You know you’ve gone off the deep end when you start talking in your sleep about tiles—not bathroom tiles, mind you, but gaming tiles. Little cardboard thingamajigs depicting quarries or cemeteries or, in the case of Game of Thrones the game, House Lannister strongholds.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry: neither do I.
And I spent an entire weekend trying to figure it out.
It all began last New Year’s when The Wedding Date found a kindred spirit amongst the guests at my parents’ Martini Bar Soiree. Upon discovering their mutual obsession fondness for Game of Thrones, it was decided that I would A) Start watching Game of Thrones, B) Start playing Game of Thrones, C) Devote an entire weekend to the consumption of wine enjoyment of said board game.
Initially, I was all for it.
That was before I learned that Game of Thrones was just one of several board games on the agenda.
First, we had to play Settlers of Catan.
And just when I thought my brain was going to explode from all of the “I’ll trade you a sheep for a brick” shenanigans, The Wedding Date declared victory and asked if I wanted to help him set up the board for Game of Thrones.
Being the super stellar girlfriend that I am, I declined and headed outside with my yoga mat for half an hour of Board Game Decompression. (What can I say? I could feel a severe case of b*tchiness coming on and it was way too early in the day to start drinking.)
By the time I returned, the dining room table was covered in cards (several different decks), tokens (several different types), tiles (several different shapes), figurines (several different colors, shapes and sizes) and half a dozen shields bearing Game of Thrones insignia. I thought perhaps that four or five board games had somehow gotten together and procreated, resulting in token-spewing octuplets and but no, it was just Game of Thrones.
This might explain why The Wedding Date sent out a Youtube primer. We were all supposed to watch it before heading down to Maryland for the weekend and even though I had every intention of doing so, I got so bogged down with finishing my review of last week’s naked show that I never got around to it.
This was my first mistake.
My second mistake was agreeing to spend the entire afternoon playing a game that was clearly invented by crack heads for the sole purpose of inspiring misery and suicidal thoughts amongst its players.
My third mistake was falling for a man who LOVES this stuff.
I could feel my brain shutting down. And even though I tried to strategize, I couldn’t keep track of the tiles—did I need the fist tile to attack or the flame?—so I started losing. Badly. By the end of the fourth round, my House Lannister stronghold was down to three territories.
It was then that I decided there are times when it’s okay to drink wine at noon—and this was one of those times. I shared a bottle of red with my friend’s husband and we decided to form a Stark/Lannister alliance (desperate times call for desperate measures…) but his understanding of proper tile usage was only slightly better than mine.
Needless to say, we lost.
And The Wedding Date won.
When he excused himself to use the rest room, it was all I could do to keep from banging my head on the table.
(In fact, I would have if the table hadn’t been completely covered in Game of Thrones paraphernalia.)
“It’s a good thing I love that man,” I whispered. “Because this is the worst game ever! Whoever invented it must have been tripping on acid. Or LSD. Or something. I mean do people actually enjoy this??? It’s worse that the GREs!”
I spent the rest of the weekend making equally enthusiastic comments and by the time Sunday morning rolled around, I excused myself from Betrayal at the House on the Hill to—wait for it—edit a research article.
Clearly I’m not destined for world domination any time soon—at least not domination by tile.
And yet as I write this, I’m sitting beside The Wedding Date who is drinking chai tea and reading one of his “nerd textbooks” (at least that’s what I call them). We’ve just returned from the Suzanne Roberts Theater where, for the second time in two weeks, he’s accompanied me to a modern dance concert.
I’ve just thanked him for coming with me, and for making an effort to make intelligent conversation afterwards, and for taking an interest in something that interests me without complaining about it.
And then it hits me.
I’ve got to go watch that stupid Youtube tutorial. And I’ve got to figure out how to play Game of Thrones. Not only because it’s important to him and he’s important to me but because this way, when we converge upon Hoopers Island later this summer for Round 2, I’ll be able to kill. (Or at the very least find some way to amuse myself other than comparing Game of Thrones to cruel and unusual punishment.)