Since Elise was born, her dad, Mike, has taken her every Tuesday and Wednesday night without fail, because that is just the way our schedules worked out best when she was born, and for a long time there was no reason to change the status quo. Then, a couple of years ago I decided that since I was single and didn’t have the kind of job where I meet new people, I wanted more free time on the weekends to try to have a life and branch out from the norm. I was shot down. Mike said it was impossible for him to change his schedule and to basically just drop it because it would never happen. I would never have child-free weekends.
It took me a while to come to terms with that, but eventually I did. I found that even if I DID have the free time on weekends, I probably wouldn’t have done anything special with it. I wasn’t in the right mindframe to date back then and I am not quite sure I am now, but regardless. My life doesn’t change much, it doesn’t change very often. I write, I read, and I hang out with a VERY small group of friends on Tuesdays and Wednesdays if I feel like it. But then….
Three of my best boy-friends, Brian, Dan, and Brad, play a game of Dungeons & Dragons every Monday night. I have been making fun of them for it for years and years, calling them nerds and laughing at their nerdiness. I get annoyed sometimes when I want Brian to come over and hang out on a Monday and I forget that he is “Nerding” on that day, as I have always called it. They play at Dan & Alisha’s house, so sometimes, on weird fluke days where Mike or Linda take Elise overnight, I would hang out with Alisha while the boys do their nerding up in the attic.
One of those nights, Alisha just went and passed out on me while we were watching a movie, but I wasn’t really tired, and since all of my best friends were under the same roof, I ventured upstairs to see what the D&D was all about. I sat at the table with them, listened to what they were talking about, laughing along with them as Dan, as the DM (Dungeon Master, how nerdalicious) directed the game in sometimes hiliarious ways. And that night I realized something – D&D seems pretty fucking awesome.
At it’s core, D&D is about storytelling. It’s choose your own adventure with little figurines and cards to tell you whether, based on your points, you are able to take a swing at that ogre or use a lightning whip on that mummy. Yes, there is (whack) math involved. The cards and point system is unbelievably detailed and hard to understand at first, but seems like it might be manageable after a while. Bottom line, though – it’s storytelling. It’s storytelling WITH FRIENDS. And man, it’s fun.
I played my first real game two weeks ago. Brad made me a character named Naiv, she’s some sort of high magical elf, she’s a very powerful magical being, and although I didn’t know much as far as how I was supposed to take my turns, where my points fit into it all, and what the whole POINT OF IT ALL is (fun, apparently), I had a blast, and not only did I have a blast, I kicked major mummy ass in that encounter, and the guys were eating it up. Girls, we are rare jewels in the world of Dungeons & Dragons.
I wanted to play more, and regularly, but there was no way the boys were going to come to me, so I sucked it up and asked Mike – can he switch days so that he has Elise Monday & Tuesday instead? And he said yes. He said yes, and it didn’t even take a court order let alone an act of Congress.
So tonight, I am playing my second game of D&D with the nerdiest boys on the block. A part of me feels like this isn’t the sort of thing I want to tell people about myself in casual conversation. The other part of me? The other part of me kicks so much major mummy ass, and loves it.