Remember the old woman who lived in a shoe? I don't judge her nearly as harshly as I used to, now that I have a husband and six children. In our 100-year-old farmhouse, we have broth, bread, and lots of Smucker personalities, and this blog is about our lives.
Sunday, January 03, 2016
Why I Hate Table Games
The only table game I really like is Boggle.
You know, that game where you shake up 16 little cubes and they all fall into place in the tray and then someone starts the timer at the same time as you lift the cover off the tray and then it's a mad 2-minute scramble to find all the words you can and write them down and you see who got words that no one else did and you get points for all the unique words you found.
I love to play Boggle. It has all the elements that make a fun game.
It involves words.
It is fast mentally but not physically.
It is not confusing.
No one talks.
There's a little bit of strategy but not too much.
I usually win.
There's a little bit of luck and a lot of skill.
It doesn't take that long.
You can quit any time.
There are many, many people in my life who love to play games, and there are many, many games that can be played.
Ticket to Ride and Phase Ten and Mad Gab and Monopoly and Mexican Train and Chess and Risk and Rook and Dutch Blitz and Settlers of Catan and many many more.
My anxiety level is increasing just doing this exercise of trying to think of names of games.
I hate most table games.
I know that's a strong word, that hate stuff, but my feelings are in a category far beyond indifference and well into outright hostility.
And yet, sometimes I join the game, because I am polite and I shouldn't make a fuss and I do like to be included in the group and it's rude to sit and read when someone organized a game for the enjoyment of all.
This is why I don't enjoy games:
People talk while you're trying to think.
Luck is always always against me. I always draw a run of 8 when we're looking for two sets of four. [Phase Ten]
I am all confused and going HUH?? while all around me people snatch cards from their hands or the piles before them and SLAP them on the stacks in the middle of the table. [Dutch Blitz]
The people who know all about strategy [Smuckers and men] chuckle indulgently when I make stupid moves [pretty much every game ever].
And the games go on and on. Oh, People, the tortures I have endured in various and sundry cozy gatherings in living rooms and around dining tables at rented houses at the coast and family gatherings. I sit and wait for my turn, wondering in confusion what I should do next, or I sit and wait knowing full well what to do next but it looks like Jesus will come back before my turn ever comes around again. And I have gotten up and made popcorn and hot chocolate before my turn came around again, and texted my sisters, and used the bathroom, and filled the dishwasher.
And I have endured games where people were all about FINISHING this game, round after endless round.
The clocks ticked, the sun set, stores closed, ships came into port and unloaded their cargo and sailed away again, hair turned gray, children grew up and went to college, kingdoms rose and fell, and still these games went on and on and on.
Today Paul's mom was here and she and I and Paul played Scrabble. Scrabble's one redeeming factor is that it involves words. But it also involves tons of luck, which is always against me, and strategy, which I am terrible at. And people talking while I'm trying to think, mostly about whether or not that word is really a word, and what about chemical abbreviations like Fe for iron or Fi the music term, and oh dear you took my spot, and give me the dictionary.
So I had no hopes of doing well but I wanted to be a good hostess so I played.
But this time I got the Q and the U at the same time, miracle of miracles. If I had had an I, I could have made QUINOA.
But I didn't have an I. Of course.
However, I was able to make OPAQUE, which was a very good beginning but not one I expected to sustain.
Then I got a J and put it on a triple word block to make JET.
I put long words out into empty spaces, but Paul and his mom found ways to cluster letters into solid blocks, so they made 4 or 5 words at one go, up and down and sideways, and got lots of points.
But I stayed within sight of them, so I played with a little sense of hope, which was a new experience.
"Von" was in the dictionary, yea, even that dictionary that Anne was sure was old and inaccurate because it didn't have nearly all the words that are in her Scrabble dictionary or the paper of 2-letter words she got from Esther Wolfer's mom.
Paul had an obvious lack of respect for any dictionary or list that was not there with us, explaining itself.
As the tiles in the bag ran out I was sure I would lose because in the end we all subtract the value of any letters on our boards and give them to the winner.
I won the game.
I am serious.
I had the most points in the end.
Unbelievable, but Paul will back up the verity of this.
Maybe the wind is shifting and a new era is dawning with the new year.
All the cool bloggers have been looking deep and meditating long to find a Word for the Year. I have not done this, but suddenly I think my word might be CONQUER. Or BELIEVE. Or POSSIBILITIES!
But do not expect me to play Risk or enjoy table games any time soon. It is not THAT radical of a new era dawning.
Maybe when Jesus comes back I will enjoy Phase Ten.
Quote of the Day:
"I don't like to follow recipes. A recipe is like a big sister telling you what to do. And you think, 'Humph. YNTM*.'"