Most people only see a serious side of my husband, but Mo definitely likes to have a good time too. One of his favorite things to do is play games. If we are hanging out with people, they are likely to get roped into playing Monopoly (yawn) or Prince Pauper (my preference). But even when it’s just the two of us, he will make up games for us to play while we are eating dinner or on the road traveling somewhere.
The first specific example of this I can think of was him adapting a game he grew up watching, “Questions pour les champions” (Questions for Champions). We would alternate turns. When it is your turn to ask the question, you offer three subject areas for your partner to choose from. So he might say airplanes, the Old Testament, or watches. I would choose one of those three topics, and he would try to stump me with the most obscure piece of trivia that he could think of in that category (something about quartz movement in a particular brand of watch–and I think I got the answer right to that one, only because he had talked about it before). Then we would switch. No way of declaring winners or losers, but a way to pass time and test each other’s knowledge.
Tonight was a date night. We met up for dinner at a local Ethiopian restaurant after I got out of work and were talking a little bit about our day. Mo said, “we should play a game!” It had been a while since we had played one of his made up games, so I thought he meant playing Jenga or Monopoly when we got home. But I was wrong, which was made clear as he continued to explain.
“I’m going to ask you questions, and when you answer you can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no.'”
I was up for giving this game a try. He started with just small talk, asking if I like to go to court (“most times”), if the food was good (“I enjoy it”), and other things along those lines. He could see that he wasn’t getting anywhere with me, and I could tell he could see it. I, wrongly, assumed that meant the game was over.
Then Mo’s face changed quickly, and he asked, “Do we have enough money in our account?” I looked back at him confused. He just got paid last week, and I get paid tomorrow. “We should,” I replied, “why, did you buy something today?”
“Are you sure?” “We should.” “Are you sure?” “We should.” “Are you sure?” And as I’m looking at our bank account on my phone, I say “YES!” Only to see him disintegrate into giggles. “I got you to say yes! All I had to do was start talking about money and you turned all business. You didn’t last three minutes in the game!”
I felt tricked. So I determined it was his turn. But he was too good. We ate our whole meal, and he dodged every questions I threw at him. We both felt like we’d ingested a little too much injera so we went to TJMaxx for a little window shopping and to walk it off. As I felt too full wandering around the store, I thought of how I was going to get him.
“Mo, do I look bloated?”
“No!” was his immediate reply.
“I got you to say ‘no’!” I was ecstatic. He tried to say he really said “Nu,” but conceded that he did in fact say no–but that he beat me because he lasted well over twenty minutes.
There you have it. I was able to get back at him by exploiting a husband’s automatic programmed mode of saying no any time a wife asks if something looks wrong with her.
Right answer babe, right answer.