Friends Don’t Let Friends Marry Gamers

Oh that Suzy Floozy – She’s part of the problem!

Star Trek?

When I was a little girl my Dad’s favorite show was Star Trek. I remember sitting in his lap, watching Captain Kirk kiss some alien woman while the guy in the red shirt got the ax. Star Trek on TV meant “go outside and play” or “keep the noise level down.” As I got older, and began thinking about the prince who would sweep me off my feet I would think, “I don’t want to be a Star Trek widow.”


Flash forward to college. I had friends whose boyfriends walked, talked, breathed, ate and drank football. If there was a football game of any kind on, they would be at their frat house/in the dorms/at a sports bar watching the game. There was to be no talking during the game. There was to be no laughing during the game. There were to be no distractions during the game. And, I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be a football widow.”

Something else?

Now forward about ten years. I met this guy at work. He had a cute baby face, and a really nice butt. He was sweet and romantic – leaving me little notes, hand delivering my copy of the company newsletter (he was the editor of it at the time) and surprising me with flowers, and little trinkets. Even better; he liked Star Trek, but didn’t watch it very often. He watched football, but really only the big NFL event. He liked to go to the occasional baseball game, horse race, or other outdoor event, but that was as much for the fast food nachos as anything else. “HE’S PERFECT,” I thought, as I innocently walked past the bookcase full of Magic: The Gathering Cards, “I won’t be a Star Trek/Football/Sports/Gambling/Fill-in-the-blank WIDOW!”

Yeah, ummmm, right.

You see, I didn’t know the signs that I was going to be a “widow” of a different kind. When “The Hubs” popped the question and I said, “Yes,” I sealed my fate of becoming…

a Board Game Widow!

(Board Game Widow – from now on referred to as a BGW). Scoff, if you must, but take my story as a cautionary tale.

A BGW doesn’t get a break when the football/basketball/hockey/baseball season ends, because board games go on FOREVER. They are available any hour of the day and night, 365 days and nights a year. And, when it is time for a convention the board games begin one evening and go through days of play, sometimes without stopping.

A BGW knows how quickly a simple game collection can overwhelm a closet, making it impossible for your husband to put his clothes away (because we need the room for one more Dominion box). Back when The Hubs and I were dating, I naively passed by boxes of gaming paraphernalia, knowing not what kind of power they held over my husband to be. Don’t let my mistakes be yours.

Here are the ways to tell if you risk becoming a BGW, or if you are one already.

Gamer widow culprits

1. You can’t find a single six sided die in order to play Yahtzee, but have a drawer full of things that look like a Rubik’s cube on drugs. (Those are called D20’s, by the way)
2. The Hubs wants to buy a coffee table that looks like a pirate chest not just because it is cool but, “Think of the games we could put in that!”
3. The Hubs talks about people in terms of role playing statistics. “That kid is kind of clumsy, he must have rolled a low agility score.”
4. You’ve stepped on more of The Hubs miniatures than on your son’s legos.
5. And, those Magic Cards? While they never get played, they also can’t be thrown, sold or burned because, “Our son might want to play them someday.”
6. The Christmas wish list includes the words, “It’s the expansion to…”
7. You have to clean out a cupboard at Christmas, not for the kids toys, but for the dang boxes that all seem to be the size of “Risk.”
8. You understood exactly what “the size of Risk” meant in my point above.
9. You go to sleep to the sounds of dice being rolled, pieces being moved around a board, and someone complaining that they haven’t gotten a good hand yet.
10. The words, “Interesting Game Mechanic” are repeated in your home at least once a week.
11. You’ve had to arbitrate fights over whether or not to use the “Wild West Show” expansion of BANG!
12. Wil Wheaton comes up in conversation more times than if you HAD been a Star Trek Widow.
13. Game nights don’t include your favorites, Careers and Sorry, because they aren’t “Euro enough.”
14. You consider putting up a Victory Point Track in order to get your husband to finish items on his “To Do” list.
15. Lastly, heaven forbid this happens to you – – your husband decides to design a game, launch a kickstarter campaign, self-publish said game, put it in distribution, promote it and start a “League” of like minded game makers.

If that last one happens, your only choice is to offer to write something for the Valentine’s Day post of his new blog (then, call me, because chances are, I’m looking to play Uno.)

This has been a guest blog post from Janelle Vaughan, who when not tripping over game pieces blogs on crafts, recipes and more at Gluesticks and Stones.

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9 Readers Commented

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  1. Dan Smith on February 14, 2014

    Spot on! Well said, Janelle. Uno is #1 in my house. 😉

  2. Janelle on February 14, 2014

    Thanks, Dan! Your family is welcome to play Uno at our place anytime. 🙂

  3. Luke Laurie on February 14, 2014

    Love this piece! My wife did too!

  4. Norv Brooks on February 17, 2014

    I imagine this hits “home” in many homes. Great!

  5. Derek on July 13, 2014

    #16 Your husband/partner quotes long rambling discussions that seem to take place in a parallel universe called “BGG”.

  6. Stryyder on July 29, 2014

    My wife feels your pain. Especially #12. ^_^

  7. Toni on July 30, 2014

    My hubs is a bg widower….LOL

  8. on January 12, 2015

    Wait, you stepped on a miniature and the two of you are still together? He really is a keeper.

  9. Glenno on April 29, 2015

    … you could always just join in.

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