Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It's just a game—until it isn't

I don't usually get sucked into board or card games, but after plying me with alcohol last night, Hal, Loretta, Jo and Lou got me playing Uno.

It's a simple game and each round usually lasts five or ten minutes. But round two went on forever. Strategies weren't working. Non-strategies weren't working either. Perhaps I'm partly to blame. Whenever the draw pile got low, I'd gather and shuffle the played cards. My shuffles, although good and diligent, kept us from getting the cards we needed. We'd draw and draw and draw...

But the laws of dumb luck eventually kicked in and we had a winner. It happened to be me. The joy was from the game finally ending, not from me winning. "Yay! We can stop now!"

A tip for couples, though. It's probably better to not sit next to each other, because you'll end up making plays that mess with each other's game, and maybe the relationship.

Long ago, I had a girlfriend who got me playing Scrabble. She was very competitive and serious about it, and she was quite happy to beat me. I'm not the competitive type, but if I'm going to play, I won't just go through the motions. So the more we played, the more my game improved, and I eventually started winning. Then I started winning most of the time. Her interest in Scrabble quickly faded. Then, perhaps not coincidentally, so did her interest in me.

So be careful who you play, and how well. People are more important than winning. We don't want Tic-Tac-Toe leading to divorces or fist fights.

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