In case you’re a new reader (and HI by the way), you’ll need a little catch up. About a month or so ago, it occurred to me that I needed to look at my role in the crazy household like a manager so I could get this ship organized and feel comfortable telling people what needs to be done.
And because I had no idea what that looked like, I did what I always do when presented with something unknown; I went to the library. I tried to find books on house management, but that was a fail. So, instead, I picked up business books on managing workflow and cultivating productivity and all that MBA crap.
One of the things that the books harped on was this idea that you have to build a little fun into your day. Well, I’m sure they said something much more MBA-ish, like incorporating recreation into everyday activities, but it essentially meant fun. I thought about it and decided it might be something good to try. So I declared we would have a monthly game night.
I must confess, I was a little nervous about it. After all, people can get ruthless and rude when it comes to games, and the whole point of this was to get us to hang out where we weren’t trying to ring one another’s necks. But Mr. T really likes games, and so does Dad, so it seemed like the perfect thing to try.
I decided that one person would pick for each month, that way if we ended up playing something lame, we’d be assured to try something else the following time. Mr. T picked this go around. We started with Zombie Dice, then, Fluxx (pirates and cthulu), and then progressed to Smallworld (I got to be pixies and ogres). And, by the end of the game, it was four hours, a couple of pints of ice cream, a few beers, and lots of smack talk later.
Now, you might be skeptical of starting something like this in your own home, but hear me out. If you are having trouble with the people around you, kicking their asses at monopoly might be just what the doctor ordered. Having a safe place to smack talk can be really soothing. If I called Dad a “rat bastard” under normal circumstances, it would be – well – inappropriate. But within the context of game night, everyone gets a laugh.
If you have someone in the house who just won’t let you help them, playing some sort of cooperative game (Mr. T tells me Arkham Horror is good for that) might be great. Or, just relax the rules. I love when I am just learning a game and can turn to the person beside me and say “hey, what the hell do I do here?”
If you have really competitive people in your house, you can do what Mr. T does with his friends. The first go-through of any new game is to be considered practice, and people should help one another understand. Then, on the second turn, everyone can be out for blood.
Or, just pick really ridiculous games. Fluxx, for instance, has no strategy because it’s all random. Gloom is pretty fun too; there is story telling built into it if you have any creative-types in your home.
Whatever you choose to play, the point of getting together is this: so often in multigenerational homes, or in homes with boomerangers, the only time the whole group gets together for an extended period of time is if something bad has happened of if you have to attend some god-awful family function. This, in my opinion, leads to a weird conditioning; no one wants to get the whole group together because they get that pit in their stomachs like something bad has happened or they are about to spend 5 hours with Aunt Mildred and her sixteen cats.
BUT if you set aside some time every week, or every month, to hang out under warm and fuzzy circumstances, then maybe you can undo some of that conditioning. Instead of a group of people trapped together on a constantly-almost-sinking life raft, maybe you can get back to being family.
That’s what I’m attempting to do.
To check out the games, go here:
Zombie Dice: http://www.sjgames.com/dice/zombiedice/ (really easy)
Arkham Horror: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp?eidm=6 (more complicated)