My lovely teaching assistant is throwing a party tonight for our freshman students -- pizza and games. When we asked in class what games, she threw out some choices -- Scene It, Cranium, and Telephone Pictionary.
A student immediately requested Scene It, which is a DVD game about identifying movies. I confidently replied that they don't want to be playing me in Scene It. Actually, I've never played the game, but you know, I've had a few more years on this earth to see movies compared to these 18-year-olds. Plus, movies are a part of my job, and a lot of my husband's job. I know something about movies.
I'm competitive. When I play games, I like to win; and if I can't win, I like to be in the game. In a way, playing a game like Scene It, where I'd be expected to do well, there's no way to come out on top. If I win, it's nothing special; if I don't, it's embarrassing. Really, the only way to have fun in that scenario is to stay out altogether.
One of my students told me that in her house, anybody with a negative attitude during a game has to wear "the bitter hat." Let me tell you, I'd be wearing the bitter hat much of the time. I tend to complain vocally about bad luck and to whine about being far behind. Of course, I also crow unmercifully when I'm ahead. In short, I'm probably not much fun around the card table.
Yet although I sometimes enter into games unwillingly -- because they represent a chance to lose, and not much to be gained -- I really enjoy competing. It's painful for me to stay out of a game. I'm lucky if I can find good partners and good sports to play with me. And I should remember to be thankful when they do -- especially if they come back for more.