Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Trivia Thursdays

Our monthly trivia game at River Run is moving from Wednesdays to Thursdays, which means it is going to conflict half the time with grocery shopping. Moving grocery shopping is going to be a hassle; if we move it back it comes before paychecks which is financially troublesome, and if we move it forward, I usually work home on Fridays and that makes the logistics troublesome.

Truthfully trivia isn't as fun as it used to be. First, the food there has worn out its welcome; it's the same bunch of things and not many are that good. The relative lack of comfort of the chairs is a factor too. But that's not enough to explain it.

This is not the kind of game that's fiercely competitive. No one gets too upset about the scores. There's no big prizes, no scoreboard of honor; it's all for fun. So when things are a little on the dicey edge, no one minds. For instance, team sizes have been creeping upward for a year or more; there are teams of eight and nine people regularly, even more sometimes. It used to be that six was the informal limit; I don't know if this was a spoken-but-not-strict or an unspoken rule, but it was there. Our team was maximum six, but more often four or five, and the number has only decreased with time; one member is almost never there, one is only occasionally, and one other, our strongest player, sometimes is late due to the rigors of his work schedule, leaving us in a bad way. It's not that our enjoyment depends on us winning (we rarely did even when teams were of comparable sizes, though we did better than we do nowadays), but it still leaves a bad taste in our mouths when the reason we're doing badly isn't that we're having a bad night, or getting bad luck in topic selection, but mere disregard for the courtesy of how the game is played.

The problem with something like this is, to bring it up makes you seem mean-spirited and petty. It makes you seem like a sore loser, or like someone who doesn't get that the game is in the spirit of fun and not about winning and losing. (Not that games that are more competitive are bad or less fun; it's just a different kind of fun.) And it's even more suspect to object about oversized teams when my own team is, through no fault of anyone on other teams or the person running trivia (and not even through our fault), shrinking; it makes it seem like I'm projecting my own problems onto others.

So I've been quiet while teams kept growing and growing and growing, and by tiny stages my enjoyment has diminished. And I'm not even sure if that's the main reason or if there are others I can't put my finger on. But when I heard about the move to Thursdays and I realized we would probably only get to go to half of them, my reaction wasn't "oh no, what can we do," but rather, "that might not be so bad." That reaction surprised me; I knew I was having less fun, but I also knew I'm still having fun, so I didn't expect to feel that way. It's got me thinking harder about it, wondering why I feel like I do. Wondering if there's something more.

1 comment:

Hawthorn Thistleberry said...

Turns out we're not going this week. We'd have at most two or three people on the team.