NoBloPoMo, Reflections

Game Day… (Day 21)

Today is National Game Day, and that makes me happy, because I’m a gamer at heart.  There’s just something about getting together with people for the express purpose of playing that brings a smile to my face.  The games I enjoy have changed over the years, but not the intent as much, or the result.  Because it has always been about making new friends, and celebrating and cementing old friendships, too…

My earliest memories are about playing: playing hide and seek, playing tag, playing kickball and dodgeball and king of the hill.  I never got to spend much time with my cousins, but to this day, when we do meet, we still talk about how my one cousin crashed through a glass door during a game of tag!  Then there was War, Go Fish, Old Maid, and even Solitaire; countless ways to wile away rainy days and boredom when we couldn’t play the rough stuff…

When I got older, it was more about sports.  I was once a pretty good athlete, though it’s hard to remember that these days.  I was especially good at basketball and softball, and took pride in my achievements there.  Those memories stick with you, even when the darker ones associated with growing up fade away.  And the friends I made playing sports lasted well past the time other friends had given up on me…

There were also the pre-teen games like Kiss-chase, Spin the Bottle, and Truth or Dare.  Who doesn’t have memories, awkward and hilarious, and terribly embarrassing, from games like that?  Like I remember this one time when we were…  Oh, never mind, this probably isn’t the time for telling that story!

And then there were all the drinking games of my young adulthood, like strip poker, and strip yachtzee, and strip…  Well, you get the idea (any excuse to take our clothes off!).  But there was also Dungeons & Dragons marathons that lasted for days on end, and cost my friends and I more than one job between us…

When I got sober, Euchre was the great equalizer at any sober gathering.  It didn’t matter how long you’d been around, or if you knew anyone at all, or how socially awkward you felt without alcohol; someone would break out with a deck of cards, and within an hour or two you were all laughing hysterically, swapping stories, and making friendships that would last for years…

Nowadays, it’s become a matter of some seriousness with family and friends.  Every gift giving exchange involves some new games; my daughter currently has custody of one of the largest collection of games I’ve ever seen!  And then we look for excuses to get together – holidays, birthdays, special events, weekends – any reason whatsoever to call a “game night.”  My daughter, myself, her friends and mine, mixing together eagerly to play whatever game currently intrigues us.  Our favorites these days are Things and Cards Against Humanity (yes, I really do have a dark side!).  But whatever games we play, we can expect the hours to fly by like minutes, the outside world (with all of its problems) to disappear, and for someone to laugh so hard they either pee or puke inappropriately (or both)!

And yet, in spite of how my game playing has evolved over the course of my life, certain things have remained unchanged.  Game playing has always been a social thing for me, a way to bridge that awkward gap between my self and others.  It has provided countless hours of laughter, and frustration, and opportunities to find common ground with strangers and others I might never have otherwise connected with.  And it has taught me much about life.  I have learned about competition, healthy and otherwise, about teamwork, about how to take pride in my accomplishments without taking my self too seriously, and about the joy of the journey itself, rather than the goal.

And today, to celebrate, I’m getting paid to go into work on my day off and play games with total strangers; one of the perks of working at a craft and toy store.  Today, at least, I got it made!

And next week is Thanksgiving, and Game Night!!!!

 

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12 thoughts on “Game Day… (Day 21)

  1. This brought me back to times with family members who are no longer here. It seems to be a time honored tradition with yahtzee, parcheesi, scrabble, risk, and countless others! Thank you for reminding me of those fun times 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rawgod says:

    Do you still play euchre? Have you ever played online? I cannot say I am proud of my online gamer self, it took me a long time to realize what a lot of online euchre players (particularly POGO) were really like, but I loved euchre so much I was more interested in the game I put up with a lot of shit just so I could play, and POGO had the best euchre program I could find. Haven’t played in years now but I do miss the game. RPG games I’ve never tried…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the game, and I would play if I had anyone to play with. And no, I’ve never tried to play online. I’ve never really wanted to. I don’t think it would be the same as in person games…

      Like

      • rawgod says:

        Hi, Lisa,
        I wish I knew of a reputable site with normal people playing at it, I love euchre more than any other card game.
        But I need to ask you a question about strategy:
        How do you feel about leading trump 1st trick?
        (Spelchek is so bad they capitalized Trump when I tried to print it as trump. The guy is literally everywhere. When are Americans going to get rid of him?)
        Anyways, if my hand warrants it on defence, a trump lead is one of my favourite plays. A lot of people hate me for it, but it works about 75% of the time. You wouldn’t want to partner with me if you don’t agree with a trump lead.
        If you’re okay with it, though, I will look again to see if I can find a good place to try playing, and you can they see how you feel about online euchre after you’ve tried it.
        Of course, in person is better, but I doubt we will ever have that chance…

        Like

      • I can think of several valid times to lead with trump: * your partner calls trump and you only have one, so you lead into his/her hand * you called trump but only have right bower and two other high-ish trump, so you lead to drain others, while hoping the left comes out * you called it alone and need all 5 tricks. The first one I will do any time I get the lead.  If my partner calls it, and I only have one, even if (or perhaps especially if) I have only the left.  But I would never lead trump if I’m weak and I called it.   Example: I have right, nine, ten of trump with an Ace plus one off-suit.  I would call trump on that hand.  I would likely lead the ace, trust my partner to pick up a trick, and use my short-suitedness to trump someone else’s lead, though not my partner.  Lol!  If the ace went through, second lead would definitely be the right.  Third lead would be the double off-suit to draw out trump.  Then trump whatever is played, trying to pick up the third trick if my partner didn’t.

        Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 6.

        Like

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