Every day my mother calls to tell me about two things: global warming and Dr. Oz. Sometimes she throws in information about my nephew, my brother, our neighbors or her cats; but global warming (or cooling—she hasn’t decided) and Dr. Oz take the front row.
She told me my nephew is learning to play chess. He found a chess board in the attic, “but,” she said, “I couldn’t remember who in this house ever played chess.”
Me. I played chess. I never won a single game (no matter who I played, including my then six year-old niece. I’m that bad), but I still liked it. It’s slow, quiet and old-fashioned, which extends to romantic, trumping my need for skill as an incentive to keep me playing. I’ve always liked marbles, too (and jacks, croquet and anything else that eludes to warm summer afternoons with a wrap-around porch, lemonade in a giant glass pitcher with perfectly sliced lemons and mint floating with ice…and tea cakes.)
But I really can’t think of a single “game” I’m good at. I always think someone will compliment me on Catch Phrase, but my abilities are always eclipsed by the amazing (it’s really true) Susannah, who can get you to guess anything without ever raising her voice (I yell a lot).
My mother plays bridge, which I thought would appeal to me for the same reasons as chess, but I’ve never liked learning anything from my mother (this includes: fractions, piano, solitaire, similes and metaphors). We played “Oh Hell” with our neighbors on a screened-in porch in summer when I was little, but even that I don’t remember being good at, it was just an excuse to stay up later.
I guess it’s fortunate I like to read.