Spider Solitaire’s Addictive Hold Over Me


Solitaire, especially spider solitaire, is a game for one, played alone. Sitting at the computer playing this addicting game ate up more hours, days, weeks and months of my life than imaginable. Besides not getting much accomplished, I developed a pain in my lower back from slouching in my chair with my feet up and in my right shoulder from all the tiny shifts up and down back and forth I made with the mouse.

Caught in spider’s web, I can be found tilted back in my captain’s chair, hand on mouse, eyes on screen moving cards around so they aligned up according to suit oblivious to the world around me. My eyes would dart to the little box at the bottom of the screen checking the status on my number of moves and score. Depending on the result, I would feel either elated with victory or deflated with defeat. My mantra being, “I must, I must, I simply must beat my top score”, which was 1179 since I reset my statistics because I didn’t like my winning to losing ratio. At long last, I made the unimaginable decision to delete solitaire from my computer.

I have to admit I’ve deleted solitaire once before. I thought foolishly that I had it under control, that I could play solitaire on my terms so I reinstalled it. Not so, now I accept that I am addicted to solitaire.

My routine was that I would get up in the morning and go check my email with plans to start out the day writing or blog maintenance or other blog reading, whatever. While I waited for my browser to open, which if it is longer than a second is too long for me, I opened spider solitaire so I wouldn’t waste a single minute. In fact, solitaire would always be open and ready for me. If I couldn’t beat my top score I had to keep playing till I did or came close to it before I thought in exasperation “Enough, I need to get something done.”

Usually, when I went to the computer it was with the hope of getting some work done but solitaire sucked up all the time. I would say that on average I would play eight plus hours of solitaire a day. That’s a full-time job. Breaking that down it would look like this:

  1. two hours in the morning
  2. two in the afternoon
  3. two hours in the evening
  4. Sometimes if I couldn’t sleep I would get up and play solitaire till 5 in the morning.
  5. then at night two or more hours depending when I went to bed

I was sure I couldn’t be the only one with this problem. I found others writing in the same boat. Check out these fascinating sites.

After deleting solitaire, there were times I found myself wandering the house feeling lost. When I went to check my email is when I really felt the loss. But on the upside, the first week I deleted solitaire I got some serious work done. Not just on the computer but cleaning and projects around the house. It was exciting.

It hasn’t been easy but I found another pastime, when I just need a break to unwind at PuzzleAttic. I mentioned PuzzleAttic in my post The Changing Face of Relationships. It is my brothers web site devoted to free online jigsaw puzzles. It is one of the rare, few, if only site where when it says free, it means free. You can work as many jigsaw puzzles as you want and never be subjected to advertising or being locked out because free really meant trial and to continue you need to pay. Not so, with Puzzle Attic. And you have the opportunity to upload your own photo’s to work as puzzles. And soon to come is a sharing capability where you can work your friends puzzles making putting puzzles together not quite as solitary as solitaire.

Speaking of solitaire being a lonely game keeping me from life and engaging with others, I found this fantastic version of the song Solitaire by The Carpenters on YouTube. Karen Carpenter’s voice adds a rich mournful depth to the song, which I think describe the loneliness of solitaire addiction for me.

Solitaire (single version) by the Carpenters

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6 responses to “Spider Solitaire’s Addictive Hold Over Me

  1. Great article and thanks for the plug Sis.

  2. Hello, hello,
    Missed commenting on the last blog. And will do so I allowed. I have to tell you that with a just wondering attitude I clicked on PuzzleAttic last night and began to work a puzzle. Now get this! I have been so challenged by the hands on puzzles that I have purchased one or two – probably too many pieces and never completed them. Only adding to my belief about myself of not being good at such things. Well last night as I was working on this puzzle I began to experience success almost immediately. Continued working on the puzzle in the morning until half way through…
    Couldn’t wait to get back to it. Then I accidentally deleted what I had done so far. Very unpleasant sounds came from my room as I had already dropped and broke a half dozen eggs. Yesterday it was a jar of cranberry applesauce all over the counter. Normally I would have given up. I found the puzzle again and put it together – the whole thing. Great!!!!
    I will certainly be doing more puzzles! Can certainly see how addictive this could become; and also a boost for morale or a break from tasks and chores.(Ha, ha!)
    I am wondering about this concept with puzzles – working puzzles on line – and those of us who experience a bit of dyslexia. Somehow I was able to view the pieces and move them around with a much greater perspective.

    Loved listening to Karen Carpenter. Forgot what a pure voice she had. Aren’t
    we blessed that it was recorded?

    Thank you Janice once again!

    Cathy

    • I feel the same way Cathy. I think it helps me with spatial problem solving. I can flip that puzzle piece and see where it fits before I bring it over. I believe that dyslexia is an issue of mine. Now this would be a great idea for a study. Do you have a hypothesis to propose for this new study?

  3. Thanks Cathy,
    I am glad you enjoyed the PuzzleAttic.com site.

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