Marriage Monopoly

After we’ve spent a long week staring at computer screens, working, sitting on our smart phones and completing tasks from a never-ending checklist, my husband and I are usually ready to retreat from the world, at least for a little while. Last night, we put our phones away, poured a few drinks and sat down to spend some time together, not to relax after the workweek, but to put off the inevitability of Monday for just a little while longer.

We decided to play a few games of Monopoly. Sounds like a pleasant Sunday night, right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong. In the first game, I crushed my poor husband’s soul, amassing a small fortune and real estate domination after just a few times around the board. He cried “Best out of three! Best out of three!” He was desperate for a win after the upsetting loss he just faced. We raised the stakes with a bet on the second game, and I proceeded to take his crushed dreams and bury them six feet under with another effortless win.

To avoid raising the white flag, he convinced me to begin the third and final game. After a few lead changes, Willy finally landed on “Free Parking,” receiving nearly $2,500 and all but ensuring his win. We continued to play, though, and I did end up losing after landing on a few of his newly-built hotels. After packing up the game, we retreated to the living room to watch our favorite Sunday night show (The Good Wife). I responded to a few of his attempts at conversation with total indifference, causing my husband to look at me with disbelief: “I lost two out of three and you’re still mad!?” It was true. I won the war, but he won that last battle—and it felt like I lost the whole thing.

I had to make a conscious effort to give in and enjoy the rest of our night together. After all, it wasn’t his fault that I couldn’t handle the loss. Let’s also not forget the major attitude I received after Games 1 and 2—he is just as competitive, nearly flipping the board once or twice after landing on my carefully-placed hotels, forced to mortgaging every property he owned to pay his debts. So last night, after a perfect weekend, it all nearly went down in flames when a friendly competition turned into a serious one.

For my non-competitive friends, I suppose this post is irrelevant, but for those who are competitive like us, try to pack up your winnings—and your losings—when you pack up the game board. Remember, you’re lucky you have someone who wants to sit, drink and play board games with you on a Sunday night.