Tall Drink of Nerd: Bonding over the Board
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
The Holidays are seriously here, seriously. Thanksgiving is only 10 days away and I can already smell the roasting turkey, hear the happy babble of a house full of relatives and taste the spicy squish of pumpkin pie. Which reminds me, I should get to the grocery store soon. After the eating part, my favorite thing about holidays is playing board games.
Board games are like a big ole ice pick, cracking past the regular chatter and getting right to the warm and steamy competition that makes friends like family and brings family closer. That rectangle of colored cardboard brings everybody to the same level. Before my boyfriend became my husband, Mom suggested we play Monopoly. He held his own as a clever smart ass with a bad sense of humor. He fit right in.
On Thanksgiving we’ll drag out Monopoly, Clue or Pass the Pigs and ramp up the smack talk until we have each other chuckling and my Mom giggling herself teary eyed and red faced.
Christmas at my house always meant a new board game from “Santa” for the family. Not exactly patient kids, we would tear into the plastic shrink-wrap around the box and set up the monies, pieces, etc… while my Dad would insist on reading the entire instructions, out loud. More often than not, we would start the game before Dad would finish his elocution, anxious to start kicking each other around. Dad would tell us to hold on and, since we didn’t listen, of course we’d have to refer back to the little rules pamphlet ½ way though the round.
There is something about a board game, or cards if that’s how your crew rolls, that warms up the room. I prefer holding the little pewter monopoly dog over holding a video game controller. Now I know that the Wii is happy making, but I enjoy sitting around a crowded table, a glass of 7-Up sweating next to my piles of colorful cash, commanding my niece to pass me another cookie or slice of cold turkey. Maybe it’s the chance to screw up, count the dice wrong, or pick the wrong trivial answer and then being called out. It’s making mistakes and finding redemption through the game of Life.
A new game came into our life recently as Seen and I were introduced to The Settlers of Catan by a friend of mine. I’ll definitely be bringing this home with me for the December holiday. This year we won’t have Dad around to read the instructions, but I don’t think anyone else will pick up that mantle. I’m just looking forward to sitting around the kitchen table schooling my sibs. Let the bonding begin.