#35: Cribbage

Posted by Megan on January 3rd, 2012
A spiritual pursuit!


I’ve never been fond of cribbage. Perhaps it sounds a little too much like “cabbage” or maybe because I’ve never seen anyone under that age of 70 playing it. Whenever the senior citizen set monopolizes an activity it generally means one of the following:

  1. It is obsolete and newer, more fun games have taken its place. 
  2. It’s extremely difficult and requires math. Kids today can only count with calculators.
  3. It takes a really long time since we youngsters have very short attention spans – Look! There’s a squirrel!

As demonstrated in my last 34 adventures, I don’t like learning things. It makes my noodle hurt. My brain is like a very old, very cold car in winter. It will eventually fire up, but not without a fight. Eventually it will begrudgingly agree, but not without lots of loud complaining and obscene noises. (and that’s where my car analogy ends!)

Cribbage is a perfect example of the things I would actively refuse to learn in the past. It seemed hard and outdated. Why would I learn cribbage when I can just watch YouTube videos of the Puppy Bowl! When my two brothers-in-law whipped out the cribbage board during a holiday get together I immediately darted for another room. Even watching cribbage was going to require brain power and The Christmas Story, a virtual brain vacation, was playing in the next room. In the spirit of my quest to be adventurous, I turned around, marched towards the cribbage board and demanded to be taught how to play immediately. 

This may seem to be inconsequential, but in my world – this is a triumph.

Bo has been playing for years and Blake was just learning. It was a good match to learn from. Bo was a great instructor and set aside his genetic Steil Style of being competitive. You should see Bo and Brad play Chess to Death matches. It’s intense!

I watched as Bo taught Blake how to play cribbage.

The rules were a bit overwhelming. There were cards, pegs, more cards, a kitty (not the cuddly kind I’d prefer to be watching on YouTube).

During the first few hands I was nervous. When I start to feel a little overwhelmed, my very tired and angry brain goes into hyper drive panic mode. I was feeling stressed and uneasy.

Bo doesn't care if I count out loud and I bet you don't either!

Then, in a flash I had an epiphany! Who cares! Who cares if I mess up or count out loud? Certainly not any of my family members! I’d been avoiding cribbage (and thousands of other tasks) my entire life because I was worried that I’d be bad at it. Or I worried people would judge me! What a crock! People don’t give a crap if I’m bad at a board game and even if they did – WHO CARES! A weight lifted. I asked for help scoring my hands and I didn’t care – not even a little – when I lost.

Who would have thought after months of adventures, one of the simplest, most mundane new things would have taught me such an important lesson.

I’m bad at math and sports and spelling. I’m good at writing and sharing and coming up with creative solutions. I’m bad at some stuff, good at others and that’s okay and I don’t need to hide that from anyone! Rah Rah!

If you don’t have a fantastic brother-in-law to teach you cribbage, learn how to play at the American Cribbage Congress’ website cribbage.org.

  • © 2011 Megan Steil