After meeting a horrific death to a hoard of goblins, I’m waiting for my next game. One of my opponents showed me some really cute Dragonshield sleeves that featured baby dragons on them and I’ve decided that they need to go on my Mirrym, Sentinel Wyrm deck.
I find the coveted sleeves on the back wall and gleefully begin taking them to the cash register.
“Um, excuse me, m’lady.” It’s the Omnath player that I took out last round. He doesn’t actually say “m’lady” but he’s giving strong “m’lady” energy. “I just wanted to let you know, there are much better sleeves out there.”
I can’t even begin to imagine walking up to some dude in a game store and giving him unasked for advice on what sleeves he should or shouldn’t purchase.
Unfortunately, this kind of behavior happens to me all the time.
“Yeah, I prefer the feel of Katana, but Dragonshield just has a better variety in colours and designs,” I admit. I’m not about to start an ego battle in the game shop over card sleeves.
“If I might direct your attention to the Eclipses,” he says, gesturing to the limited display near the cash register.
“Nah, I’m good.”
He shrugs in a can’t-say-I-didn’t-warn-you kind of way and makes a comment about how well they shuffle in comparison to my beloved Dragonshields.
The employees are currently busy so we begin chatting about the upcoming Dominaria United set. “Yeah, I’m really excited for Greensleeves, Maro-Sorcerer,” he says. “It’s power and toughness are each equal to the amount of lands I control.”
“Oh, the one that makes badgers? I can’t wait to put that in my Aesi deck!”
The conversation ends abruptly and he stands there in silence after my contribution. Maybe he was simply at a loss as to what to say next. Either that or he had his own thoughts about whether it belonged in my Aesi deck or not. Who’s to say.
We finally make our way to the cash register and the employee excitedly shows me his collection of cards, tells me why everyone got cake (by the way, we got cake), and expands on some of the upcoming events. Tom and I are fairly new to this LGS and the staff here have been abundantly welcoming.
While the employee is in the back grabbing his collection to show to me, Mr. Omnath and I make conversation about the communal bottle of ranch that hangs out in the fridge next to the cash register. He likes it on macaroni. I say I like ranch with Hawaiian pizza. He says he doesn’t think pineapples belong on pizza. I think about how I don’t think ranch belongs on pasta.
He isn’t all that bad and when it comes down to it; he’s a nice guy. Regrettably, like several people in the Magic community, he came across as assuming that every woman who comes into the LGS needs his advice and guidance.
After my initial experiences within the Magic community, I’m now easily triggered and put on the defensive.
I’ve had men I don’t know tinker with my board state, remind me of my upkeep triggers before I’ve begun my turn, tell me who I’m allowed to attack and when, and now, instruct me on what sleeves I should and shouldn’t buy.
If I pause for longer than five seconds to consider my turn, someone will infallibly interject with a suggestion. Some men have even explained my own cards and deck to me or turned to my husband to ask what one of my cards does or if a certain creature is included in my deck.
Worst of all is the dreaded question, “Who made this deck for you?”
I was once even told to consult with my husband before buying a card I wanted “just to make sure”.
Tom? He’s seen next to none of this kind of behavior and is as baffled as I am by it.
As I begin to see more and more other women begin to play, I hope this is a dynamic that changes soon. I can tell that Mr. Omnath was well meaning and genuinely wanted to help even if he was a little misguided in his approach. As for me, maybe I need to calm down and stop expecting the worst out of people at our new LGS.
At the very least, I got both cake and new sleeves if not also a new friend who likes ranch on his macaroni.