Well, it's been 12 days since I last posted anything and this is the 2nd week I've skipped gaming altogether.
The reason isn't because I'm not into it or anything of that sort. I love the game, I like playing with the guys I play with. It's just that some stuff has come up like bad weather, being sick, family engagements (like tonight, which seemed to mount and mount the more the evening went on), etc.
I've tried to call Paul numerous times and for some reason can't get through, so I dunno what the deal is. Mom ran into him at Wal-Mart and he mentioned trying to get in touch with him and she told him I had tried calling him multiple times, so hopefully he won't be upset at my absence and things can go back to running smoothly next week.
That's the plan, anyway, but in the past with some other experiences with game groups, things haven't been that easy. I guess it's time to elaborate on those past problems I've hinted at before while the worry of this instance is on my mind.
Let's go back to 2004. This year brought to an end the most successful, largest group I've ever gamed in and when it comes down to it, it was because of me. My ex and I split and she started dating one of my closest friends, who happened to be a regular part of the group. With this, he dropped out and so did most of the people he had gotten to play with us, thus lessening the numbers. Some people moved, which worsened things and it all just pretty much went to pot after that.
A little while later, a new group was formed. This one with Jon, Chris, Eric, Zack, and I. It was scheduled for 9am Sunday mornings, a time I had said I wasn't able to fully commit to, but would be there as often as I could...and I was. I was there as much as I could possibly make it, but had made the mistake of running a far-reaching campaign and with my "attendance" like it was, it only served, little to my knowledge, to piss my friends off. Take note that they said nothing to me about it, or I would have tried to fix it. That group disbanded after just a few months.
Six months later, I've not gamed in a while and am hearing stories of gaming exploits from a new group consisting of Eric, Zack, Chris, Jon, a guy named Keith that I had known for a couple of years, and 3 guys I either hadn't met before or were poorly acquainted with named Wes, Richie, and Mike. One night I was on the phone to Eric and he mentioned needing to get off to go play and I asked if I could join. He seemed reluctant, but didn't give me a reason why, only referring me to Chris, whom I called right after. Chris explained that my attendance of the last game was an issue that wasn't welcomed and that he would put it to the group if I could rejoin or not. Two weeks later, I was playing again, despite (I later learned) iffy and "no" votes from close friends.
That group lived on and moved venues a time or two and eventually ended up with lineup changes as Wes and Mike weren't able to commit, Keith and Eric had some drama which led to Keith leaving, Eric ended up leaving and Paul joined us. This group became kinda locally um...famous? I guess is the right word. We ran the group with utmost efficiency, had a waiting list of people who wanted in (we felt 6 was a comfortable number), dealt with any problems through Democratic ways, etc. This all ended in December.
Chris had his fiance Nadine over during one of the sessions and everyone voiced opinions that they didn't want distractions, and were wary of having guests sit in on us for those reasons. The game went off without a hitch, and things went great. The next day, Chris called me and we talked about random game stuff. A little unnerved about everyone mentioning stuff, but having my own worries eased, I mentioned the overall opinion before Nadine showed up, so that if it arose in the future there wouldn't be any problems.
Chris blew up. He suddenly felt that all our "rules" etc were stifling (though he created most of them) and that we had went beyond playing a game, and I think he felt I had told him Nadine wasn't welcome at my house, but that's not what I said, nor did I allude to it at all. Anyway, he finally got off the phone with me and called Paul and Richie, who were the only remaining group members at that time. I'm not sure what they said when he called them, but I had a feeling that they put most of it on me and painted me in a bad light, and it turns out Chris twisted my words to make it sound like the game was more important than our friendships, which I never said.
Long story short, Chris felt that he could no longer game with me, and apparently so did my other friends, as they could game with him, but never accepted any invites and never invited me. Richie's since moved, but he and I maintained our friendship best through it all. Not sure some of the intricacies of how Chris feels, but I think I was misrepresented in some of his interpretations and he's been or seemed, anyway, adamant about avoiding interaction with me except when unavoidable.
This really upsets me, since he's probably my closest friend I've had in a long time, and I would like to mend that friendship, but I don't know how. I don't know what it would take or even if it's possible. He's since moved, and for a long time he's not accepted any calls I've made to him. Maybe he washed his hands of me. I dunno. I'd like to set things right, though. It's sad that our shared hobby came between us, and should never have happened. I "swallowed my pride" a long time ago. Just dunno how to get it to move on.
I wish I knew the moral of the story. I guess that would scare off potential gaming buddies, but I don't feel like it should. The focus of that phrase is definitely "buddies" and that's never changed for me. Time will tell where things go next, I suppose.