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  • The Archer

Confession Time: Here's What I Got

In elementary school I was the "smart kid," I picked up reading fast and furiously and was reading on an eighth grade level in first grade. The problem with this was that I developed absolutely zero study skills whatsoever and in high school had a "Come-To-Jesus" (Not the Christian dude, the gardener who works near my house) moment and had to suddenly teach myself how to take notes and study in order not to fail out of school. That being said, I have kept my reputation as a "smart person" for some reason and because I read 200 books a year (learn more about that here:

I tend to know a little about a lot. People come to me to ask my opinion on things because most likely I will have read a book or at least skimmed the GIFs on a buzzfeed article.

However, there is one thing that everyone expects me to be good at, based on my highly logical nature, that I just cannot seem to find success with.

That thing is Escape Rooms.

These popped up, seemingly out of nowhere, about 5 years ago. Rooms where you pay to be locked in and solve a series of clues to "escape." Great for friend outings, parties, families, dates, corporate team building exercises and more.

When these first started appearing on my Groupon page, I was excited. I know a little about a lot (and a lot about a little) and it seemed like these would be exactly my cup of tea. My first time I took my little brother (who has a very similar skill sets to mine) and we went in, ready to escape in 30 minutes tops.

We did not solve one clue.

When asked to think outside the box we went very deep into the box. There was something about the periodic table of elements in the room and we were both trying to add element values-meanwhile the point was to just use the letters of the elements that were bolded to spell a word.

I see a map, I'm trying to use my knowledge of geography when really theres a laser on the other side of the room that you reflect off of a mirror that points to the spot on the map you need to touch.

Some people's brains work that way and they understand that they need to just find the thing that is missing. My brain spirals into a hole that is nowhere near where it is supposed to be.

That being said I did enjoy the one date that took me to an escape room. I do enjoy going with my family (they all think like me and we never escape) and going with friends (then we usually escape.)

Recently, I went with a bunch of friends, all a bit older than I, to an escape room. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was sort of standing on the sidelines watching, not really solving any clues (and that was true.) All of us in the escape room were single which got me thinking:

Is shidduchim an escape room for which I am just not wired?

There are people who seem more wired for this process. They go on good dates and have long relationships and find their spouses with relative ease. Or, like me, they spend a long time in the process but the process doesn't seem to hurt them the way it does me.

I'm asking the escape room monitor, the Guy behind the camera, give me a clue! Let me out!

And I'm watching the other girls realize that the umbrella is really a hook you need to use to pull a lever on the ceiling that opens another door. My brain just doesn't think that way.

The harder part is people assume I am good at escape rooms because I tend to lean toward things that are more academic. I am a trivia wiz. But then they go with me to try to escape and are sorely disappointed by my skills.

Are there people out there who assumed I would be good at shidduchim, that I'd fly through, and now, watching from the outside, are wondering what the hell is wrong with me?

To be honest, if I was watching from the outside I would wonder what is wrong with me too.

Yesterday I went out with my dear friends and their ten year old daughter (who is also my dear friend.) The ten year old asked me, "Archer, right you go out with guys who like you but you say no to them? So why don't you just say yes instead?"

Wise words from a ten year old. How do I explain to her that my innate knowledge is all I have and I have to trust it? She wants me to escape the room and she can probably easily see that the basket is filled with puzzle pieces that I need to line up in order to make a key fall out of a bag.

But I still believe I am going to find someone who doesn't feel like an escape room. He will feel like a round of pop culture trivia, something where I'm on my A-game, I'm confident, and I'm in the zone. And everyone watching will say "Why did we have this girl in an escape room when that isn't how her brain works? She should have been doing trivia years ago!"

Meanwhile, I'm looking for that umbrella, those puzzle pieces, the bolded letters. I am making do with what I have.

But I sure would love to escape.

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