I love games. Not video games. Real games. Games that require thought, shuffling, rolling dice, spinning a spinner, turning over a sand timer, or leaning over to move a game piece. It’s a dying pleasure I’m afraid. Board games and cards have been replaced by Apps. The personal reaction has transformed from the physical face-to-face variety to a virtual world of screen names and avatars. Don’t get me wrong, Apps are great and the ability to play with family and friends all over the world is awesome. But it’s not the same as gathering together with snacks, music, conversation, and laughter. Some of my best memories involve games.
From a young age, I spent the night at my grandma’s house with my cousins. Apart from arguing about who would get the primo sleeping spot under the dining room table (I never won that argument), we would have so much fun. We played Uno. The best games were the ones that lasted hours. I still love a game of Uno, though I’m not keen on the new fangled versions that require batteries and shoot cards in my face.
Another game I used to like was Monopoly. (I say “used to” because my husband sucked all the fun out of it. He has great potential as a loan shark.) When I was younger, I lived two doors down from my cousin and we’d play Monopoly during the summer. One game lasted a week. We had the patience and dedication to keep coming back to it day after day until it was finished. I can’t imagine my kids doing that now.
My cousin’s family loved games. I remember spending the night with her or going to the lake and the adults playing “Twenty Questions.” They always laughed so much. I realize now that a lot of that laughter was at the suggestive nature of some of the questions . A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste.
That same cousin and I played a lot of games together, too. We loved to play Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit, and Life. The game of Life is especially precious to me. I associate it with my great-grandmother who we called Mamaw. Near the end of her life, she came to live with my grandmother on my father’s side. My cousin and I would go stay with Mamaw when Grandma wasn’t home and I always brought Life with me. My cousin and I would play in the floor while Mamaw sat in her chair and watched. We didn’t talk much, and we felt a little guilty about it. We were there for her, but we just sat and played games. When we’d leave, she always gave us a little money, which only made us feel more guilty. We were only about 12 and didn’t yet understand the concept of loneliness. Most importantly, we didn’t understand the joy of children.
When I watch my children play, it takes me back to my childhood. I remember what it felt like to have no other care in the world than who was going to win a game of Uno. I remember how effortless it was to play Twister. When I watch my children play, I marvel at their intelligence, their joy, their existence. I delight in them. My mamaw, sitting in her chair watching her two great-granddaughters playing games, laughing, and chattering probably felt the same way. I imagine her thinking about her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. About her life. We needn’t have felt guilty. While we were playing Life, she was enjoying the fruits of hers.
This post is for the RemebeRED prompt from the red dress club.
The prompt was Let’s Play: mine your memories for games you played when you were young.