Tuesday, March 5, 2013

the art of playing

"As kids we're taught to play, and we're never given a reason why we should play; it's just acceptable that play is a good thing... There is no point and there doesn't have to be a point.  As adults, we need to learn that there's no right or wrong way to play."

When I was a freshman at college, two of my best friends from high school were also freshmen at the same college.  We hung out a lot and generally just "played."  I don't know if there's a better way to describe it.  Perhaps (more or less, for the sake of this post and my overall life activities) you could say that someone who plays exhibits a "willingness to play games and generally be silly."  

Anyway, I went on a date that year and casually mentioned that those two friends and I would go on adventures and play.  My date said, "You play?  How do you do that?"  

WHAT?  How could he not know how to play?  Granted, my family is into playing and my friends are also really fun, so maybe I was just spoiled.  Whatever the reason, I decided that I would go on another date with that boy IF I got to plan it.  So I planned one, and it was awesome.  If that date had had a title, it would've been "Teaching D To Play."  I started the evening with an excellent playlist called "Fun!" We then proceeded to color with crayons in coloring books, make chocolate pudding, and tell Laffy Taffy jokes (while eating the candy, of course).  

Only D knows if that date was at all as fun as I meant for it to be.  I definitely thought it was, but you never know - we only went on one more date after that.  He did think my challenge to sing all the words to "Curbside Prophet," by Jason Mraz, was boring (when I ask you if you know ALL of the words, you say yes, and I start singing them, it's not time to strike up a conversation), and he decided we should eat the chocolate pudding instead of paint a picture with it, but he was the one who suggested we eat the Laffy Taffy I brought even though we'd already eaten pudding.  

I feel like this entire post is completely random.  There's not really any point to it.  I heard that TED talk today, which reminded me of a fun story I felt like writing about..., so I did.  For the take-home message, let's do this: I have a really fun family who taught me to play, really fun friends who are great at playing, and am thankful I married someone who also knows how to play.  + I hope you never forgot how to play, but if you did, it's never too late to relearn.  

(By the way, if you've never watched any of Improv Everywhere's videos, you should. They're hilarious.)

WARNING!  This is the fine print.  Possible side affects of being good at playing include: the feeling that meetings where small talk is preferred have become stiflingly boring because people don't always want to talk about fun things like playing; the feeling that other everyday / "normal" activities have become more interesting and fun.  


"[Peter] often went out alone, and when he came back you were never absolutely certain whether he had had an adventure or not.  He might have forgotten it so completely that he said nothing about it; and then when you went out you found the body; and, on the other hand, he might say a great deal about it, and yet you could not find the body."  - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Bethany said...

Peter Pan knows how to play. In a little more violent way.

Mom said...

I thought you were going to tell the story of you and a certain best friend putting on headphones and dancing and singing along to a certain musical on the playground at the Riviera!

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