Board game baby.
My friends are really into board games. I like them, but I don’t go out of my way to seek them out. When my friends wants to get together to play, I come along because I enjoy their company, not because I’m super eager to try out a new board game.
I give my friends a hard time for their love of board games, too. I’ll tell them they can be more competitive than they ought to be. I’ll joke that explaining the rules of some of their games takes longer than actually playing them. I’ll poke fun at this and that, like you do with anyone who has a passion for something you don’t share. But if I were to sit here and act like I’m some blameless, faultless onlooker I would be lying. There is plenty to give me grief about when I play board games with my friends, to the point where I’m sometimes surprised they still invite me to play.
My biggest fault in playing board games is that I hate losing badly.
I don’t hate losing. I lose to my friends all the time. If it’s an exciting game and it’s a race to see who’s going to reach the proverbial finish line first, I get caught up in the drama of it all and enjoy the experience, even in defeat. But it’s when I get left in the dust so completely, so hopelessly, that I turn into a pouting, sulking child and I bring the mood of the room down with me. If it’s because everyone understands the rules better than me, I feel stupid. If it’s because I screwed up or made a stupid mistake, I get mad at myself. If it’s one of those bluffing games where you have to lie to win, I’m the first one to get called out because I’m a terrible liar, and then I feel inadequate.
I can see myself doing it, too. The reasonable, logical part of my brain is watching me sit there with my arms crossed and my head down, apathetically letting dice tumble from my hands rather than actually rolling them, the very picture of a grown man sulking like a four year old who hasn’t gotten his way. But I can’t help it. When I see myself losing so completely that there’s little point in my participation, I cease to have fun. The problem with me is that I have to let everyone know how unhappy I am. I’m potentially crappy company on board game night.
My friends already have board game nights without me, where they play games I’ve expressed total disinterest in. One of these days they may just cut me out altogether, and I wouldn’t blame them for doing so. Board game night is supposed to be fun, not spent worrying about whether the sulking time-bomb is going to go off. In the meantime, I’ll value the invitations to continue playing with them and work on not being such a big baby when I lose badly.