So as I wrote before, I decided to get back into tabletop RPG because it's something fun where you meet a lot of people. Since I haven't found a home game yet, I've been doing D&D Adventurer's League and Pathfinder Society since those are groups you can drop in and out of at will and just enjoy a nice afternoon of gaming while being in public and interacting with humans without committing to said random humans.
I'd been doing internet searches for groups in the area and found an entry for "Northbrook Pathfinder Society" and emailed the organizer, who emailed me back quickly with a very articulate and friendly email inviting me to play. I got the impression that this guy was an instructor at the local junior high (where I and my son both went to school, actually), who was getting kids interested in tabletop gaming. It seemed like a fun, wholesome, easy group to play with, especially as it set of my teacher-spidey-sense. I love working with kids if I feel I can get them enthused about a topic. When my son Tony was in school I ran a Junior Great Books group and I also put on a micro demo every year at the school science fair to get folks using microscopes. Working with kids in the role of a teacher is something I really like (but not enough to do it full time...).
Anyway, today I went to the meeting and found a table with five 12- to 13-year-olds getting ready to play. I was pleased to see there were two girls there (girl gamer power!). But no instructor. Because the person I'd been communicating with turned out to be... you guessed it... another 13-year-old kid.
I would have bailed, mostly because I didn't want to seem like a total weirdo, but the whole teacher thing weighed on me. I felt I couldn't say, "Oh, screw this, I'm not playing with kids," as I thought that would be incredibly rude. I'm sure they wouldn't have cared but... anyway, I sat down and played a four hour scenario with the group.
It actually was a lot of fun. The group reminded me a lot of those kids on "Stranger Things"; the leader in particular seemed extremely bright. He reminded me a lot of my son Tony at that age. And I don't mind playing with kids or young people, actually. I played a LOT of Halo and videogames with Tony when he was younger and sometimes was in multiplayer with him and his friends. That being said... I mean, come on, it's weird to play with a group whose TOTAL age is still less than yours.
SIgh. This only happens to me. I just blunder into stuff like this.
The only consolation was that I think (or hope) that the adults that walked by assumed I was one of the kids' mom, and not like a super creepy lady who lures children to their watery graves. At one point the leader's grandfather stopped by... I shook his hand and gave him my full name and afterwards gave the leader one of my business cards to give to his grandfather.
Oh god, the cringing. So much cringing. I think it will take at least a week for the cringing to wear off.
Anyway, I did have fun and was useful as they had no healer and I ended up preventing a TPK. But I did end by thanking them profusely for helping me learn the game, and said I thought it was probably a little weird to them that this old lady showed up, but thanks again, and if they ever had a medical question they were welcome to ask and then I got the hell out of there.
I remember back around 1979 that I played D&D with some nerdy friends once a week (and then went to Big Boy's for milkshakes and french fries) and our DM was a guy who wore fatigues. I thought he was MUCH older than us, but in retrospect he was likely only in his early or mid-twenties. I wonder if he might have been a VIetnam vet and maybe a relative of one of the kids. He was a great DM so we didn't care.
Likely the kids didn't care either, but I felt I was intruding on something that should be an adult-free and happy memory for these kids.
Tomorrow I'm going back to Mount Prospect to try another Pathfinder Scenario with the awkward grownups that play there. Where we can all be awkward together without anyone calling protective services.
Hey, you know, it gets me out of the house and off the streets, where I'd likely just be doing crime or fomenting a revolution or some such. Everybody wins? Right?
Exercise: Use "pinlig" in a sentence:
Example: Denne ettermiddagen var en pinlig situasjon
(This afternoon was an embarrassing situation)