The topic this week is the games we played as children that we still like to play, and those we never want to play again.
I played with dolls a lot. My sister is seven years older so she had a boatload of dolls before I was even born that I also played with, plus every single year on Christmas we each received a baby doll. My sister and I played that we were best friends and married to a variety of TV stars and those were our babies. (Of course, most of this was all her imagination. But at least, she would play this with me) The first year my sister decided that she was too old for one, she carried mine around all Christmas Day. Some years we also got fashion dolls, but we never had Barbies. We had “Tammy” dolls that were very cute and anatomically closer to the natural shape of a young teen than Barbie. The first ones we received were one of the original fashion dolls, “Coty” dolls. I was too young and promptly gave mine a very short haircut; my mother was not happy.
Some years later a “Tressie” doll came out. She was also a fashion doll but she has ‘tresses’ that grew! Well, she had hair that would-up with a crank to go inside of her head until you wanted it longer. I never got her. I saw one at a toy sale, along with several Tammy dolls. I was tempted, but…
(After I wrote this, my neighbor came over as she was cleaning her storage shed.She gave my granddaughters a big Barbie house, with extra pieces such as a box that opened to a small house, a grill and personal many accessories, plus SIX Barbies! They already have several and my though was,”Sure, like they need more houses”, since we have two small fold-up houses, one big house,two castles, a large plastic jungle home, a pirate lair,several pirate ships, a Noah’s ark, a Barbie cruise ship, and who even remembers what else,but I did not want to be unappreciative. My husband was the first to realize that it was the woman’s own toys, as some have the year of 1966 on them.She only had a son, a nephew whom she cared for and her son has three boys. She must have hoped to hand them down in her family. It must have been hard for her to finally part with it all.)
We’re on games and Monopoly was always a favorite, although family had worn my mother out about it before she was even married. I liked Parcheesi, which is the original version of “Sorry”, but no one else did. My oldest niece was a wiz with it when she was a kid, so I got to play it even if I lost most of the time. No one else disinterested in it.
I learned to play chess well at an early age. A neighbor who was a friend of my brother was on the chess team at the local, and very large, high school. I challenged him, he was amused and obliged me. I checkmated him. He was in shock, although I will concede that he probably was not on his best game, as he hadn’t considered me much of a challenge. (But he never would play me again!) My 11-year-old grandson now can beat me. I’m proud of that.
I hope I don’t come off like I’m tooting my horn, because, well, it made my life difficult. I was a bright kid, but terribly shy. The fact that I was considered especially bright made it harder, as so much was expected of me. I had many friends in the apartment complex where I lived when I was very young, but when we moved away to a housing development there were no kids my age around. My brother and sister were popular, but they went to school. I became sickly, which didn’t help. When my mother found that, at the time, the children of that state were not obligated to attend school until they were seven, she made the big mistake of deciding to keep me out an extra year, which made assimilation into school next to impossible for me for years. I was not only at least a year older than all the other kids,( some kids started early, so I was sometime two years older than my classmates), I was generally more intellectual than most of the other kids,(I set a record for the highest test scores of children at entry-level; my mother was asked what Kindergarten I attended as they wanted to recommend it.) But I was not self-assured, I was always an outsider, a bit of a freak. I was not good at playing many games,(I never got the hang of jumping rope, except by myself), and hide-and-go-seek used to scare me…I’d let myself be caught rather than be found, or worse, be forgotten about. I never play that with the grandkids. I admired my ‘average’ classmates. They were happy kids. They were KIDS.I never really got to be one.
When my cousin would come to visit in the Summer, we’d have some fun. Once, we were determined to dig a hole to China, but my father almost fell in it and he filled it up before we got very far. My grandson decided to dig as deep as he could in our yard last year, but my husband almost fell in and HE filled that one up.
During that extra time at home, my card-playing skills were honed. I can beat almost anyone at Black Jack, aka “21”. I have forgotten all of the different poker games I learned, but a few stick out, which I am also teaching my grandson. No, I don’t come from a family of card sharps, just friendly players. I learned and got good at “Casino” and “500 Rummy”, which I have also taught the grandson,(and the little dickens can beat me at them, too!). He won’t play” Gin Rummy”, he can’t get the hang of it and I always beat him.
My brother loved “War” and burned me out on it at a very tender age. My grandson also likes ’War’. I usually throw the game just to make it stop. (Please don’t tell him!)
Has anyone out there played “Low-Hole Rummy”? You need to get rid of cards and you count what’s left in your hand. It’s an elimination game; whoever reaches 500 points is out of the game until there is one person left. I haven’t played that in probably close to fifty years.
Gosh, do I feel very old!
Anyone else play cards as a kid? Did you get burned-out with any games?