Rule #9

do it wrong and this could happen...

last night craig and i were shooting pool.  yeah, i know.  we play a lot.*  get over it.  anyway, there was another couple next to us and she was learning to play.  she won a couple of games and was REALLY excited about it both times.  good for her.  #winning

they were getting ready to leave and we just finished a game.  the Gentleman (i call him that because he was about a decade older than craig and very polite) put his hand on craig’s shoulder and this is the conversation that happened:

Gentleman:  “did you just beat her at pool?” 

craig:  “yep!” (and beamed because i’d been killing him all night.)

Gentleman:  “clearly you haven’t been taught Rule #9.”

craig:  “Rule #9?  educate me.”

Gentleman:  “always let the lady win.”

craig:  “that totally won’t fly with this lady”, pointing at me.

craig then lost the next game and claimed he was just implementing Rule #9 and would claim it every time he loses from now on.


here are the morals of the story:

1.  craig was right.  i would rage if he tried to throw a game.  i once threatened to break a cue over the skull of an australian if he continued to try and let me win.

2.  Gentleman was right.  at least in principle.  guys, there is very little that will turn a girl off more than being overly competitive on a date.  for reals.  if you’re ending a round of putt putt golf with “IN YOUR FACE!”, you need to dial it back.

3.  do not take a girl on a date or, god forbid, dates to prove to her you are the master of your bowling** domain.  just. don’t. do. it.

it’s totally fine to be better than her at whatever game you might be playing, just make sure you’re not repeatedly and obnoxiously making her aware of it.  chances are, if she sticks around after you make an ass of yourself, she’s going to publicly humiliate you at Scrabble.

all right, story time.  i know you’ve got one that involves Rule #9 or the breaking thereof.  tell it.

* what?  our kids crossed over into not needing babysitting anymore.  it’s like a miracle.

** or insert whatever sport/game you rule at.  fyi, i hate bowling more than spiders.

17 comments on “Rule #9

  1. Jonathan B says:

    I’m neither a rule #9 kind of guy nor an “in your face” kind of guy. If she’s learning, I’ll be teaching, not competing. If she already knows the game, I’ll be competing, but in a friendly fashion.

    If she’s having fun, then it doesn’t matter who wins. If she’s not having fun, it also doesn’t matter who wins. If she’s not having fun, however, you have two choices:

    1) identify honestly and analytically that her not having fun is quickly fixable. This might be showing her something simple that will change the game for her, it might be encouraging her more, it might be kidding around with her to lighten the mood, or something else. But if you can’t come up with a quick fix to the not fun, then you need to go to #2.

    2) Be the one to suggest taking a break from what you’re doing, and that you’d like to go do . This means she doesn’t have to choose between suffering through or being the bad guy for saying you should quit. And if you time it well, may make it a less evil experience and result in her giving it another try at some later date. (Unless it’s bowling, Sharideth? ;D )

    • Jonathan B says:

      #2 should say “that you’d like to go do -insert something she finds fun here-. I get used to using less than and greater than symbols to wrap -insert- type statements, which doesn’t work when the blog tries to process them as HTML code. :>

    • sharideth says:

      perfect suggestions

  2. JBen says:

    I do not believe in rule #9.

    If my fiance and I are playing a game, my goal is to help her get better at it. I don’t desire to rub it in her face, because that would make me a super douche lord. But I think she would feel like it was really condescending for me to let her win because she’s a girl.

    I want to do my best and I want to help her do hers.

    I taught her how to play backgammon and within a few games she beat me. I am fine with that. It means we are going to have good game-playing times.

  3. Craig Alvin says:

    I have to admit that when ‘deth and I first started playing pool I would attempt to play well above my skill level just to balance things out a bit. I did it for her sake so she didn’t feel bad, but the plan backfired because I quickly learned how to make harder shots. The biggest problem was that she watched me and figured it out too. Now I have to play her and I don’t get to win as much. Oh well… That’s why I hang out with Ryan.

  4. I have the unique advantage of not being extremely good at competitive things and enjoying the company more than the competition. Chances are I won’t beat any chick too bad even if I try.

    Don’t believe me? I bowled a six once. Yes, I was sober. No, I don’t bowl in overalls anymore.

  5. I let Jana win a game of air hockey once when we were dating.

    She’s still mad about that, a decade later.

  6. Mandie Marie says:

    Bowling is like bathing suit shopping. It seems like a really good idea at first but about two minutes into the whole process I remember why it was a horrible, horrible idea.

  7. I’m competitive and I’ve always felt this pressure to let guys win if we happen to do something that shows off my mad skills – like baking or mah jong.

    I’m also very concerned my future husband is currently wearing a t-shirt that reads “Bowling Domain Master.”

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