Of all the bullshit things going on in my mind right now, I need to discuss a serious medical condition: Puzzle Eye.
In a different time in history, I may have been accused of witchcraft or vampirism because I. cannot. stop. with this fucking puzzle shit. If I am chasing you, just throw some puzzle pieces at me and it will drive me mad until I can put it all together. If I can’t work on actual jigsaw puzzles, then I play virtual jigsaw puzzle games or some sort of matching puzzle game. It’s getting to be annoyingly problematic. As an aside, I’ve passed this condition on to my son, but not my daughter. She tries, but she can’t. In fact, she bought a puzzle for herself that she worked on for all of 10 seconds before giving up and passing it on to me. She never should have brought it into this house! It’s become the bane of my existence. 300 pieces shouldn’t be a difficult puzzle. It should not. A 300 piece puzzle is an easy Sunday afternoon for me. But fuck this puzzle.
It’s cheap and doesn’t fit together well and it’s a complete nightmare to put together. I don’t know whether I’ll paint it not. UGH, this puzzle. I absolutely hate it but I will absolutely finish it.
Aside from that bullshit Color-Me puzzle I’ve been out of practice for a while because once I start I can’t stop and my life is too busy to lose a couple of days at a time to obsession. Having said that, I have still been collecting puzzles even if I haven’t been putting them together. Ravensburger is still and always will be king and their Challenge Series is a favorite of mine. They are generally 1000 pieces and of decent difficulty so it’s hard enough to be interesting but not so difficult as to be stressful.
Ravensburger’s Krypt Series is amazing. Once I’ve figured out the ‘trick’ of it, there is a great sense of accomplishment and I feel like a goddamn genius. This feeling occurs when working on regular puzzles, but it’s really tenfold on these krypt puzzles. I think that’s when puzzle eye kicks in. I see a piece and just know where it goes. I’m not a doctor so I don’t know how it works but I’m pretty sure it’s magic. I have a plethora of amazing yet useless skills. The spiral one I have hanging in the classroom but I found no reason to put a silver square on the wall.
Previously, my largest puzzle was Ravensburger’s Tarot which was so incredibly satisfying. It took 2 days of intense focus–and very little sleep or interaction with anyone. This is what I mean about how ridiculous I am with puzzles. This isn’t good behavior for normal people let alone for a spouse or parent, so while I still completed puzzles, I didn’t do any as larger or as involved.
Until now. [ominous music!]
A few years ago I acquired my most intense challenge yet: Ravensburger’s 5000 piece Sistine Chapel
Amazon has it listed for $68 but I picked it up on clearance somewhere for $20. $68 is actually much less than what it was listed for previously–around $80-$90. I want to do this so badly but I need to work up to it. I have a few more untouched Challenge puzzles and a whole box of cheap grocery store puzzles of varying difficulty that I recently rediscovered tucked away in a box in the classroom. I’ve been retraining my puzzle eye, just doing easy 300 and 500 piece sets, maybe a 750 piece one. I may even complete another Challenge Series puzzle before I
attempt begin the Sistine Chapel. This training regimen has been fraught with frustration.
I actually threw away this cute doggie puzzle. It was only 300 pieces and fun of course, but I knew it would be incomplete. I had to find out how incomplete though, and a few hours later I was left with four missing pieces. The cheap grocery store puzzles are kept in Ziploc style bags (as opposed to the individual jigsaw puzzle boxes that we’re used to seeing) and have been moved throughout the house countless times. Some of these puzzles have pieces are missing. I can’t express just how much this irritates me. How much an unexpected missing puzzle piece makes my skin crawl. Now, like the dog puzzle there are some sets that I know will have missing pieces; some sets that have been attempted by small hands and abandoned. That’s okay. I’m prepared. My fried chicken* is ready. But the ones that should be complete? The ones that have not been touched and yet still come out with one piece gone? Oh fuck them. FUCK THEM WITH THE BRILLIANT RAGE OF A THOUSAND SUNS.
I’m not giving up. I’ll keep looking and maybe a miracle will happen and I fill find it. In the mean time, I’ll continue to re-focus my puzzle eye and work up to that doozy of a challenge.