If It Weren't For You


The detailed analysis of this game has already been given in Chapter 5. It was historically the second game uncovered, after ‘Why Don’t You—Yes But’, which up to that point had been regarded merely as an interesting phenomenon. With the additional discovery of IWFY, it became clear that there must be a whole department of social action based on ulterior transactions. This led to a more active search for such goings-on, and the present collection is one outcome.

Briefly, a woman marries a domineering man so that he will restrict her activities and thus keep her from getting into situations which frighten her. If this were a simple operation, she might express her gratitude when he performed this service for her. In the game of IWFY, however, her reaction is quite the opposite: she takes advantage of the situation to complain about the restrictions, which makes her spouse feel uneasy and gives her all sorts of advantages. This game is the internal social advantage. The external social advantage is the derivative pastime ‘If It Weren’t For Him’, which she plays with her congenial lady friends.