Greg and I play chess maybe once a year, maybe even less frequently than that. He taught me to play in college, but I play so rarely that I can’t remember the rules. And Greg is notorious for “forgetting” to fill people in on the rules of a game. So before we began a match the other night, I told him to run through the rules for me.
He told me which moves each piece could make but then couldn’t think of anything else, so the game began. Within about four moves, he had taken two of my pieces. And then he moved his pawn into the back row on my side.
“That’s a queen now,” he said.
“But you didn’t tell me about that,” I said. “I always forget that rule. I hate playing this game with you!”
He apologized. I told him that if he wanted the game to continue, he would have to tell me the rest of the rules right then.
“You can resign the game at any time,” he said.
“I’m not resigning,” I said, refusing to take the hint. “What else?”
“That’s all I can think of,” he said.
We continued playing, and surprise, surprise, Greg had forgotten more rules. But I forced him to play by the few he told me. Considering my naivete, the game should have been over in 10 minutes, but it somehow became the Hundred Years’ War. Is this a testament to my brilliance, or is my husband really bad at this game?
After more than an hour, the game ended. It was 11 p.m., and our heads hung wearily from battle.
Like so many wars, there was no real winner. It was a draw, though when you’re expecting to be crushed, as I was, that feels like victory.