My board game analogy

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Who didn't grow up playing Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble and the like? With game time being replaced by screen time, it seems a gargantuan task to coerce anyone into indulging me in my love of board games. Word games are my all-time favorite but I'm always up for cards, dice or any challenge involving more than one person. Aside from the fallout of the digital age, I got to thinking why I encounter such resistance. Over the holidays, I was rejected over and over by relatives and other visitors who informed me that "I don't do games" or "I hate board games". And it was always an adult who said this. Never a child. It became suddenly clear to me what the common denominator was: an inability (or defiance) to laugh at ourselves and/or show vulnerability. The people I know who willingly oblige--or better yet, suggest--playing a game are those who are comfortable with admitting fault, accepting their imperfection and enjoying life.

Think about it. When you misspell a word in Scrabble, let down your team in Guesstures because you can't act out "hula hoop" or end up with the greatest number of tiles in Rummikub, it's downright embarrassing. Regardless of whether we're willing to admit it or not, there's a spirit of competition in all of us. Who doesn't like winning? But if children can handle getting ribbed a little, why can't we? Why must we take ourselves so seriously?

Believe me, I used to struggle in this area myself. I only wanted to play games I knew I could win. I failed miserably at anything that required strategy. I had already decided "I wasn't good at that" so why bother? For years I would say: "I'm not good at that" or "Let's play something else". I was missing out on some great family time and awesome memories as I buried my head in a book or found some other way to stay occupied. Yet once I started regularly giving in to the pleas of my boys, I wanted more. Nothing compares to laughing together and enjoying those you love.

If you fall into this category, think about doing the opposite the next time someone says "Let's play (fill-in-the-blank)." Instead of groaning, join in. You might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Both in the results of the game and your attitude.


5 Responses to “My board game analogy”

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Jeremy Saunders said...

Dana,looks like you have some spam commenters! I LOVE BOARD GAMES! WE should totally get together and have a game night!