It’s not really a Thanksgiving story.
In fact, I can’t remember at all when it happened.
But it’s a family story, and family stories ought to be shared at Thanksgiving.
My family loves to play games. We all have our preferred games, games that usually line up with our strengths. My dad loves math games, my mom word games. I excel at speed games, and Cameron is a master strategist. (Side note: still, to this day, no one will play Monopoly with Cameron. He always wins. Don’t believe me? Challenge him to a game.) We have yet to find Carter’s preferred game genre, though if there were games where the snarkiest computer programmer would win, maybe that’d be it.
Before I get too much further into the story, here’s a brief introduction to my family.
Dad, patriarch. Mom, matriarch. Me (oldest, smartest, prettiest child), Cameron (turns 25 on Saturday!), and Carter (18.5 years old & much smarter than he lets on).
Like I said, brief.
So a few years ago (five, ten?), Dad, Mom, Carter and I were all playing Rummikub. Not my favorite game, especially since I have a hard time adding when I run out of fingers. We were mostly just killing time until Cameron brought over his new-ish girlfriend (Holly, probably).
I think we’d met her before, but this was the first time we were going to hang out with her. You know, casual family dinner, maybe a game or two, dessert.
Minutes before Cameron arrived with the girl, I had a flash of genius. Let’s all be completely silent when she arrived. Seriously, not a word, grunt, or exclamation. The consensus was immediate.
When Cameron arrived home, he called out a greeting.
We, in the dining room and completely out of sight, waved enthusiastic hellos back.
“Guys? We’re here.”
Holding back laughter, we wave harder.
Finally, Cameron and Holly see us in the dining room.
“What are you guys doing?”
We gesture theatrically at the game on the table.
“Why didn’t’ you say anything when we came in?”
The four of us just grinned like idiots. Then, ignoring, Cam and Holly, we proceeded with our game. Who’s turn was it? No one remembered. You can imagine the silent hilarity that ensued as we reenacted our last moves to discover who’s turn it was.
“I think they’re playing another game, too,” said Holly.
“Guys, knock it off,” Cam pleaded. Prior to his college years at Azusa Pacific University, our Cameron was very much like Cameron Frye from the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Seriously, the kid was so uptight, “if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you’d have a diamond.”
He did not think our game of silent Rummikub was funny.
“You guys are so lame,” he whined.
Cam and Holly left us to our frivolity, and we finished out our game in silence. Good times.
I hope you all had a chance to spend some extra time with family or friends this Thanksgiving. I observed my tradition of decorating my home for Christmas while watching Christmas movies and I helped a friend get a live Christmas tree. I can’t believe it’s almost December and my 29th(!) birthday is just a few weeks away.
Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas!