Game nights are typically considered a fun, lighthearted opportunity for a group of friends and even “guests” to get together without all the pressure of being a good conversationalist…low expectation of reaching some deeper level relationally…and though some social awkardness may occur due to varying personalities (etc), it is easily forgiven and brushed off. Tonight however, turned it to a major battle of egos over bubble gum. Bubble gum….
From the point of my arrival, we made it through Taboo with the competitives being able to show grace to the newbies..then we moved onto mafia which thrusted us into a different facet of interactions because the accused had to either defend themselves and/or convince others of who the killer could be…etc… this is where people began to cross lines (boundaries of being polite especially when you are not familiar with the other people playing) in saying one person looked guilty…or in my case I liberally accused someone, who I later found out was completely innocent, of being scandalous.
However, scattegories once again, took the medal for game night spiralling out of control.
We made it through 3 rounds of challenging letters and categories…with fun, weird, and some outrageous answers that were just plain desperate…but even when conflicts in opinion occurred, we were able to settle them through majority votes or just decisions to let it go.
But then came that infamous last round that people just had to tack on…the letter rolled was B…and we were all determined to make it count. What’s amazing about it is that everything was going fairly cordially and each pair (team) was gaining points, but when we got to “a type of junk food”…and bubble gum became the subject of debate…it was all over.
The tensions in the room grew…muscles in peoples necks tightened…tones and pitches began to vary indicating increased intensity…to the point the people began to point at one another, stand in order to dominate the situation (a classic approach when taking a stance)….but even as i watched things escalate and tried to intervene…at a certain point I realised there was no going back….too many lines had been crossed…too many offenses had been made by commentary that were condescending…marked separation in educational background…and then the snap! before you know it…arms were flailing in the air, words that were now directed towards the people involved completely…no longer just the object of the debate…”is bubble gum a junk food?”
Absolute catastrophe…eventually the two main egos that were clashing ended up in separate rooms.
As you can imagine, game night ended abruptly…and the real question became, was it really worth it? Would they be able to move forward from this?
How would this affect their relationship?
The first question is so easily answered…for one point, in the game of scattegories, pride truly could have been set aside….and the biblical principle of esteeming others/ prefering others as better than yourself…basically loving one another as Christ loved us…would have been the true star of the night…a true demonstration of the gospel.
But for now, all that is left, is an opportunity for people to choose to learn and grow from this experience…and that is my hope…that wisdom and love will prevail…and rather than loss of relationship, a closer one will develop with deeper understanding and respect for one another.