No Country For Smart Girls? Do we dumb down for dates?


The other night I attended a cocktail/dinner party at a girlfriend's house. She had rounded a bunch of us up for this party simply to have us check out her new man. Le Sigh. It's your man. If you're happy with him. I'm happy for you. But she was really anxious for us to meet dude and give her our opinion. About ten of us, six women and four men were in attendance. With the exception of her new man, all of us have known each other for years. We don't hang out a lot anymore but we're a comfortable group around each other.

First thing with Her New Man (HNM) was that he was kinda pushy. She would start to answer something but he would cut her off and finish answering for her. She and I were off to the side having a private conversation when he walked over, "What are you talking about?" I said, "Hair products." He looked at her and then at me and then said, "Oh, okay." and walked away. I sent her a severe side-eye as he headed towards the other side of the room.

"Oh, he just likes to be interested in what I'm interested in, that's all." I held back my patented eye roll and the urge to ask, "Is that what they're calling it now?" and left it alone.

Later in the evening after a dinner where HNM was determined to be the smartest, funniest, wittiest person at the table (he wasn't); she pulled out some games. Spades was suggested but me and one of the other ladies there have routinely beat their behinds. HNM asked which game we rarely play and a few people said Scrabble. He said, "Okay, let's play Scrabble. Who's the best player here?" Everyone pointed to me. He pointed at me and two other people and said, "Let's go."

I declined to play. I could tell he was the type to be mad competitive and you know what? It's not that serious. But then he started to smack talking, "If you don't think you have the mental agility to keep up, okay then." BougieLand, I rarely rise to bait and this time was no different. I just smiled and shrugged. But he just kept going in to the point that he made it actually awkward for everyone else if I didn't play. Fine. 

I sat down at the table with him and two other people and we got started. Is it my fault that I had first draw and just happened to pull a seven letter word out of the bag? No it is not. When you open a game with 85 points, it's kinda all gravy from there. But this ninja actually put down "cat". My six year old nephew does better than "cat" for goodness sake. So... I wasn't supposed to add onto it and make "catechism"? I wasn't supposed to point out that "justice" does NOT have a "G" in it?!

Apparently not. My girlfriend pulled me on the side and asked me to "please, please" not beat him in Scrabble. His mood and ability to deliver her cocoa correctly that evening depended on him winning this game. [Yes, I'm serious] When I continued to blink at her blankly she said, "I want him in a good mood and I need for everybody to get along. Haven't you ever just let a man win? It's a stroke for his ego which equals a stroke for me later. And really Chele, who cares who wins?" I had to think about this (and tweet it)... had I ever thrown a game for a man's ego? Uh... no. As a matter of fact, hell to the no.

Maybe that's why I date very self-confident almost arrogant men. I want no parts of a man who is so insecure that a Scrabble loss throws off his cocoa game. I mean, seriously?

But anyway, she was all pleading blinky eyes so I told her I'd try not to beat him down too badly. I was up by 112 points but I would try. I don't really know how to throw a Scrabble game. I set up a triple word score for him and ninja put "coat" in there. She stroked his arm while cooing, "Baby you're so smart." She owns a million dollar real estate company and was cooing over "coat"? Jesus be some dignity.

I played the word "and" (doing the least!). Dude followed up by putting an "L" in front of it. She clapped. I gave up. I played "quixotic" and went up by 200. Ninja was salty and starting to snap at folks. When she stroked his hand, he pushed it away, "Baby. I got this." Like the 10 tiles left in the bag and whatever he had in his hand was going to net him over 200 points? I mean the mood in there was tense. It was Scrabble, y'all!

I was over it. I pleaded a headache and forfeited the game. As I was gathering up my purse, he said, "You know I was coming back on you, right?" Chele took one for the team, "Yup, you got me." As I fled into the street with two other friends, I allowed myself the eye roll I had been holding back. We all agreed that HNM had made a terrible impression on all of us. Someone else drew the short straw to let her know.

As I tweeted the experience, a few guys said she was just trying to be wife material. By acting like "coat" is a multisyllabic bit of word treasure? No. Thank. You.

Then I got into a conversation with @Reads4Pleasure and @ASmith86 and we wondered - do women do this? Lose games so their men feel big and strong? Do men want us to do this? Am I seriously emasculating a dude if I beat him at Wii Golf? Can a Scrabble game make or break a relationship? I gotta downgrade my vocabulary to "Cat in the Hat" levels to get a husband? For real tho? Is it really No Country For Smart Girls? Do we truly have to dumb down to catch and keep a man? 

I can't do it. We decided to start our own movement #NVNV - No Vocab No VaJayJay or maybe #NGNG No Grammar No GoodGood? Ladies, Gents... please tell me - what part of the game is this? Answer any, all or none of the questions above. The floor is yours.