I have a confession: I don't know how to play.
It doesn't matter what. I don't know how to play.
I grew up under the double burden of being an only child and of living in a household where, thanks to my father and his own upbringing in an ueber-Pietist family, playing games was considered evidence of sloth and general faulty character. My grandparents, "the old folks," would get together with neighbors for penuchle, but their children were rarely allowed the same privileges. As an adult, my father would watch Tigers ballgames with his uncles, but he would never actively play games of any kind.
My mother's side of the family was entirely different; they grew up playing board games and Victorian parlor games like Truth or Consequences. But my mom never felt comfortable playing games with me; she always seemed to be looking over her shoulder, waiting for spousal criticism, and I absorbed that anxiety.
Fellow Traveler loves to play games of all kinds. So the past year and a half I have been on a learning curve as far as learning how to relax and enjoy games. It's hard for me. It's hard for me to learn games that everyone else, it seems, has been playing from early childhood. It makes me feel alien and stupid. My palms actually break out into a sweat while I'm playing.
But I am persevering. We want to try Family Game Night as it grows colder and darker; dominoes and Skip-Bo and whatever else strikes our fancy. I really think this is an important part of my therapy. I want to play.