Welcome back to this week’s story which will be a rather short one as I prepare for my long labor day driving trip.
This week, I’ve decided to talk about the ultimate moment of awkwardness, going to the gaming store together. ”Wait,” you say. “How is it awkward when you are both into games?” Well, have you ever been to the mall with your spouse to go clothes shopping? How about when you go shopping for electronics? What usually happens? When we go clothes shopping, I follow her around like a lost golden retriever looking for a new owner with a slightly whiny face in the hope that will get me released from my duty. I can smell the mall pretzels, the cookie stand, the food court, heck even Barnes and Nobles calls to me. But I am expected to follow, not to hold clothes or anything like that. No, I am expected to be there to pass judgment on everything that is tried on.
Different people shop in different ways. I am from the commando school of shopping. I research my objective, know exactly what I am buying in the store, drive up, run inside, grab everything, run to the checkout, pay and don’t stop until I reach home again. Once at home base, I review my mission and see if I can determine it a success. My wife likes to take her time and wander around exploring like a person obsessed with finding the island of gold in Seafarers of Catan. So entering a game store becomes a strange moment, as the two of us turn into opposites. When we get to the game store across from our mall, it is like I have been released and I am free to look around, pick up boxes, compare paints, look at the new miniatures, see what everyone is playing in the back. My wife is then stuck trying to decide if she should follow me around, or stand in the board game area and look at the games she is more interested in. I know that when I am in the store with her, I have to hurry up and can’t spend 45 minutes talking to the manager about Dust Warfare. My wife won’t put up with it.
The problem is, with our busy schedules, the only time I’m able to pop into a store lately is when we are together. So in I go, shaking hands and chatting with people I know, while my wife stays back. Why doesn’t she talk? Well usually she has met most of these people, and in most cases they just didn’t get along. So I proceed with the chit-chat, look at a few things and then off we go. Things were really awkward when we visited a Games Workshop store a month back. I went inside to the shop for the first time, and there were about 20 people crammed around two small tables. The moment we walked in, everyone stopped and stared at the both of us. I realize it’s not every day an Asian couple walks into your gaming store in the Midwest, but this was still very awkward. All that aside, I realized within 30 seconds of entering, that we would be making a hasty retreat. So there was no time to look around, just find that box of Black Templars upgrades, pay, and get the hell out. Mission Accomplished, only minor casualties.
I realized that this wasn’t going to work as a method. Especially when she was wondering why I had just dropped $30 on a box of plastic pieces which showed a small building on the package. Later, when I showed her the four story ruins from the purchase, she just shrugged. I tried to explain terrain, but she wasn’t excited. So, how can I make these shopping trips better for both of us? I’ve come up with some new tactics.
1. I go to game stores more often now, but I spend less time in them. I’ll find I run to a store for a lunch break just to browse quickly for a few minutes. A few trips a week adds up, and I no longer need to patrol around the stores as long as I once did.
2. When we are going to purchase a game we will both play, I make sure that we go together to make the purchase. That way it feels like there is more buy-in from the both of us.
3. When I am going to purchase something from a game story for my own personal use, I’ll do so on my own so I can spend the time to chat and figure out exactly what I will purchase without wasting her time.
Some people are probably saying this is common sense, but I was trying to get my wife more interested in the hobby and FLGS’. Getting a good system for going to game stores is really allowing us to enjoy them more. Now I just need to figure out how to convince her to go to GenCon next year for my birthday.Add to favorites
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