Saturday, February 20, 2010

Death Grip on Third Place

I have found a new use for Facebook. Sure, I am still waiting for Lynda Carter to enter my life like vesper, but my online friends have shown little initiative in this project. Disappointment fills my life. To hold off the misery, I have found online poker.

It’s a perfect distraction for me. It requires some thinking, a little bit of strategy and spending of money. Sure, the money isn’t real, but it causes a slight twinge in the area that handles financial responsibility and the game has established a value to it, so it has to be worth something.

Understand? Probably not, since it doesn’t make that much sense to me either.

The thing is that I never realized how competitive I am. With a couple of friends already in the game, I used them as a barometer of my progress. If I fell behind their chip count, I was not doing as well. If I moved ahead, everything was fine. It’s not a very good measure of self worth, but it is what I use sometimes, the unreasonable comparisons.

My coworkers noticed I was playing. (I was posting my wins, i.e. bragging, on Facebook.) One co-worker joined and seemed to enjoy the social aspects of the game more than the game itself. She thought it was funny that I ignored buddy requests when she accepted what seemed to be any friend request that was thrown her way.

Another coworker suggested that I make a friend request to her boss, also in the building where I work. He plays poker and said that I could play a couple hands with him if we are ever online together. And Facebook is the place to make friends, isn’t it? I decided that the next complete stranger that sends a buddy request would be accepted. It wouldn’t matter from what corner of the world, language spoken or background. That lucky person would be my new friend.

With these two new additions, I am now in a permanent third place, fighting off fourth. My coworker’s boss has about seven times as many chips as I do. The unknown friend is nearly double of my coworker’s boss. The coworkers that were in the game are good players that don’t seem to roll over easily. One coworker seems to have better luck than I and is constantly circling, like a shark looking for weakness.

My self-worth, by the way, is in hiding somewhere. If you need me, I’ll be in a fetal position in my closet.

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