As a personal disclaimer before I start, Audrey chose the title of this post. With that out there, here goes…
It has always been a fact of life that I win at board games. I don’t mean to; I don’t know how to lose without making it obvious. (Ha! you let your queen fall right into my hands! Wait a minute…) And even in such situations, when I am determined to lose to let someone else feel good about themselves, something snaps in my brain, it sounds like this: Pop! look at the board, I’m massively down, but they’ve left a weakness right there. If I take advantage like so while at the same time attacking point A, I’ll come back and win in two turns! That’s too good to pass up!! And Audrey ends up not talking to me for the next 30-90 minutes, depending on how underhanded my idea was. It’s been that way as long as I can remember. I don’t know why.
So with that in mind, perhaps you can understand what a blow to my ego it was when first my mother-in-law, then sister-in-law, and then wife beat me at the famed board game “Settlers of Catan” in recent times. With my mother-in-law, it was easily passed by with a “Well, both I and Audrey were helping her. In all reality, her win was a result of my and Audrey’s intellect combined. Then when Andrea beat me, the justification was a little more difficult. “She has been gunning for me for a while now. Everyone finally teamed up and shut me down.” But when Audrey beat me, it was an all-out shutout. Her roads and settlements dotted the board while my miniscule empire was practically forced to pay tribute at the hands of her well-fed knights. So I decided a pay-back was in order, and we went home to play stratego.
I can’t remember ever losing at Stratego. I could beat my dad since before I was baptized. (If Dad is reading this, please understand that any possible losses that may be slipping my mind are due to my inheritance of my mother’s memory, you can blame her.) So when Audrey outsmarted me on three crucial battles and snuck her general to my back lines, I was worried. In a mad race to find the flag, I made a wrong turn, she made a right one, and boom! I now have a memorable loss.
I don’t take such losses easily. Saturday, I dragged Audrey to Target to buy Trivial Pursuit. The only time she has ever played, she fell asleep. What a perfect game to flex my intellectual muscle and recover a piece of my now broken ego. Target didn’t have it, so we went to Toys R Us (I was determined.) We bought it, took it home, and I immediately set it up. For those who are unfamiliar with the new version, it keeps track of the number of questions answered correctly by each person. What to my surprise when my marker had moved two spots and Audrey’s had moved nearly 20. Searching the depths of my game-playing soul, I came back, and at game end, while we had answered the same number of questions correctly, it was Audrey who answered the final “In the center to win-it-all” question first to win the game.
After such a series of defeats, I now stand before you with a bruised and broken ego. I don’t know what is left for me in life. Maybe I need to rethink the board games I play. Perhaps I need to start challenging Audrey in “Hungry Hungry Hippos” or “Candy Land.” Oh how the mighty have fallen!