Just in case you were wondering where I've been (besides enjoying the past two weeks of quiet around this [previously] empty house), I spent the weekend surrounded by guys ranging in age from nine to, well, I can't really fathom a guess without possibly causing offense, but I'm fairly confident there were a number of men over the age of forty, at least, all drawn together by the love of a game.
No, not basketball, as might be presumed at this time during which the Oklahoma City Thunder are gearing up to face the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. And not baseball, either - another logical guess as the season is now in full swing (had to do it!).
It's a tabletop miniatures game that involves monsters trying to kill each other while destroying a city filled with buildings and commanding their minion grunts around the map.
Yes, it is extremely nerdy.
And I'm not gonna lie - I had the best weekend.
I know what you're thinking and you might be surprised to hear that the Convention was not filled with acne-ridden teenage boys who haven't bathed in months or even forty-year-old men who live in their mother's basement. In the course of my own competition (yes, I even participated in this geek-fest!), I sat across the table from a comedian, a member of the United States Navy, a postal worker (and amazing artist), a Canadian and even the most adorable nine-year-old boy you've ever met. Also in the room was a teacher, a preacher, a nurse, fathers, sons, more artists and even a manager of a Dairy Queen. They came from New York, Washington, Chicago, Memphis, Louisiana and (as previously mentioned) from across the Northern Border. All gathered together for one purpose - to play their game.
You might even think, if they've come all this way to march a plastic alien across a paper map they're going to take this thing seriously - a little too seriously, really. But you would be wrong (again).
These guys play like kids - with joy, laughter, friendly competition, yes, but mostly just good sportsmanship and a mutual respect for anyone who appreciates the game.
The fact that they let me join them after only two days of studying figures and icons, making multiple mistakes, but also being kindly led back in the right direction, is a testament to their good-natured spirits.
I mean, hey, if a stay-at-home mom of three is going to take interest in their passion, then come on in. And just bring that baby with you!
I mean, really, this is how Philip played the Final round as he competed for the top title (which he, sadly, lost, but we're both still awfully proud):
It's hard to play cut-throat with an infant at your feet. And they didn't care (actually, honestly, Joey was the hit of the party - all those Daddies missing their babies back home and all those single guys glad they can look at those adorably chubby cheeks and know he's not waking them up tonight). The more, the merrier.
So, yes, I spent the weekend with nerds - I'm sayin' it loud and sayin' it proud.
And, not gonna lie, a little sad that MonCon comes but once a year.
555. Entering his world
556. Seeing the health tracker get to zero
557. Tiny plastic monsters smashing buildings (in theory)
558. A bleary-eyed hug two weeks in the making
559. "Where's Joey?" from little tongues
560. "Twinkle, twinkle little star" coming from the back seat
561. An abstract scattering of Cheerios across the floor
562. Considering making dancing with the little ones a daily workout
563. Skipping around the living room
564. Plastic necklaces
565. Ice Cream
566. Crossing the friendship threshold.