Monday, June 04, 2012

Learning Munchkins

The kids loved the game Munchkins.  Several years ago they arm-twisted invited me to join them.  "Oh, it's easy, Mom.  It's not like those strategy games you don't like.  You can learn this!"

So we sat down to play.  They were trying to teach me.  But there was all this stuff about elves and ogres and trolls and different kinds of characters -- vocabulary that wasn't part of my daily life, that's for sure.  I remember how the kids patiently explained the rules, the cards, the characters.  I remember how they patiently walked me through the game, as a big sister might do for the 3-yr-old who's learning to play Candyland. 

And it made no sense.

Granted, at that point, things were a wee bit stressful in life.  And this was too much.  I didn't understand anything they were telling me.  Not about how the game worked.  Nor about the kinds of creatures that were part of the game.  Nothing.  I ended up putting my head down on the table and crying.  I thought my head would explode with all the details that were a jumble in my brain. 

I think I spent an hour lying on my bed and crying, distraught that I was simply unable to comprehend.  "What's happened to my mind?  I used to be able to do anything I determined to do.  This is just a game.  A game that kids can play.  And it's entirely beyond me!"

We moved.  Things have become more stable.  A year ago, I was capable of learning the procedures at work.  Even in the upheaval of moving, I managed (eventually) to learn where the foil and the mixing bowls were tucked away in the new kitchen.  This past Christmas, Matt & Rachel bought our family a cool board game that I enjoyed playing.  It is conceivable (!) that I might be able to learn Munchkins now. 

But I don't know to.  The memories are bad.  The fear of failure remains.


  1. Honestly, that game has a tough learning curve. Once you get it it's easy enough, but getting there is--in my opinion--difficult and very confusing. It took me a number of games over several years to actually understand what was going on.

  2. This reminds me of my experience of trying to study French with our two older kids a few years ago. Even though I took French in college, it got to a point that I just could not continue studying with them. I felt like a moron in "class" (taught by my husband) and was constantly on the verge of tears. I finally had to quit. Now my husband is talking about starting our youngest in a few years and wondering if I am ready to try again and the mere thought makes me nervous. On the one hand maybe some things have changed and I'll be able to handle it. On the other hand, maybe I'll discover that my brain is more feeble than ever . . . .

  3. Maggie, it helps to know that you found it not-super-easy to learn too. And yes, Cheryl, I remember the story of your French lessons.