Have you ever been in a situation where you made a choice, and you knew you were probably making the wrong choice, but you told yourself it was okay because you had been provoked; and then afterwards, you felt awful and guilty because you knew you knowingly chose poorly?
If you can say yes, then you understand how I’m currently feeling.
I try to keep it hidden that I have a competitive side and a bit of a temper. Not a good combination of things. When I was in 4th grade I realized that I kind of became a terror when I gave into this side of myself, and so I made great strides in learning to control it. Occasionally, it’s returned over the years. Like tonight.
Ever since April, I’ve been on a journey to learn to play Magic. What is Magic? It’s a card game that’s all about strategy. Initially I didn’t really expect to enjoy it, but I’m starting to really like it. I still feel like I barely know what I’m doing, but for only having been playing for about two months, I’m pretty proud of the strides I’ve made.
This weekend was the first weekend I played rounds against people I didn’t know. Up ’til now I’ve only played against the boy and a few friends. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Last night (Saturday), went really well. I actually did decently. Tonight, however, was a different story.
There was a girl who was placed at the table I was playing at who was a complete stranger. The other two playing were friends, and I had a bit of a feel for how they would play. The stranger was a complete mystery. I could tell early on that she was really not happy about being placed at our table. Her friends were all at the table the boy had gotten placed at. Going into the game, I really didn’t feel very good about the cards I had pulled during the draw; I pretty much decided that I’d see how the game was going to go, but was relatively certain I was just going to let myself get killed. As the game progressed, mystery girl got more and more ticked off, and she was definitely out for blood. (I guess she wanted to make us pay for her not being in with her friends, even though we had no control over that?) Now, I had two choices. I could have gone with my initial plan to get killed first so that this girl wouldn’t feel like she was being ganged up on…or, I could attack her with everything I had.
When she took to ignoring what was going on when it wasn’t her turn, in favor of playing with her phone, that was the last straw for me. I understand that it sucks not playing with your friends. Besides, my time with the boy is limited every week, and I lost an hour of it tonight because he was placed at a different table. I could have just as easily pulled a crappy attitude. But I didn’t.
I’m not proud of what I did. I gave into the darker parts of me, and made sure that she was the first person killed in the game. Which, as you would expect, made her even more upset than she already was. I tried convincing myself that it was okay to do what I did because I was provoked.
It’s not okay. I had an opportunity to be the better person or to be a bully, and I chose to be a bully. I can’t make the situation right. And yes, I know it was just a game. But the fact that I played a part in ruining her night isn’t okay. Had the situation been reversed, I wouldn’t have liked it very much. I guess the only thing I can do is not give in the next time I face a situation like this. I can’t control how people are going to act or feel, but I can control my response.