Trivial Rewards

Dearest Rachel –

When it comes to favored activities onboard, you had your swimming, of course. As for myself, I guess I have my trivia. It’s not exactly something I would go out of my way to bother with in the past, but given that I don’t know what else to do with myself these days, it’s as good a weapon as any for killing time. Plus, it gets me out of my room and mixing with other people when I might otherwise not bother, so there’s that.

I’ve always had a knack for it, and a fondness for it as well. I grew up reading things like the People’s Almanac, and as a result, was probably a bit too good at Trivial Pursuits, back when it was the game to be playing in the mid-80s. Much as I enjoyed playing it, though, I wasn’t quite so self-aware at the time as to realize how other people weren’t fond of playing against me. If it weren’t for the fact that the ‘entertainment’ category was an Achilles’ heel of mine, I don’t know that I would’ve been able to inveigle anybody into playing against me, even you, who generally liked playing just about any game available.

But times have changed, as have the questions, and I haven’t exactly kept up. While I’ve spent the last three nights at the Crown and Compass playing pub trivia, I can’t say that I’ve been mopping the floor with the competition. More often than not, I’m one question short of winning.

Despite the fact that I’ve said it to you before, I sometimes forget just how competitive I am when it comes to a game like this. I suppose it’s because this ought to be in my wheelhouse; to lose to someone else feels like I’m falling short, somehow.

I’m certainly not broken up by not winning the prizes they offer; Monday night, I did manage to win a pen, and yesterday morning, the team I was on (more on that in a moment) took second place, netting me a flimsy plastic bag. They are, quite literally, trivial prizes, and I’m not really competing to win them. I guess, in some way, I’m no better than those kids picking the lollipops off the pumpkin – I’m just trying to win, in order to win.

Even worse, I’m trying to do it on my own, while most people get together in teams. The one yesterday morning in the 270° Lounge practically required teams, however, and a pair of twin sisters recruited me, a much older lady, and a fellow with his young son (who looked older to me, because I still see myself as a mid-30s young man unless I look into a mirror). I got their names at the time, but as I didn’t want to seem like I was clinging to them afterwards, I left their company and promptly forgot both of them. That’s the sort of trivia I’m supposed to be remembering these days, and I can’t seem to do it. That would have been a prize worth striving for, and I muffed it.

Oh, well… there will be other days yet, I suppose, but it’s every bit as embarrassing as falling short by a question or two.

If you’re willing, though, honey, I’d appreciate it if you were to wish me luck – I do believe I’m still going to need it, at this rate.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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