Friday, March 14, 2014

I am dying to play Scattergories WITH GROWN-UPS.

I am dying to play Scattergories.

It’s fun to play the junior version of the game with kids at after school. It’s not quite as fun as the adult version, because you only do one category at a time, but it’s still a very good time. Playing it with a variety of age groups is also great, because on one side of the table are fifth graders valiantly defending “Games” as a point-worthy entry in the category of “Games” (it’s not), and on another side of the table are first graders quietly insisting that “knight” starts with an “n” (it doesn’t, as I’m sure you know), and there I am fuming because they’re all giving me stage 5 judgy face because they think I MADE UP ‘N Sync (I OBVIOUSLY DIDN’T) to get a point in the male vocalists category and even if I didn’t make it up, it clearly would start with an “I” (it should, but I don’t make the 90s boy band rules).

Like I could ever create something as wonderful as a boy band… I’m not GOD, children.

I love Scattergories so much. Every time it comes up, I think of the time a guy friend of mine insisted that one could save up for a duck (are ducks expensive? is that a thing?), or the time I wrote down my boyfriend’s family name for the category “things with balls” (he is one of three boys). Lately, I find my love for Scattergories leaking into other areas of my life. I bring it up at meetings, in the Costco parking lot, and at the doctor’s office. I even find myself thinking of possible categories for a version of the game developed around my life: Reasons why a camper is crying in the shallow end, Moments in my life when I would have benefited from having Veronica Mars around, Songs from the 90s, Pet peeves, Things found in a pilates class, Things that Pashu the cat is terrified of, Possible explanations for why my car smells funny, etc.

I love my students, I do, but it’s getting progressively more difficult to suppress my competitive Scattergories spirit when playing with them. I constantly find myself wanting to shush them for talking before the hourglass is up, and COULD YOU PLEASE STOP USING THE SAME THING FOR TWO SEPARATE LETTERS IN THE SAME CATEGORY? You can’t DO that okay? GOSH. This is serious stuff, okay? And while technically “poop” and “doodoo” are two different words, they mean the same thing, and should not both be used in the category of “things you don’t want to swim in a pool with.” I don’t know if there is a specific mention of this in the directions, because I’ve never read the directions, because one of my roommates (the one who owns Scattergories) is the smartest person on the planet and can basically RECITE the directions. But even if there isn’t a specific ruling against that, YOU DON’T DO IT. It’s like bringing a Happy Meal to Chili’s. There isn’t a law against it, but you just don’t do it because IT’S NOT OK.

And while I love children, and have dedicated my entire career to them, they have this annoying tendency to think that if they haven’t heard of it, it doesn’t exist. If I were playing with my peers, and I wrote down 98 Degrees for the boy band category, even if none of them had heard of it, they would trust me. Although come to think of it, when I DID use that, I didn’t get the point because one of them HAD heard of the band, and knew that the band name was written in numerals instead of letters (I LOVE RULES). Children, there is a whole world out there, full of bands that were famous before you were born, restaurants, brands, foods, animals, books, places, and TONS OF OTHER STUFF YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD OF. Just because you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean I made it up. I wouldn’t give YOU stage 5 judgy face if you wrote down something I’d never heard of. But just so you know, peloni is not a special kind of pepperoni found only on pizza in France. I don’t know if you made it up, or if you sincerely believe it, but it’s not a thing. PELONI IS NOT A THING.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, will someone play Scattergories with me? All the time? 

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