Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Of Games and Books, and Family Rivalry

I was reading this post over at the Common Room and thought about a memory of my own, playing the game CatchPhrase.

It was our custom for many years to buy a new game at Christmas-- like Guesstures, Crack the Case, Tri-bond, Apples to Apples--you get the picture. My children are SO competitive at games, that they have banned several from ever being played again, at least by the group. Others they give a forty-five minute time limit to, before two or three (unnamed) persons Ruin It For Everybody, and they have to put the game away and huff around for awhile until they Get Over It.

Somehow, CatchPhrase has never caused any arguments, and is a game that my younger two were able to join in with. So, even if we get a new game at Christmas, after the Big Blowup, we will pull out CatchPhrase once again.

A couple of years ago, my brother hosted an informal Game night sometime Christmas week. Four or five of my children came along, both kids-in-law, and my other brother with his kids. We decided to play CatchPhrase, and counted off one-two-one-two around the circle, to determine teams. No one noticed at that time that both my brothers and I ended up on team Two. We began to play, and it was soon evident that Three Of Us had grown up in the same environment. bam. Bam. BAM! One game after another we won, won, won. It was really fun to see what clues each would come up with.

Now, I am really proud of my own Family Culture--my daughter- and son-in-law are always proud to learn another Piece of it for their Arsenal. But even though there are more of *them,* my two brothers and I Smashed 'em to pieces!

Actually, the point of this post was going to be something about how you need to celebrate your family culture, and how it likes to come out and play with you at get-together time. But somehow, I got really Violently Excited about beating my children. Like the old joke:

Do you beat your children?
Yes, all the time.
Well, how else will they learn to play checkers?

In other news, my sister (who lives across the country) and I have decided to Read A Book together. She said she missed many of the *classics* the first time around, but wasn't interested in swashbuckling stories or Two Years Before the Mast or anything like that. We decided to think about a book or two and talk later.

She called back and suggested Lost Horizon by James Hilton (one of my fave books) and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, because she knew many people who had read it. I looked it up on the library website--1075 pages. That is One Thousand, Seventy-Five. Pages.

So, I guess we will start with Lost Horizon.

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