The Rules of the Game

          The Game is like the first rule of fight club. We refuse to mention it since we have all agreed to meet, date and relate by its rules. If we balk at the rules, we usually have a friend or loved one to call foul and bring us back to our positions. Going off-sides, getting red carded, 15 yard penalties are all within the rules of the Game. ‘The Game of Love’ by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders is a simple tune that says the ‘purpose of a man is to love a woman’ and a woman’s purpose was to love the opposite sex. Very simple and no strategies needed. Compared to ‘Game of Love’ by Santana which says the game takes laughter and pain or Lady Gaga’s ‘Love Game’ which mentions riding a disco stick and wanting to touch it to ‘quit it’. Something tells us this game is much more complicated than some game 5 year olds make up.

          Lee says: For the readers benefit, I will try to describe and define the parameters of the game along with the rules:

          Goals: The ‘winner’ of the game is the person in a relationship that maintains control and avoids rejection. The winner is able to be in relationship without being vulnerable, approachable or intimate. This player is usually willing to leave said relationship as soon as things seem uncontrollable, stressful or there is a crisis. Once they leave, they begin to play The Game once again.

          How many Players: This game is ideally played with two players and a multitude of auxiliary players. Like war, each game is a skirmish and other soldiers can ‘lend a hand’ or serve as fodder, excuses or points of stress or crisis.

          How do you play? When someone has decided to play ‘The Game’, they usually know no better. Committing to play this game is not unlike ‘Jumanji’ where you play regardless of results and losses and rhinos. The game begins as soon as the player decides to play. The Game goes like this: I like you but you don’t get to know that. I will not say it first unless it serves me and gives me the upper hand. I will not open myself to ridicule or the possibility of anything deeper than lust. I will maintain a Teflon coating protecting my heart and, regardless of evidence showing me that you wish to have open, honest communication, I will continue to run the game. I will not call you but may randomly text you if it serves me. My friends, regardless of their ELA, or earned love average, are my best source of coaching.

          Different Strategies: The following are timeless strategies that work on some but not all. We suggest you switch it up.

          Push/Pull: This is the ‘I want you/I hate you’ strategy that has been used for centuries.

          Wear you down: This technique works on the stalker principle. Texting, emailing, random calls followed by odd gifts and visits. Please avoid freaky gifts such as dead animals or locks of hair.

          Too cool for you: This is the classic ‘I don’t give a shit about you’ strategy that works on most weak minded individuals with a low self esteem.

          Mommy/Daddy: This is the care-taker strategy. This strategy requires the line ‘Don’t worry babe, I got this’.

Please note: The Game is ongoing and can be played by two people as many times as possible. The Game encourages repeat players.

          I think I need to take a shower now. This game makes me sick and anxious, kind of like Slap Jack but with hearts and other body parts.

          Paul says: I like Dungeons and Dragons because, unlike The Game, everyone playing knows that it has all been made up in your mind. And you get to eat Cheetos while you play.

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