I think it perhaps ill-advised to draft the following post, but it is my hope that finished words may, in their certainty, provide definition and dimension to my dilemma, and therefore make of it a lesser matter.
This weekend at Dundracon I met a woman. Although encountering a person of the female persuasion at a gaming convention is no longer exactly the banner headline it may have been ten or so years ago, still it must be said that the hobby is, if not dominated, at least held quite securely in the hands of men. Nonetheless, it was not for gender, but rather character (by which I mean, in perhaps the single instance wherein the clarification would be necessary, her nature) that calls her still to mind.
She was, or rather I suppose must be "is", as I doubt her favorable qualities are of such brief duration, a remarkably interesting individual. Over the six hours she played in my event, I found her to be intelligent, engaging, and though perhaps a shallow observation it may be, attractive to distraction. One may entertain the odds of encountering a beautiful, clever, and lively woman with a love of Shakespeare, experience with the epee, and interest in gaming, but I think it safe to say it would be an exercise in the unlikely.
Given my luck, perhaps it would be even impossible that such a specifically favorable combination should have occured, were it not for one other descriptor that served to balance the karmic scales.
To say that is simply the nature of life seems a little unsatisfying, as I'm stting here writing this in the middle of the night rather than catching up on sleep no doubt shows. Right now infatuation rules the mind, and other concerns must orbit the periphery. Fortunately, in my experience this sickness will run its course in a week or so, and provided the source remains distant, re-infection is unlikely. Given long enough, a month maybe, time will even produce a more or less permanent vaccine against this particular strain.
Which brings me, conveniently, to my other problem. As would be appropriate for such a commendable person, her husband was also a man of admirable integrities. Gaming is a social event, and the quality of the experience hinges upon the interaction of the players. Although any six people can sit at a table and crawl through a dungeon, when you get the right line-up the experience can be almost transcendent. It may seem odd to speak of something many people no doubt picture as little more than a collection of nerdy stereotypes (and certainly many of those would be accurate), but a great game is really just a collection of great conversations. Every thing else is window dressing.
Unfortunately, truly memorable gaming sessions are as rare as they are enjoyable, and in that much depends on the players. Rarely do I meet people I think I'd have a really great time with, and as fate would have it, my little mental distraction and her good husband fit the bill. They even have a gaming group that meets with some regularity and, through some fit of insanity, invited me to join.
Although I am undeniably interested in playing, and at the convention I even already accepted, I think it might be better to just decline. It's not so much that I fear anything untoward would ever happen (if you had ever seen me, you wouldn't be worried about that either for, though like all men I have my favorable natures, there is little in me to endanger a happy home), or that I think passion will make the experience of gaming with them unbearable. In actuality, I expect this little infatuation to run its course in a few weeks. Even still, for the time being at least, I think it best to avoid her.
Which sucks, because I could really go for a good game.