Games are a whole lot of fun
Minor MusingsEvery so often, we spend a whole evening playing cards or dominoes with four or six or 10 relatives. Sometimes we play a game called Mexican Railroad, sometimes it's Super Rummy, or a card game we call Golf. I'm not sure where the names originated. In fact, I'm not even sure where the games originated. The important thing is that they're great fun, because we joke and laugh and simply enjoy each other's company. Don't get me wrong; we play to win. But mostly, we play for the camaraderie.
Published: April 4, 2010
Published: April 4, 2010
I love games of any kind; I always have. I do crossword puzzles while I watch television and I'm practically addicted to computer mahjongg. I've tried several Wii Fit games as well as Guitar Hero. They're fun, but computer games for one or two will never hold a candle to any group game with a whole bunch of friends or relatives gathered around somebody's kitchen table.
For card games, it doesn't matter whether it's Hearts or Euchre or a silly one we call Pound The Table. I love them all. The same goes for board games like Monopoly, Clue, Sorry or Parcheezi. I also love word games like Scrabble and Dictionary or guessing games like I Spy With My Eye, My Father Owns A Grocery Store, and Charades.
In case you're not familiar with it, Dictionary is a game for four to 20 players where you take turns choosing a word from the dictionary that no one in the group has ever heard before. The one who chose the word then suggests four different meanings and everyone has to vote for the one they think is correct. It may sound dull, but it can become hilarious.
The reason I love games so much is because I grew up playing a whole lot of them. My Daddy loved games and we kids loved playing them with him. We played action games like Carems and Jenga and homemade games like Button, Button, Who's Got the Button? and Battleship. (Yes, Battleship was a homemade game long before someone decided to make a boxed version. And the homemade one is still a whole lot more fun.)
Games around the kitchen table taught us to be team players, gracious winners and patient losers. They also taught us math skills, because Daddy made sure we took turns keeping score, dealing, counting spaces, making change or whatever the game required. We also learned spelling and vocabulary skills. Of course we didn't know we were learning; we were just having a whole lot of fun.
With card games we did have one problem: Daddy had a photographic memory. He could memorize every card played so he always - absolutely always - won. That could get frustrating, but it made for some lively competitions. Invariably we kids would gang up on him to make him lose. He always played along, pretending not to know what we were doing, and sometimes he'd even let us succeed.
If we were traveling, we still played games - not individually on laptops, cell phones, or iPods like today's kids - but together, competing to see who could count the most animals on their side of the car, or Chevrolets vs. Fords, or license plates by state before we reached Grandma's house.
The benefit of all this is the same one we get when we sit down to dinner as a family - spending time, face to face, with the people we love building happy memories and strong bonds. Interacting with your kids, your neighbors, your relatives or your best friends, laughing, talking, sharing - that's what makes you a "whole" person.