Stuff Sober People Like: Board Games
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Stuff Sober People Like: Board Games


The post was originally published on March 4, 2015.

Before I got sober, I thought board games were completely lame. During the height of my drinking days, my best friend, a non-alcoholic married gal who owned an impressive business, a whole house and even a dog, invited me over to play Monopoly on a Saturday night. I remember thinking, “Wow, she’s really let herself go at 29—how boring can you be?” I obviously declined.

Fuck that.

But after being sober for a while, I was invited to more stupid board games parties. Again, I scoffed, judged and grumbled, but with few friends (since I lost all mine when I lost everything to booze), I decided to drag my ass to their lame parties, convinced I would be so miserable I might want to drink. Instead, I had the opposite experience.

I think I may have split my pancreas in two laughing my ass off while playing Pictionary during a girls’ night in. My friend Natalie and I were on the same team, and watching her scribble the most ridiculous shapes that resembled nothing while hearing myself belt out the most asinine words in an attempt to pinpoint whatever the hell she was trying to depict brought me to tears. This lasted for a good two hours.

Trivial Pursuit is especially fun if you think you’re smart and want to learn otherwise. Of course, there’s the family version, which I once played with a bunch of folks at a pal’s birthday party over a spread of Trader Joe’s hummus, whole wheat lavash and six-layer bean dip. We divided the party into the “dumb” group, who got the kiddie questions, and a “smart” group, who chose the adult cards. Oddly enough, the peeps with the kiddie cards had an even harder time with those tough questions. I recommend the Pop Culture edition if you don’t want to feel like a complete dumbass, but it is pretty fun to laugh at your own idiocy.

I now have gotten really into Scrabble. When I went up to the mountains with my boyfriend, and he beat me with the word “selfie,” I went on a tirade about how millennials shouldn’t influence what does or does not make it into the Oxford Dictionary. He just told me I was a sore loser.

Twister is awesome in any context with anyone at any time. It once helped break the ice between me and this guy I had the hots for. Do it.

My gal friends and I did another game night with a Ouiji board, which you would think would only be fun if you were tripping on acid or completely stoned. Call me superstitious or insane, but I swear that thing moves on its own. (I am easily spooked.)

Now Monopoly is an entirely different subject. Has anyone out there actually finished a game of Monopoly? Because even when a big group of us got together to play the game on a warm summer evening up on the patio of a quaint home in the Hollyood Hills, we still couldn’t see it through to the end. By the time I lost out on Park Place I got up pissed and sulked on the sofa in front of Curb Your Enthusiasm re-runs, stuffing my face with Pepperidge Farms Goldfish. Pretty soon the others followed, and the party ended soon after.

Monopoly, no matter how much you want to enjoy it, or how sober you are, is still fucking boring.

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About Author

Tracy Chabala is a freelance writer for many publications including the LA Times, LA Weekly, Smashd, VICE and Salon. She writes mostly about food, technology and culture, in addition to addiction and mental health. She holds a Master's in Professional Writing from USC and is finishing up her novel.