When i was a child, my children had a bachelor’s pad on a small lake in Upper Minnesota. It was without both electricity and domestic plumbing which was fine with me; I liked the of camping but still having a comfortable bed to sleep in at night. The only drawback was an outhouse that was half a block from the bachelor’s pad and not a fun trip at night. My mother sorted this by creating a “honey pot” that we all used at night and one of us emptied in the morning (although I suspect my mother were left with the job most often).
At night, our light originated in kerosene lamps and a large stone fireplace. After my father, mother, brother and I came in from evening fishing (or on a boisterous day), we played games in front of the fireplace; kerosene lamps hanging om Clancy’s Shootout cost to do business to light small table at the center. We played gin rummy, 500 rummy and schmier, a game that we remember as being a little like bridge. (If anyone knows how to play smear, please contact me because I need a tutorial! ) I especially loved gin rummy and won more than my share of games but It’s my job to couldn’t beat my father. Looking back, I’m not certain which was better; the games or the quiet early evenings with family. However, I grew up treasuring both.
At some point, we added Monopoly to the list but Which i had a love/hate relationship with that game. If you’re winning, it’s great. Your houses repleat the board and the heap of money in front of you grew larger every time someone shook the chop and landed on your property. But if you missed purchasing the best properties, every shake of the chop put you further and further in financial trouble — perhaps a little bit like real life! I couldn’t handle the slide into lower income and was usually very allayed when i lost all my money and could quit the game.
Of course, Scrabble was always popular but, as the most youthful, I was a little differently abled by my vocabulary. At the time, I didn’t know about short words like Qi. Xu, Qua and Za that fit into small spaces and earned a lot of points. Today I play Scrabble every day online with friends and use these words regularly although I have to admit that we still don’t know what they mean.
In college, I was introduced to Bridge. I viewed friends playing; listening to their rates for bids and studying their plays. When i met Barry, my husband-to-be, I had only played a few times. After we were engaged, he and I were invited to dinner and a bridge game at one of his married pal’s houses. I was nervous and felt like a kid; these couples were 4 to 5 years more than me and actually lived in houses, rather than dormitories. By the end of the evening, I was feeling more confident and felt my bridge playing had been pretty good. As soon as we were in the car, Barry considered me and said, “Never, never bid a three card suit! inch He married me anyway and even taught me how to bid the right way.
For several years, we played party bridge with twelve friends who have been, for the most part, at the same level as us. Each one of us turned around three tables and different partners. However, there was one man in the group who took the game very seriously. Being his partner meant opening yourself to four hands of spoken abuse. I didn’t say anything at the time but this older and wiser version of myself would not have kept her mouth closed!
Once (and only once) I played duplicate bridge. We were living on an military base in The japanese at the time and a friend asked me to substitute for her in a once-a-week duplicate bridge game while she stopped to have a baby. By this time, my bridge game had vastly improved and I immediately said yes. But I soon found out that this game had very little in keeping with party bridge. The room was lethal quiet, interrupted only with the sounds of quiet businesses at each table. The emphasis was on each hand and the score cards were kept diligently. Also, the hands were carefully replaced for the next player.
After we had finished playing all the hands, everyone gathered to see where he or she had landed on the points list. I was second from last, with only a few more points than the usual ninety-year old woman who had dementia. The game was only two hours but it felt like eight. By the time I got home, I had a terrible headache. When Barry walked in the door, I was lying on the couch, an ice pack on my head and a glass of wine and bottle of aspirin on the table beside me.
When our children came along, the two of us spent hours playing children’s games such as Candy Land, Old House maid, Go Fish and Chutes and Ladders. Although those games faded as our children grew up, our game closet is now restocked with all of them, waiting for our granddaughter’s next visit. I’m finding it more pleasurable playing the games this time around than Used to do when our children were young. I’m quite sure the reason for this is because we can enjoy playing with our grandchild without the concerns that supported raising our own children.