Last night, sleep would not come. I took a melatonin. I turned on the fan. Growing desperate, I even started reading the Old Testament. But I was anxious and awake, and in the wee hours of the morning I finally realized that I would not rest until I admitted to my faithfuls the real reason I quit blogging over the summer. I told you I had been too busy, but that is not entirely true. The truth is, I quit blogging this summer for one reason and one reason only: to work on my Trivial Pursuit Skillz. I use a capital S for Skillz and a z to finish it off because I believe skills of the Trivial Pursuit variety deserve a sassier title than your everyday ho-hum skills of, say, conducting a symphony or performing heart surgery. In my family, Trivial Pursuit Skillz are the currency used for purchasing power, prestige and (most importantly) bragging rights over your fellow citizen. In my family, forget becoming valedictorian or making the basket at the buzzer. The real question is: can you win at Triv? Can you prove that you know absolutely everything about absolutely nothing? This summer, I was reminded of what that answer is, and has always been, for me: um, no.
In July, my younger sister came to visit and every night that she was here, we four siblings and our parents sat around the Trivial Pursuit board, revisiting the ritual of our childhood. I’ve always considered myself a somewhat well-read, relatively aware person, but alas: I stink at this game. Playing Trivial Pursuit with my family is almost as bad as playing Settlers of Catan with my husband, except that with my family, I can’t pout and make them sleep on the couch. (I tried that once with my father. It was awkward for both of us.)
I don’t know politics (they’re all Cold War questions–I’m too young), sports (I’m too disinterested), or even pop culture (I’m too geeky.) I don’t really know geography (too ignorant) and to be honest, I don’t even know what Science and Nature is. (I don’t think anybody knows. If you know, will you tell me?) In fact, it turns out that despite my feeble attempts at reading and writing, I really don’t know much about anything at all. But I believe myself to be a hardworking, proactive person, so what I want to know is this: Where is my representation on the Triv board? Where are the questions to reflect my talents and interests? Where is the category for reading Anita Shreve novels? Or pinning pound cakes on my This Looks Yumalicious! board? Where is the category for finally learning how to operate my thermostat, or repainting my hallway, or completing an entire month’s worth of grocery shopping–at Winco, no less–at eleven o’clock on a Saturday night? Where is the category for diapering my dog and singing at my scout meeting and napping with my sick daughter on the couch? (It was a selfless act. Really.)
Where, I ask the Great Triv Board in the Sky, is the category for moms?
I know that sounds a bit sexist, suggesting that we mothers possess only menial skills rather than the intellectual capacity that a game like Trivial Pursuit requires. I didn’t mean it that way, honest. I just meant that, lately, it’s easier for my fingers to physically punch the keys on this keyboard than it is for my brain to create the ideas to be punched. If only I could punch someone else’s ideas; I’d be so good at it. Wait, there’s a word for that: plagiarism. Where is the category for plagiarism? When is it my turn?
Well, it was my turn, quite often. And it usually ended in a wrong answer. Where is the category for wrong answers? Oh yeah. That’s every category for me.
So rather than posting about my galactical Trivial Pursuit failures, I spent the rest of the summer trolling through the internet, brushing up on my latin etymology, the global positioning of volcanoes, and the history of the NBA. Come autumn, my house was a mess and my kids were ignored, but–not to brag or anything–I could tell you everything you needed to know about Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972.
(Good day, my faithful)