My husband put a Pocket Electronic Yahtzee Game in my stocking for Christmas. It was something he enjoyed playing as a kid, so he thought I would like it… and he could also steal it and play too. (Ironically, knowing he liked the electronic version, I put 5 dice and scorecards in HIS stocking. We had a good laugh.) Before New Years, he had achieved the high score on MY pocket Yahtzee, at an unattainable, whopping 515 points. Every time I play MY pocket Yahtzee game (note the emphases) I see HIS high score that I can’t come close to beating… But I digress.
So what does Yahtzee have to do with Tie Dye?
The thing with Yahtzee is it’s basically a 90/10 chance to strategy ratio. “COME OOOONNNN, YAHTZEE!!!” Is commonly heard around our house as I hold my breath in hopes of the illusive 50 point roll. Now before you get all judgy, it’s not like we play this game ALL the time… it’s just 10 minutes here or there when we feel like wasting a little time.
Tie Dye, on the far other end of the spectrum is typically a 10/90 chance to strategy ratio, at least for professional dyers like I’ve become with much effort. In the early days there were, of course, a lot more finger-crossing “Come on, Yahtzee!” moments in my tie dye. Honestly, every washout was like that. A whole lot of wondering and hope… Not a whole lot of consistency.
As I grew in my skills of folding, tying, and dye application, my results became more predictable and less varied. But while I was starting to achieve that desired consistency, I was starting to lose that sense of wonder and hope that came with the unknown. Interestingly enough, Yahtzee changed my attitude towards the chance to strategy ratio.
Yahtzee is still fun for me to play, even though I haven’t been able to beat my husband’s high score. It’s still full of hope and wonder… I still cry, “WOOHOO, YAHTZAAAAYYYY!!!” Every time I get a Yahtzee. Every. Single. Time. Perhaps the just-beyond-my-reach nature of my husband’s high score is part of what makes it so much fun. It’s the thrill of the chase, the roll of the dice, the unknown possibilities if I just give it a go! The “Maybe THIS game will be the one to beat his high score” reasoning keeps pushing me forward to try again.
Now, perhaps if I’m trying to SELL my tie dyes, I can’t see it like a total game of chance… I do need the consistency I’ve developed. But the Yahtzee approach works wonders in my favor when I apply it to trying new designs. I know because of my skills I will have some amount of predictability, but the thrill of the unknown possibilities is what has brought back my childlike wonder and self-cheerleading that were so present in my inaugural dyes. Yahtzee has brought me back to a place of actually trying to will results. “Come on, be a good washout!” I say to the crumpled up piece of fabric as I start to unravel the sinew with crossed fingers. I’ve even stepped out and taken chances in the realm of vending (which I wrote about in my last blog post.)
Yahtzee has brought me back to the heart and soul of tie dye: hope and wonder. Hope that something boring and plain can become something beautiful and original. Wonder as I look at beautiful end results and think, “How did that happen!?”
I guess I’ve always been challenged and inspired by those who choose to take risks and allow Chance to have her heyday every once in a while. People who understand the simple, yet profound words of Garth Brooks: “Life is not tried, it is merely survived when you’re standing outside the fire.”