Whether from nature’s design or a childhood filled with intense sports, I am an incredibly competitive person. It may not match my diminutive frame, but its the truth of who I am. I like winning. A LOT. Always have. The competition doesn’t really matter. Competitive sports, group projects, Wii speed slice, “friendly” board games…I’m out for the kill.

Nate is a competitive person also, but in a different way. He played division one soccer in college. He knows what it means to want to win and to give all of himself toward that end. But he’s able to draw a healthy line. Me? Start a silly round of charades with friends and I get crazy eyes. Adrenaline pumps and I start to bead up with sweat. I want to win. No, I HAVE to win. (For any Friends watchers out there, I am Monica Gellar in the great Barbados Ping Pong Tourney. I even have the hair.)

Sometimes this displays itself in ugly ways. Like the time I lost to Nate at cards and in disgust threw my hand in his direction and hit him in the eye. Hence beginning the great Jenny Card Probation of 2005 that was just recently repealed. I know I’m a bad loser. I’m working on that. I’m trying to learn a thing or two from Nate about being a gracious loser. Basically how to not throw a tantrum or think daggers at the competition.

After purposefully blocking Nate’s next move while playing a board game the other night (and laughing maniacally about it) I was again so thankful that he appreciates the fact that competition is part of my makeup. That he knows and loves me because of it and not in spite of it. That he isn’t trying to change me. Instead of trying to purge this part of me, I’m going to embrace it…and maybe just work on being better about losing.

So thank you Nate for loving me the way I am in all my competitive craziness. I’m so glad that the two of us aren’t wasting years trying to strong-arm the other spouse into being a better person. There’s freedom in that and health in our marriage. Also helpful to maintain harmony is being on the same team whenever possible.


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