This is a competition. I got this ball when my wife and I first started dating. She was living in the dorms and one night we went to the store together with a couple of the people that lived on her floor, among them was the best Mario Kart player I’ve ever seen. His name was Ben and before we left on the grocery run he had beaten my worthless Toad pants about seven times, and even though my pride had been shaken my hyper-competitive nature was fully intact. We found these Spalding “high-bounce” balls and, feeling particularly impulsive, we both bought one, but under one condition: that the person who kept theirs the longest won. I don’t think we ever decided what they won, just that they won–the knowledge of superiority was enough.

My wife and I are very competitive, but most of our competitiveness is due to being the youngest. We both had an older sibling and learned to fight pretty hard because of it, but tonight we got to have dinner and play games with some dear friends, and it was actually pleasant. We’ve started to learn how to value the enjoyment of fellowship more than winning. When I accomplish this goal everything is so much more fun, but when all my focus is on winning I come away feeling empty and shameful, whether I won the game or not–usually more shameful if I lost because winning always counteracts the shame a bit. That being said, Ben, if you still have your Spalding “high-bounce” ball, congrats. You have now won whatever it is that we didn’t actually agree on, because I am now throwing my ball away. Getting rid of useless trinkets is above winning this game on my list of priorities. However, if you’ve lost yours already, then HA! I beat your sorry butt, and you’re never gonna live this down! Ahem. I mean, good game. Well played, sir.



~ by russell jander on January 19, 2012.

3 Responses to “Winning”

  1. Russell, I enjoyed your Winning post. Well said! I hope, though, that you recycled your ball and didn’t just throw it away.

  2. Russell, learning this valuable lesson at 25, eh? I think you are ahead of the curve. Constantly pecking at each other for pecking order dominance gets tiring over the years. And in my experience, can bred resentment by the predominant loser. Hope the two of you find countless ways to play together for the sheer enjoyment !

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