Friday, October 17, 2008

Quiz Show

Oh so many months ago, when Zeb and I first moved in together, I envisioned our evening unwinding time would be spent cooking together, reading books out loud to each other, talking for hours, or some other highly interactive activity. That is my idea of decompressing. And I'm sure that those of you who have been married any amount of time are laughing by now and you know what's coming. Zeb's definition of relax is a wee bit different than mine. He shakes off the drudgery of the day with a few hours of computer time. I'm not quite sure what rhyme and reason plot his virtual path, but it roams anywhere between online poker, Wikipedia articles on Civil War generals and R.E.M. videos on YouTube. At first this highly annoyed me and I wondered if we should start marriage counseling because, you know, first it's excessive computer time, then it's magazines in the bathroom, then next thing you know he's dealing drugs on the side. Pretty sure what I would have found out in marriage counseling is what I eventually and more economically figured out on my own - mine is not the only little world in existence. My way is not the only way. Zebulin is not me (somehow I get us confused sometimes) and he needs to be respected and admired for the preferences that make him he. Just as he does not ask me to account for why my bare feet need the protective barrier of my slippers even walking on a freshly mopped floor, he should not be questioned on what he considers relaxation.
That being said, we have come up with ways to overlap our chosen relaxation methods. Zeb gets to sit squarely at the computer and research away while I stay close with a book or make dinner. If, in the course of my reading, I find a word I don't know he dictionary.coms it for me. Often the recipe I make is online and he cooks with me by reading me the recipe over the course of an hour. If any question crosses my mind, like when is National Free Ice Cream Day, I put my handy dandy researcher to work and he googles it for me. Every time he laughs at the computer screen I ask him what's so funny and he reads the joke or calls me over to watch the video. Sometimes we play a game kind of like six degrees of separation for the internet. I'll ask him what he's looking at right that minute. It's usually something like the Wikipedia article on The Loch Ness Monster. Then I ask him how he got there and he has to go backwards and trace his trail of links for me (it's amazing, he'll start with burritos, pass through transcendental philosophy, and end up at Ninjas). This game works well because he gets to stay in computer world, and I get to hear his thought process.

These concessions on both sides have made the comp versus convo methods of relaxation workable, but it wasn't until this week that I actually began to really appreciate Zeb's researching hobby. See, along with being exceptionally curious about everything under the sun, once he learns something, he never ever forgets it. He can give names, dates, and details about everything, including every instance of me forgetting to turn off the stove. All the facts (minus the stove thing) floating around in his head make Zeb a highly prized teammate on trivia nights.

Team trivia nights. I had never heard of it before we moved here where trivia night draws as much enthusiasm and as big of a crowd as Monday Night Football. If one were addicted there is a trivia night available at different venues (bars) every night of the week. I suppose the fact that we've been twice this week means we might soon need TAA or whatever you might call a group for addicts of this kind. But it's such a pleasant, if competitive, way to spend an evening. You gather round a table with five of your smartest friends and a bottle of wine and the Kahlua/honey drizzled baked brie that my sister's got me hooked on, and you pour forth your useless knowledge. And it feels so good. It gives us self esteem when we win (even though I didn't answer any questions I still win if I'm on the team, right?). It gives us that little boost that will get us out of bed to go to work the next morning. But we could stop any time we want to. We probably will after we try a few other trivia nights, just so we're making a really informed decision to kick the habit, you know.
And now for an unrelated photo of our neighbor's lovely yard:

7 comments:

Valerie said...

Oooooooh you are so luck that you didn't answer your phone just now because I was calling to chew you out about cheating on me with another trivia night. I feel hurt, betrayed, and worried that you might be stealing the only contributing member of my trivia team away from me (with the excellent exception of Wendy; basically, you and I are worthless).

Valerie said...

And by "you are so luck" I do, of course, mean that you are very fortunate. No that you are somehow the source of fortune.

Sarah said...

Um, how do I defend myself? We stumbled into the second one unawares with Lisa and Joe last night because trivia nights are so ubiquitous around here. And it wasn't the same without you. OK, it was pretty fun, we'll all go and knock 'em dead next week while enjoying the free bottle of wine that we (meaning Zeb and Wendy) won.

Melanie said...

I want to do team triva with you! I'd join you in the cheering section, and I'm sure my husband's brain could come up with a few facts that your husband's couldn't. Last time we played trivial pursuit, I think there was one question I could answer that he couldn't. It was probably about alcohol.

JShaffer said...

I love the trail of thought 6 degrees game. What a great wife, encouraging your hubby's hobby while sneaking out of him his inmost thoughts- brilliant!

Dad said...

OK that's it. That's all the incentive I need to schedule a trip to Annapolis. TRIVIA NIGHT! I love it. When you were little bitty we used to play Trivial Pursuit all the time with our friends. I think your mother might have had a Halloween party where you had to dress up as your favorite Trivial Pursuit answer.

Mm said...

That's true... it was the best party ever. You had to come dressed either as a Trivial Pursuit question or answer...Since the gameboard is set up to have you aquire wedges of "pie" in differing colors representing categories, we had pies of all of the appropriate colors. You earned desserts options as you earned gameboard pieces. Glad we had a fairly large livingroom since someone (I think it was Nicholas Ivins) came as What is the only man-made structure visible from space? (the Great Wall of China...)