Does This Drive You Crazy?

Does This Drive You Crazy?

Dude, would you ever do this?

Sure, I’m a fan of sportsmanship. But...I’m also a fan of making sure my kids feel my superiority after I take them to the cleaners on family game night.

Family game night sounds like fun, right? Can you believe this: I fucking HATE family game night.

Why would anyone have such a disdain for fun time with the family? It’s not what you think.

It’s not because my eight-year-old daughter occasionally slips a round of Connect-4 by me or because my four-year-old daughter is a major liability when she’s your partner in Scrabble Junior.

It’s not because my wife has such a steady hand that she’s never heard a buzz during Operation.

It’s not even losing to someone who focused during Jenga, or thought through which piece to move after racking the pop-o-matic in Trouble.

Hell, the other day I clapped along to the chant of “I beat Daddy, I beat Daddy” after losing a round of the matching game Slap it.

Those are the fun nights. It’s the other nights that ruin Tuesday’s for me, filling me with the dread of what’s to come after dinner.

The offenders? Monopoly Junior, Don’t Wake Daddy, Pop the pig, and the worst game ever invented: fucking Candyland.

The “games” where there is zero skill involved. You move your little piece around a board after rolling some dice or pulling a card.

It’s pure chance and the odds are against you.

No decisions.

No thinking.

No fun.

You don’t even have to be here. You can actually join in next Tuesday from wherever you’re reading this.  

Around 5:45 pm say, “Norah, if you don’t finish eating we’re going to start without you. Please take another bite.” Wait about 10 minutes before continuing with “OK, whatever, but you don’t get a treat since you didn’t finish your asparagus.” Then, proceed to flip a coin a few times and pretend like you have an impact on the results.

If you can’t make it, that’s OK. I can always throw my dog Tayler in the mix. He has an equal chance of winning while snoring on the couch with his cataract fogged eyes slightly ajar. No critical thinking, clear vision or opposable thumbs necessary.

Last night I was bitching about explaining this to my neighbors. Waving my hands around I exclaimed, “When you lose, it’s bullshit. Total luck.”

She chimed in to support me, “Like a raffle, or the lotto.”

I paused, my lips stuck apart as it hit me.

The lotto sounds like a waste, right? But can you believe this: I fucking LOVE the lotto.

I love to dig the serrated edge of a quarter into a scratcher at 35 degrees and give that wax hell. And if I don’t win, that’s OK. I know it’s pure chance and the odds are against me.

I’ve been looking at family game night through the wrong lense! 

Instead of dreading the lack of control, I need to re-frame Tuesday nights as a weekly chance to play the lotto — which is always exciting.

Your homework this week: What are you not looking forward to this week? Is there a Taco Tuesday (where your auntie doesn’t want to make it “too flavorful spicy”), a Thirsty Thursday (without alcohol), or Salmon-eggs Saturday (self explanatory) on your weekly schedule? Look for a way that you can reframe the night into something you’re excited about.

You don’t choose every event in life, but you do choose how you experience them. You can choose to dread lame-ass upcoming events, or you can choose to make the best of them and have a good time.

If nothing else, be sure to flip the table and cause a scene while you let the children know who runs the show after getting lucky and beating their little asses in a game of Sorry.

Be great,

Danny Lehr

P.S.  Where can you reframe the situation to something positive?