page contents Google

SCORING THE COMPLAIN GAME

The Married’s Complain Game. How Good Is It?

A couple peering through their window. "Great. A biker gang. There goes the neighborhood.

A couple peering through their window. “Great. A biker gang. There goes the neighborhood. GET OFF OUR STREET.”

For the complain game to work right, you need to score early.

BOB

The movie starts in five minutes. We’re late.

CAROL

I wouldn’t be late if you remembered to call. We miss the previews? Oh boo.

The movie is The Godfather. You want to see the first part together.

Sonny Corleone always sets the mood.

Late or not, whatever the fault, the important part is the complain game.

CAROL

I’ve seen The Godfather before. Watching a man cheat on his wife against a hotel door during his sister’s wedding isn’t the best part of the movie like you think.

BOB

Which part is that?

Score for Carol.

Complain game spoiler.

It could be that time management isn’t as important off the job as on.

The person who clocks billable hours lets the seasons guide the rest of their life?

Sound a little druid-ish? A little pagany?

No. And no. Call it way of connecting with a greater life cycle. And a better complain game.

The seasons guide us more than we know, like it or not.

Most often it’s not, which deals the complain game a strong hand.

Carol stands with her back to a window:

Is it raining out?

Bob sees the blue sky behind her:

Buckets. Looks depressing.

Carol taps her foot and bobs her heard to the cadence of her words:

I so wanted to not wear a raincoat.

BOB

Don’t forget not wearing an umbrella and a hat.

CAROL

We could move.

BOB

Somewhere sunny.

CAROL

Not like this.

BOB

Oh look. It cleared up.

CAROL

See. Positive thinking. Try it

Weather is an unending resource for the complain game.

But it’s low hanging fruit.

Score Bob.

Too hot, too cold; too wet, too dry;  too windy, too still; too light, too dark. Too easy.

Event memories have a richer flavor.

BOB

We’ll never get another boat. You sunk the last one with the truck and trailer.

CAROL

Me? I sunk the truck and trailer but you did the boat. Who forgets the drain plug?

BOB

Never get another truck, either.

CAROL

At least we didn’t have to pay to pull it out of the lake.

BOB

The guy said he’d charge me five thousand.

CAROL

That brake job sounds like a deal now.

BOB

Told him I’d report the truck as hazardous waste and shut the lake down if he didn’t pull it out.

The complain game changes over time. The same complaint that meant the end is near to a young  couple is just average chit-chat to long time marrieds.

Score Carol.

The key to the complain game is to complain without blaming, which is why the weather is so convenient.

The experts know to leave a little wiggle room in their complaints.

CAROL

Let’s take a drive in the country.

BOB

Last time out we saw those burnt orange fields.

CAROL

I hate Round Up. It kills from leave contact right down to the roots and everything in between.

BOB

We know it’s there. No surprise this time. Just farmers sterilizing dirt for a clean crop.

CAROL

Sounds like it doesn’t bother you. They could burn it.

BOB

Not if there’s a burn ban.

CAROL

Is there?

BOB

No one is burning their fields, so maybe.

CAROL

This place is ruined anyway. I’ve seen the plans. Ten thousand houses on an expanded urban growth boundary.

BOB

Our house used to be a berry field.

CAROL

It’s not the same.

BOB

In five years the new houses won’t be any different than the old. Streets with sidewalks and lamp poles.

Carol

Whose fault is that?

Bob

California?

Score Bob.

Play the complain game by yourself and with others.

Just make sure you set the rules ahead of time.

It’s a game, not a lifestyle choice, congenital defect, or handicap.

Most important rule of the complain game? Play fair.

About David Gillaspie
%d bloggers like this: