In which I’m hypercompetitive, but somehow still have friends?

Text conversation about the challenge of finding people who are willing to lose to us during our tiebreaker:

Thomas: yeah, we definitely blew our cover trying to beat each other.

Jade: in my defense, I wasn’t just trying to beat you. You just happened to be on my level.

Thomas: thanks for the clarification. To be clear, I was indeed aiming to defeat you.

Jade: the others are just pawns you sacrifice to defeat the queen.

Thursday morning, we left Estelí, got brunch, and reflected a little on our practicum week experience.

All the Nica 68 volunteers met up in Managua and had the night free to do what we wanted. (Read: stay in, be quiet, prepare for our full day of Friday charlas.)

Ok, so maybe our night was a little louder than that. We talked, we played cards, and eventually we ended up playing ERS, a game I never won in high school.

Anyway, it started out with a full table of players. (The objective of the game is to get all the cards. You have to slap different card patterns to take cards. It gets intense.)

I’d asked Thomas if he wanted to play, and his face lit up when I told him which game we were playing.

Finally, a worthy competitor.

Right, so we had a table full of people, and slowly, people started to lose. Y’all know how competitive I am. I wouldn’t call myself a sore loser, but I certainly don’t like losing. This game is crazy, and if you’re playing right, everyone will end up slapping each other’s hands as hard as they possibly can. It’s not intentional, but it is the nature of the game.

We played until it was just Thomas and me. Both of us have quick hands, but I tend to…I don’t know, be more outwardly competitive? I yell a lot. I hit the table when I’m frustrated with myself. This is possibly the only time when I wear my emotions on my sleeve. In every other situation, people tell me they can’t tell what’s going through my head. I’m pretty hard to read.

Thomas is the opposite. He’s infuriatingly calm and I’m flying off the handle even when I’m winning. 

The point is, he won the first hand, and I congratulated him on a well-played game, because deep down, I’m a polite and courteous lady (and game recognizes game.) And then we played a rematch. Same people as before, and once again it got down to him and me.

That time, I won. When it got down to the two of us, I asked Amanda to document my win. (Apparently I get really cocky when I play. That win definitely wasn’t a sure thing.)

Today, my pinky is bruised because I jammed it into Thomas’s hand when I was going for the cards. 

The injury was worth it though. Just look at the joy on my face! And look at how calm Thomas is as he slowly loses. Somehow, someday, I’ll get my face to look that peaceful. 

left: intense concentration. right: homeboy is down to his last few cards. bottom: shaking hands after my victorious revenge

After playing cards, several of us ended up talking until around 2 a.m. I don’t even remember much of what we talked about (that said, I’m writing this the next day, after getting roughly 3 hours of sleep. I may have fallen asleep on a Nicaraguan man’s shoulder on the bus home from Managua today. It was for less than a minute, but I’m obviously exhausted.)

Really, it doesn’t matter what we talked about. I am so so excited to get to my permanent site, but I’m also very aware that once I leave my training town, I won’t see these people nearly as much. That’s rough, because I feel a pretty crazy connection with this whole group (and I really love a few people in particular.) We’re all very different, but we have a similar purpose that brings us together.

Okay, I don’t even know what the topic of this blog is anymore because I’m so tired. Maybe you get my point? I like to take advantage of the time I have with this wonderful group, especially when that time includes me winning competitions.

6 more weeks of training, y’all.

6 thoughts on “In which I’m hypercompetitive, but somehow still have friends?

  1. Jackie October 1, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    Yessssss ERS I was just thinking about this game the other day. And I remember how competitive you are playing it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jade October 1, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      I suuuuuucked at it in high school. Then I didn’t play for like 8 years and now I’m magically good.


  2. Gramps October 1, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    Glad you are having a good time.


  3. Mom October 1, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    They have no idea that you have had lots of practice competing with your twin sister your whole life! Maybe next time you will have to play Spoons 🙂


  4. Anna October 3, 2016 / 7:55 am

    This is a really cute post. You are competitive af and are definitely very cocky when you win, so I imagined this scene perfectly.


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