If you haven’t figured this out by now, I’m kind of a goofball of an adult. As you can guess, I was also a goofball as a child. I’ve been spending a lot of time recently thinking about the games Rachel and I used to play when we were little. We were either very strange or just had awesome imaginations.
Horses- We used to pretend that our bikes were horses. We would pretend to brush them and use jump ropes as reigns and literally walk our bikes around like we were walking horses. We would also give them commands when riding them: giddy up, whoa, etc. We did this outside in full view of the whole neighborhood. I’m sure people wondered what was wrong with us.
Strings- This was a game Rachel had invented before we met, but I was a huge fan when she showed it to me. Basically, she had a bunch of different types of string (shoe laces, ribbons, etc.) that she kept in a ziploc bag. They all had names and families. We would make up story lines and play with them like dolls. The excitement/danger in this game was the fan in her room. Any string that got caught in the fan was very much in danger of losing his/her life.
Rocks and Seashells- Along the same lines as Strings, I had a rock and seashell collection which I also gave names to and put into families. My favorite part of this game was putting the “baby” shells inside the “mother” shell (a conch shell) where they “slept”. I still collect rocks and seashells as an adult, but I’ve ceased giving them names, which is probably a good thing.
Barbies- This seems like a totally normal game for 8-year-old girls to play, right? Well, not the way I played it. I had a ton of Barbie dolls, Ken dolls, Skipper dolls, etc. Probably around 50 total; maybe more. And I had them all organized into families. They all had first names and last names. And no one was allowed to change their names or families. I was VERY strict about that. Rachel had Barbies, too, but she was not as uptight about hers. My most favorite thing to do with my Barbies was “Barbie Beauty Pageant”. My mom, aunt, and I would make a day of it. Each Barbie got an evening gown and a casual outfit. We would dress them all up, do their hair, and actually judge each doll. The winner got a crown and a sash. We even had a tuxedoed Ken acting as emcee. I’m pretty sure we still have one of these events on video tape somewhere. Yes, we recorded them. Yay, VHS tapes!
Hershey- This may have been the weirdest game Rachel and I used to play. She was a dog (a Sheltie, I think) named Hershey and I was her owner. A huge pillow on the floor served as her bed, she had toys, and food and water bowls. I would teach her how to sit, stay, etc. and take her for walks. There was even a leash and collar involved. Ridiculous.
Labyrinth- One of our favorite childhood movies (and I still watch it frequently) was Labyrinth. Obviously. Anyway, we had a game that could only take place in Rachel’s yard. Basically, we would run in circles in the yard, around the whole perimeter, which involved running in between a row of evergreen trees and a fence. When you got to the end of the row of trees, you “fell” into another world/dimension. We would inevitably get separated into different worlds and the point of the game would be to find each other.
Spatula and Darna- I’m guessing that this is one of my mom’s favorite memories from my childhood. It’s not uncommon for kids to have imaginary friends. Totally acceptable for small children, unless the imaginary friend turns out to be the real ghost of an ax murderer who tries to kill you in your sleep or something, But, I digress. I had an imaginary daughter who had a friend. My daughter’s name was Spatula. Yes, Spatula, as in the kitchen utensil. Her friend’s name was Darna. I have no idea where I came up with those gems. One of my most vivid memories of Spatula and Darna was me pushing them on the swings. It’s a sad sight to imagine (little Bethany out in the backyard pushing EMPTY swings), but I’m sure I was having a blast! I’ve always been good at playing independently.
Ok, I think I’m going to end it at this. I definitely could go on, but I’m sick of writing.
Song of the Day: Kids by MGMT