Yesterday morning I awoke still a 28 year old woman. Last night I went to bed as a three year old. (The only plus side to this was that it was an odd number; but I was too indignant to notice.)
Before going to bed last night, Brian and I decided to play a quick game of Settlers of Catan. If you don’t know how to play this game, I’m convinced that this story will nonetheless make sense because it’s not about the objective of the game; it’s about hating to lose. You should know that Brian almost always beats me at this game. The board was set up; he selected and placed his blue pieces and I selected and placed my red pieces.
Paying attention is quite critical for Settlers of Catan. If you don’t keep a careful eye on the board, you might miss an opportunity to advance yourself by collecting resources. And such was the case for Brian. He rolled the dice and got a 3. Brian had two 3’s from which he was benefitting; but he wasn’t paying attention and during that turn only collected resources from one 3. (He claims that it’s hard to pay attention because I take “SoOoOoOo long” that he gets bored and loses focus. Well, I just call that excellent strategy.)
After he finished his turn, I rolled the dice and set my turn in motion. Once having done that, however, I noticed that he had missed a 3 and pointed it out. I thought that it was fair to go ahead and allow him to benefit by giving him the resource; but he’d have to wait until his next turn to use it. Brian disagreed and was adamant that I should back peddle my turn and allow him to finish his as if he had noticed them both.
Me, “No! I’ve already set things in motion! This will teach you to pay more attention!”
Brian, “I would totally do that for you! I don’t understand why you wouldn’t treat me the way that I treat you.”
Me, “Because it’s a game. And this is how you play a game.”
Brian, “I can’t believe you won’t let me finish my turn. I’m so mad. …I don’t even want to play anymore.”
Me, “What?! I never quit when you’re beating me. The ONE time that I’m beating you… You’re acting like an _______ (you can fill in the blank)…”
Brian, “You’re right. I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”
We both were about as charming as two cookie-face-smeared, belligerent toddlers butting heads and locking horns. We finished the game in near silence. I won.
Brian, “You know that one turn would have changed everything. You shouldn’t have won.”
I have few words to express just how much that statement gets under my skin.
Me, “I ‘Shouldn’t. Have. Won’?! I was nice enough to let you have the resource! Isn’t that enough?”
Brian, “If you weren’t going to give me my turn you shouldn’t have even pointed the 3 out. It just made me mad. I just don’t understand why you don’t treat me the way I would treat you. It’s not fair.”
Me, “Because it’s a GAME! And life’s not fair. You said you were sorry! You’re not sorry! You’re acting just the same!”
Brian, “What about grace? What about mercy?”
Me, “This is NOT the Holy Bible! This is Settlers of Catan. This is not God’s redemptive plan of salvation! This is Settlers of Catan. …And I hope all this anger keeps you warm tonight.”
Brian, “You’re not coming to bed?”
Me, “NOPE.” I scooped up my 47lb. basset hound and hauled her to the guest bed. (The dogs know that that is the one bed on which we can all sleep and snuggle together on occasion.)
“Do not let the sun go down in your anger”? Well… technically the sun was already down. But when it rose this morning all had been forgiven and forgotten; and all four of us – both dogs, both humans – woke up on the guest bed.
Brian has approved this post and just sweetly handed me my morning cup of coffee. Phew. That was a close one.
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