Pillow Talk: Win game of love with ‘straight line’

Libby Peck explains why she’s not good at games in general, ruling out both sex games and mind games.

I am absolutely terrible at playing games — every game.

Give me a Rubik’s Cube, and I’ll probably die of old age before I can solve it. Hand me a crossword, and I’ll fill in two words before tossing it aside in exasperation. Suggest putting together a puzzle, and I’ll laugh in your face. I’m pretty sure I’ve never even won a game of Mario Kart — kind of embarrassing.

I don’t really work in terms of logic. Building a hotel on Park Place using all of my hard-earned Monopoly money, only on the off chance that someone else playing should land on it and pay me, doesn’t make sense in my mind. I’d rather hold onto my small fortune, thank you very much.

Somehow, it doesn’t make sense to me that a little bit of twisting and turning in the process of any kind of experience could somehow lead to a better outcome. The quickest path between two places is a straight line, so that’s the path I like to take.

Mind games, in turn, are not my thing. I would be a horrible politician (I’m also bad at lying), and if Jigsaw decided to pass his legacy on to me for some reason, the entire Saw collection would quickly go down the tubes.

So, when it comes to mind games of love and sex, there’s one thing that I do: fail.

OK, maybe I’m being a bit hard on myself, but it’s pretty bad. My relationships until this point have been formed because I have bigger metaphorical balls than the guy I’m interested in and am willing to be the first to say, “Yeah, I like you. Do you like me?” I can’t deal with the whole hard-to-get thing – probably because I’m not hard to get. I’m not hard to get because I’m incredibly impatient, not because I’m incredibly desperate.

One of my girls once said mind games are all about “manipulating the equilibrium of power in a relationship” (yes, that’s an actual quote, and yes, our conversations sound that intelligent). Where I’m horrible at games, I’m really good at obtaining and maintaining power — it’s not too difficult when you’re headstrong and taller than half the men you date.

I guess I just don’t understand why relationships – physical and emotional – can’t be boiled down to the basics. Why is role-play a turn on? Why should I dress up like a French maid and make my partner dress like a butler named Jeeves if our clothes are going to end up on the floor anyway? And why should I wait between two and five days to call or text back someone I’m extremely interested in?

I want what I want, and I want it now. The fundamentals of attraction are lost on me, I guess. Maybe I should pick up a book or two on the male (or, for that matter, female) mind, but I’m a poor college student. Plus, I doubt Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus would tell me anything I don’t already know.

This is a public, possibly embarrassing way of exercising my demons, but at this point, it’s really my only complaint. I usually like complications; hell, I’m an English major! I live for sentences so contrived in symbols and metaphors that they’re almost past the point of recognition. I guess when I’m so busy analyzing the written word, I have no patience for the contrived human mind.

When it comes down to it, I know I’m going to have to deal with the annoying games so entwined with the basis of modern American relationships, but I don’t care who knows I’m not happy about it.

Libby Peck can be reached at elizabeth.peck@temple.edu.


  1. I have always believed that if it is right then you should be able to be yourself. Pretending to be cool when you are enthusiastic could disppoint the other person if they are keen and might even put them off.
    Be yourself and say what you think. If it works great, if it doesn’t work then maybe it was never meant to be.

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