Tiebreakers: One Promise, One Game, and Two Hearts– all Broken

Our second episode in the Tiebreakers series is provided by quibbling lovers John and Sarah– real readers, fake names.  (See part I here.) Here’s the evidence:

The Plaintiff:

Dear DDDT,

Not much to say really. The photo speaks for itself:

Slade Image
(Maybe a little scotch tape?)

One minute I was playing Halo with all of my friends, and the next minute, I saw my lovely wife holding the game CD, which she then separated into two pieces.

What’s the next step for us? Is there a way we can mend our differences (and my game CD), or are some things just too broken to fix?

Signed- a Three Star Colonel in the human struggle against imminent alien invasion,

John McClane

The Defendant:

Dear DDDT:

Here are the facts:

Fact: I am a really nice wife who doesn’t really mind when my husband plays halo with his buddies.
Fact: My husband was playing halo for the 6th night that week.
Fact: It was late at night on a work night.
Fact: We live in a studio apartment
Fact: We had both agreed he would only play for 1 hour.
Fact: He went over that time limit.
Fact: I broke his halo game in half to stop him from playing – the replacement cost of breaking the TV & the xBox was too much so the only logical thing to do was break the game.

My husband thinks it was crazy thing for me to do, but under the circumstances it was the only logical thing to do. Who’s the crazy one

Signed, [and perfectly sane] Sarah Connor

(Sorry John, we can still see you.)

Saith the Learned Panel:

Ryan: John’s feelings are important.  And so are his alien-slaughtering responsibilities (that often tends to get overlooked in these sorts of disputes).  But a wife has needs too.  Extra points for the strong move- Sarah wins me over with her chutzpah.

Macy: I come at this with sort of a bias because video games drive me nuts.  Did she go a little far?  Maybe.  But I can see myself doing the same thing if a rule like this was broken.  A good move from a spunky wife.

Davis: I’m with Sarah on this one.  He plays Halo?  Break the game.  He looks at another woman?  Scoop his eyes out with a hot spoon.  Cleave together, or beat him with a meat cleaver.

Melissa: I’m with Sarah. When you’re dealing with an addict, extreme measures are called for.

Christian: Breaking the game was a crazy thing to do, but also a sassy Mo’Nique thing to do, and sometimes we clueless men need a little crazy to snap us back into the world.  Sounds like John was consistently breaking the rule, so maybe he had the game breaking coming.

Rebecca: I’m torn because I think her anger was totally justified.  However, I do think breaking the game was a little much.  Perhaps rendering it useless by scratching it after he went to bed that night would have better served the purpose.

The Verdict:  Hard to tell.  Every one of the panelists, except for Melissa, is at least a little ambivalent, but if you hold a gun to their heads (preferably the Halo 3 Plasma Pistol) it looks like five in favor of Sarah Connor, one in favor of John McClane.*  Yippee-kay-yay.  John.

*We’re assuming Davis is being sarcastic.

Alright, now let’s let the mob decide. What do you guys think?

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19 Responses to Tiebreakers: One Promise, One Game, and Two Hearts– all Broken

  1. Meredith says:

    While I agree with Sarah’s frustration (I, too, hate video games) and think that John was way in the wrong, I feel like the panel didn’t truly answer the heart of the issue. They mainly just felt like Sarah made a gutsy move and, in their eyes, that won the fight. But was breaking the game truly justified even if it was spunky? While I would want to break the game (and have wanted to with a certain son that gets furious when playing Madden every day), was it an appropriate way to show frustration? Was the drama worth the effect on the relationship (unless John was not really too bugged by it)? Will that move make the situation overall better or not?

    (Braden wants it clarified that he doesn’t play video games.)

  2. Braden says:

    I’m with Meredith. John was clearly in the wrong but the response was inappropriate. I think the judging is also making use of a double standard–any husband who did something analagous would be (rightly) seen as a real jerk and possibly abusive. I’m not saying Sarah is any of those things, just that switching the genders of the plaintiffs puts a very different complexion on the whole thing.

    Anyway, of greater concern is that he wears a leopard print snuggie–and against that wallpaper, too.

  3. Christian says:

    Hold up. I didn’t see that second picture until after I voted. I’m changing my vote to John.

    Braden and Meredith make a good point, which I agree with, and that’s why I was pretty split on my vote. Breaking the game was inappropriate, but so was John breaking their rules, and it sounds like he did that multiple times, while the game was only broken once (which is the bigger offense, of course).

  4. tyler says:

    I think the impartial jury needs to know whether the entire Halo crew were wrapped in such fleece finery? Is that a “Toasty Wrap”, a “Slanket”, or a “Snuglee” anyway? A quick Wikipedia search hints at the possibility that individuals wearing such garments are in fact members of “camp cults.” It does appear that John is a member of one of these, I mean look at the concentration. Sara, if he does not look at you with such passion, you can predict a future full of disturbance (think Star Wars). Keep hot spoons in your pocket at all times. Solid decision by the Jury.

  5. Ryan says:

    I agree with Meredith that just making a “strong move” and being “spunky” don’t necessarily carry the day. But really, this was a moment where she had to get his attention. I’m not sure what else she could have done, as I imagine there had already been no small amount of whining and pleading.

    In other words, I don’t think she was just acting to express frustration. She was looking for a way to actually stop the unwarranted behavior, and that was the last good means available to her.

    I suppose she could have also unplugged it, then she’d only be stopping the game, without causing him deep pain. Less effective.

  6. Davis says:

    I’m going to have to resign from the judges’ panel. I can’t share the dais with this collection of unhinged lunatics.

    Breaking the game? Wrong and lame.

  7. Teej says:

    I am afraid that most of the panel should have recused themselves from this decision due to their obvious disdain for gaming in general. Clearly that had an effect on their determination as to whether the gaming was too excessive, thus justifying the destruction of the game, or was not enough to justify the Defendants reckless behavior. That said, I am wildly in favor of gaming so I must now recuse myself from this comment . . . [the remainder of this comment has been retracted because its author is now recused].

  8. Ryan says:

    To the rest of the readers, sorry for that last comment from Teej. Our ethics committee is now looking into whether we need to go break all of his game CD’s due to his unethical commenting on a topic in which he clearly has something to gain.

    If he were a lawyer he’d have been disbarred by now.

  9. anna says:

    Interesting blog, and interesting that I should happen upon it today. I have actually resorted to Rebecca’s idea of scratching the game when they are no longer playing. It is very effective, can be blamed on the children, and though it’s not exactly honest, it’s necessary when the game has taken over your once delightful and attentive husband. You are simply rescuing them from something they can’t do themselves.

  10. Nate says:

    There is no question in my mind who the winners are here…

    Adam Smith and the American People.

    Thanks to both husband and wife, the “invisible hand” has contributed an additional $59.99 into the american economy.

    Now that’s stimulus.

    Thank you both. I can already feel the recovery speeding up.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I am with Sarah on this one. I have no patience for video games and on day six, I would have broken the game, possibly the x-box, and maybe my husband’s finger.

    Disclaimer: I come from a long line of women who have no tolerance for video games. My own mother ripped our Atari 5200 from the TV and the wall rendering it useless, and my sister broke up with a boyfriend of two years because he played too much Halo – so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

  12. Kerstin Bean says:

    I love this tiebreaker! The video game argument is probably one of the only things that gets me really upset in our marriage. Ask Wade. I do admit to some irrational outbursts but what’s a women to do? You can only try and be patient for so long. I can see Sarah biting her tongue the first 5 days of video game playing- telling herself he’s just stressed he needs some veg time- which I am all in favor of. It is the excess I can’t stand and it sounds the same for Sarah. So on day 6 she just broke. The ideal would be instead of blowing up on day 6, talk about it on day 3 when emotions aren’t so strong. Thus making John more aware of her feelings and more likely to follow the rules in exactness. But so hard to be ideal when it’s in the moment.

    Thank you for this tiebreaker. . . now I feel a little more justified in my rages.

  13. Skewquake says:

    Nate hit the nail on the head. The economy and the makers of halo are the only winners here. For we all know that if John is really a serious gamer he has already bought a replacement. So what did Sara win? $60 bucks less in the checking account, a husband who will always be suspicious of what crazy will do next, and a story to tell to all her friends and family illustrating how obsessed her husband is. Because if we have learned anything from sitcoms and commercials husbands are buffoons who’s passions can only be controlled by creative women.

  14. Wade says:

    Yeah, boy, Kerstin sure can get upset in our marriage at her brothers when they play video games excessively. Its my job as a supportive husband to try and calm her down and remind her that her brothers are good people and that they just need some time in front of those electronic computerized games every once in a while, and that not all men like to sit and drink hot chocolate together talking about the latest books we’re reading together like we do in our spare time.

  15. Wade says:

    But back to the subject. I vote Defendant with +1 bonus points.

    from the Defendant:

    “I broke his halo game in half to stop him from playing – the replacement cost of breaking the TV & the xBox was too much so the only logic thing to do was break the game.”

    I think we can all agree that if our spouse does something in excess, destroying the objects enabling the excess is the obvious time-tested solution. But, +1 bonus point goes to the defendant for remaining rational during her spouses excess and curtailing it in the most cost-effective way.

  16. Andrea says:

    Wade – Good Point. Sarah could not have been that illogical if she’d reasoned to be cost effect.

    Anna & Rebecca – scratching the disc on the down low, seems a bit too sneaky and passive aggressive. I like sarah’s tactics. She thought she would speak his language to get her point across…the language of alien destruction.

    my vote is for sarah. drastic times call for drastic measures.

  17. Natalie says:

    Although her move was pretty drastic, 6 days in a row living in a small space listening to the same video game music that she despises sounds like it would do it for anyone. Sharing 700 square feet with 3 people puts a new twist on things that I have experienced myself. Small space plus annoying game playing plus a husband that won’t keep to the rules= an attention-getting activity. Breaking the game is an attention-getting activity. Vote Sarah. Definitely.

  18. Shane says:

    Newton was a smart guy: “For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction” Let me share a similar experience.

    When I was in the 5th grade my father, in front of my siblings, took a hammer to the first two CDs in my young collection:
    – Guns N Roses: Appetite For Destruction
    – Beastie Boys: License to Ill

    Watching those shards of musical genius litter the garage floor changed me– but not how my dad intended. A line was drawn in the sand and my father’s bold actions pushed to he other side, locked arm-in-arm with my new brothers Axel & Ad Rock. Bound together, I was determined to champion their cause. I repurchased the albums and converted cds to unmarked tapes. Every time I pushed play on my walkman in the back of my parents mini-van, a revolution took place.

    Sarah’s wrong here on all accounts and rest-assured, there will be a reaction. Sarah– just don’t be surprised tomorrow morning when John leaves a note explaining his decision to join the marines or audition for a part in Avatar II. I just hope for your sake that there’s at least one rational person in this relationship.. Breaking things is never the answer unless you’re wearing an adidas tracksuit and there happens to be a decent beat in the air. It’s rash and only circumvents the real problem. Besides, what’s really broken here?

  19. Mary says:

    i laughed so hard at the pic of S in that snuggie.

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