Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Games We Play

Remember the games we used to play as kids? The Dating Game? Girl Talk? What was that one with the door that you opened up? It seems as though they morphed into the games we play as adults…or so I’m told.

I grew up in a card-playing family. So, when my daughter brought me a deck of Go Fish cards, I thought at three years old it was time she learned. So the game began, and it got me thinking: isn’t “Go Fish” what we basically tell people when they don’t have the match you’re looking for? I thought maybe there should be an adult version of the game. It would look like this:

Missi: Do you have…the mid-life attorney with the condo in midtown, the six-figure income, and the problem with commitment?

Jen: Go fish.

(I take a card)

Jen: Do you have…the unemployed twenty-four-year-old with the washboard abs who lives in his parents’ basement and refers to your breasts as “titties”?

Missi: Go fish.

(Jen takes a card. She giggles.)

Missi: What?

Jen: I got the hopelessly romantic Italian with the frequent flyer miles who speaks five languages and loves you unconditionally!

(She starts bouncing with glee, for you are both playing on your bed in your pajama pants and worn-out college t-shirts. She spills your margarita. You tell her you’re done playing and are going outside to smoke.)

Then my daughter brings me Old Maid cards. Really? Old Maid? Isn’t this un-p.c. or something? And why are Old Maid cards always human professionals? Where’s the animal version? You match the bear with the bear, and the Old Maid’s a pigeon or something. And there’s always that weird profession shoved in with all the more common professions, like the angler or the crossing guard. So, I teach her how to play, and I actually catch myself saying these phrases to my impressionable 3-year-old daughter, constantly correcting myself, yet painfully aware that there’s no comfortable way to explain this to her while avoiding these phrases.

“You don’t want the Old Maid.”

“You match everything together except the Old Maid.”

“The Old Maid is the only one without a match.”

“If it’s the end, and you have the Old Maid…you lose.”

We play, and guess who gets the Old Maid? Right. I do. In an effort to congratulate her on winning, with one card left in my hand and her hands empty, I say to my daughter: “Look who’s stuck with the Old Maid!”

“You are,” she replies.

I look down at my card. She has gray hair and is wearing a pink floral dress. She has a handbag. But she’s smiling. She’s smiling!

Posted by: Missi

1 comment:

  1. Haha! My mom has some cards that are called the "Old Bachelor" or something like that. Just like Old Maid except the bachelor has more hair on his face.