The games people play
There were no computers in homes while I was growing up, which was in the 50’s and 60’s. No kid had a cell phone or an iPad, or any other electronic device to use for pleasure or studies. Our house had one telephone, and it was not even cordless. We had one of those clunky black phones that set on a desk. It had a rotary dial, and a big black receiver, separate from the telephone itself, but connected to the main phone with a straight, black cord. Sounds pretty antiquated, huh?
Kids would play with other kids when they were not in school. Parents usually didn’t play with the kids because the children all had friends. The kids would go outside to play or go over to the friends’ houses. Mothers let the kids run around the neighborhood during the day, because they knew the neighbors, and all the other mothers were home. It wasn’t just a treat for the kids to do this. It was the way life was back in those days. The rule was to be home by dinner time.
Every parent had a special signal for the kids to come home. Some used a bell; some honked the car horn; some had a whistle or would whistle with the mouth. Each kid knew his or her own parents’ signals, and we also knew we’d better get home right then, or else. (That was when “or else” really meant something, and we knew very well what it meant.)
I had a best friend who lived two doors down from my house. Her name was Candy, and we loved to play Bride. Candy’s mother had a box of old curtains, sheers with ruffles, that she wasn’t using anymore. They were called café curtains. Candy and I would dress up in those curtains and pretend we were brides. There was a show on TV that showed real weddings. We’d turn on the wedding show and go through the ceremony. We weren’t gay; we just both wanted to be brides. Groom attire was boring. Brides had beautiful and flowing gowns.
Pretending, wasn’t a bad thing back then. We had fun, and when we were done with weddings for the day, we’d put the curtains back in the box and play something else. Sometimes we’d play church or school.
Candy and I also liked to play board games and cards. Flinch was a card game much like Skip-Bo, and we played it many times. There were other games we’d play, such as Candyland and Chutes and Ladders.
I’m not sure kids today play like we did back in those days. The computer age kind of took over our lives, and so many kids hardly know how to experience pleasure without some kind of electronic device. Pretending, or make-believe, uses a kid’s imagination that is formed with no help of devices.
When I was young and first married (to my first husband), we liked to play board games some. I soon learned to dislike the board game called Monopoly. This game can be very competitive, and if one of the players is a poor sport, it takes away the fun. When this man was winning, he was obnoxious and gloating; when he was losing, he was cruel. That was many, many years ago, but to this day I will not play a game of Monopoly.
When Trivial Pursuit first came out, I was super excited to have one of those games. I always loved trivia, and I knew it would be a great game. However, it was very expensive when it made its debut, so I waited until it had been around for a while before I took the plunge to make the purchase. Soon afterwards, we had some friends over for a barbecue. I got my treasured game out for us to play. Two of the ladies at our party had played the game many times before.
Again, I was disappointed with a board game. I discovered that if there are folks who have played this game before, there is a good chance they will know all the answers because they have already heard all the questions. I got rid of that game very soon after.
My all-time favorite game to play when we have company (and when I can interest them in playing a game), is a game called “Win, Lose, or Draw.” It started as a game show on TV, and then became a board game. We don’t use the board when we play this game. It is much like Pictionary. People form teams (usually the guys against the gals). Someone reads the clue from a card, and then tries to draw pictures on a dry erase board so his/her team may guess what the clue is. It is fun, and funny (a good combination). We have spent many times laughing like crazy as people tried to draw something that looks totally different than what they are trying to draw.
I still enjoy an evening of board games or cards. My current husband and I love to play cards, but we don’t do it very often any more. Meetings and other activities have taken over our evenings, and when we are home, our nights consist of his watching TV and my sleeping on the couch. (TV is the electronic device of our home.)
Enjoy a game from time to time. Do something that makes you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine.
— My love to all,
• • •
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!
— Psalm 32:11