I’m game for a game any time. I like card games, board games, video games, sports. I’m happy to learn a new game (well, except for chess…I’ve tried and I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around that one) and have been a willing victim when my husband’s various office sports teams were short a few players (did you know inner tube water polo is a real sport?). As a rookie, I don’t always have the skill set required to be successful at these new games–or even some old, familiar ones for that matter–but I enjoy the participation. I play simply for the thrill of playing, so I’m not really picky about the talent level of my teammates or opponents. If it’s a game I’m fond of, like Texas Hold ‘Em or Scrabble, then I like being challenged by someone more talented than I, in hopes that my skills will eventually improve as a result. If I’m trying a new game, like tennis, I want to learn the rules, strategies, and tricks from someone who knows more than I do, although part of me does hope that my mentor will not trounce me too badly during the early lessons. Once I’ve got a handle on the basics, it galls me if someone tries to play down to my level. I can’t learn properly if they won’t bring it on!!
As for who is watching…I’m always self-conscious anyway, whether I’m learning something new or doing something I’ve done a thousand times, so that just really doesn’t matter. I can be just as embarrassed in front of my husband, my friends, or my colleagues as in front of my boss, perfect strangers, or Matthew McConaughey. I don’t enjoy looking a fool, but I’ve learned that it’s part of life and it won’t kill me. Someday, when my mad poker skills launch me to the top slot on the World Poker Tour, all those embarrassing rookie mistakes will make great anecdotes in a best-selling memoir. 😉
*From The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, PhD.