Saturday, July 28, 2012

I Don't Know How to Play

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It was back in university when Cute Guy was sitting across from me in an Irish pub
during a 30¢ wings night, along with about 6 or 7 other friends.  He was my girl Stacey’s neighbour at the newest residence on campus – I wasn’t living with her because that was the year I moved into the sorority house.  I had just deadpanned a pretty funny joke to Cutie, which was very well-received, so I was feeling good about myself and my masterful display of a sense of humour.

All of a sudden I felt something nudge my knee under the table.  The mischievous look on Cutie’s face betrayed that it was him.  When I reached down to feel what he was doing, I felt a thick wallet being pushed into my hand.  With sly gestures, Cutie indicated that it belonged to the friend next to him, who didn’t even notice that it was gone. 

…and that was where our game stopped.  Because I don’t know how to play.  What was I supposed to do with it?  What was an appropriate, fun, flirty response to this playful overture? I had no idea and, to be honest, I still don’t.

You know those *ssholes who go on and on about only children being socially inept and awkward?  I mostly disagree with them – except I really don’t know how to play.  I don’t know how to be playful.  I don’t know just how long or how far to take a joke, I often have difficulty discerning sarcasm from unvarnished sincerity/bluntness, and I seem to be unable to catch the rhythm of games.  I’m not sarcastic unless I’m quite angry, and I am sometimes bad at detecting irony.  Having had nobody to play with me growing up, except at school and on rare play dates, I just don’t know how to play, and I’m unaware of most games.  When I finally do encounter things that are meant to be fun for kids (like video/computer games, apps, sports, etc.), I just suck at them.  Is this weird?

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