s play a nice little board game. It’s very simple, so even the youngest can move their little gingerbread man successfully down the path toward the Candy Castle. Watch out for the Molasses swamp! Maybe you’ll be lucky and get to go up Gumdrop Pass. It’s all fun and games until you get sent back to start for the third time in a row. Cue the Rage Quitting. […]

  • qwertygirl says:

    How did I miss this when you first published it? I SO do this to my husband, but even with games that require superior verbal skills–Scrabble, specifically. He has this way of playing a word (which may be a wimpy 12 pointer) in a way that it gets 22,000 points and makes me furious. I have since learned from his strategy, and now employ it against him, but for a long time, it was maddening. Also, when we play Monopoly Deal, I confess I use the holding strategy against my daughter. You have to get three sets of properties to win, and I will hold the third card in a set back until the very end so she doesn’t realize I’m about to cream her.
    qwertygirl recently posted…Down Home StoriesMy Profile

    • Cassandra says:

      My doppleganger once again. Yes, Momus can easily trump my (slightly) superior word skills in Scrabble by identifying how to lay out his word for maximum pain. Also, it takes him forever to do so which drives me up a wall. For that reason, I’ve switched us over to bananagrams where strategy is minimized and processing speed (another area where I have an edge) is key.

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