Sunday, July 02, 2006

Marriage Counseling As A Way To A Better Gulf Games Experience

No, Shari & I are not having marriage problems. (Of course, when I forget to take out the trash, that's another thing entirely, but we won't go there.)

It's just that I counsel engaged & married couples to be honest & open about their expectations. (A good bit of marital unhappiness is due to desiring a particular behavior in our spouses... and yet expecting them to be mindreaders and figure out exactly what they're supposed to do without any help from us.) *

So, I'm gonna do the same as I get to have my first "full-length" Gulf Games experience since Birmingham (spring 2003)!

Here's what I hope to have happen in less than three weeks:

  • I want my flights to go smoothly. (My last trip to Gulf Games included an interesting landing 10 minutes after takeoff, complete with emergency vehicles beside the runway. Let's not do that again, OK?)
  • I want to play a lot of games. I sorta don't even care if they're good games, though I really don't want 5 days of bad games. (See, the company is good enough to offset bad games - but no matter how much I love Greg Schloesser, I can't do 5 days straight of Wortelboer & Vox Populi.)
  • I want to play some new games... here in the backwater of Fresno, CA, I don't get to see/play much of the bleeding edge stuff. So, I haven't yet played Caylus (Mike Siggins: "Shun him!" **), Thurn & Taxis, Ticket to Ride: Marklin or even most of the new stuff from Haba. Sigh. (Oddly enough, those games aren't as high on my "must try" list as Big Kini, Deluxe Camping, Tempus, Hart an der Grenze, Rum & Pirates and The Great Space Race.
  • I want to spend at least one afternoon playing games with the kids... this is a great group of young people who - when they are not humiliating me at various board games - are a lot of fun to hang around.
  • I want to play Descent: Journeys in the Dark again... since I'm going to have Wednesday night - Sunday afternoon to play games (with time off for sleeping & eating), this is the perfect time to dig into a long game.
  • I want to avoid sunlight as much as possible. (For the record, I am not a vampire. It's just that sunlight implies that I'm not inside playing games, and if I'm gonna take vacation days & travel across the country, I want to pack as much gaming time as possible into my Gulf Games experience.)
  • I want to listen to Craig Berg tell stories until I laugh so hard that I shoot lemonade out my nose.
  • I want to be in competition for Mr. Friendly - I have a reputation to uphold.
  • I want Ted Cheatham to teach me at least one game... preferably with an accent.
  • I want to lead the prayer service on Sunday morning - always a highlight of my Gulf Games experience. (I still remember us meeting in the hotel bar with me sitting on the bar teaching - that was Birmingham. Very cool.)
  • I want to play odd stuff with Frank Branham... we are on odd couple (extra tall long-haired guy who decorates his home with skulls; shorter short-haired SBC pastor) but we have a blast playing games together. What will be this year's Konig der Maulwurfel, Frank?!
  • I want my family to have a great time even without me there... it's always a little tough to leave Shari & the boys behind.

* In suggesting that husbands & wives ought to share their expectations with one another, I don't want to imply that sharing an expectation requires the other party to fulfill the expectation. This open communication simply allows you to discuss the issues and work things out like adults... rather than cross your fingers and hope that your spouse should be working for Dionne Warwick's Psychic Hotline.

** If you aren't already, you need to be listening to Mark Johnson's Boardgames To Go podcast - this saracastic Mike Siggins quote comes from a very interesting show the two of them did on Essen a few months ago. (Mark Johnson admitted he had not played Caylus, causing Mike to gasp for air... priceless.)

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