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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8 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

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