Friday, March 27, 2009

Social Games

A couple of Saturdays ago, at a fund raiser, I sat next to a young man of maybe 16 or 17 years old. He seemed bored almost too tears and honestly how could you blame him. It was at a fund raiser! His parents were the invited guest and somehow he was stuck tagging along. Crossing my mind I wonder what he had done to deserve this punishment. Through blank expressionless eyes he looked around the room. I am sure he had already counted the ceiling tiles, heck I was up to 267 myself.
Well I figured I could cheer him up. What is life without a challenge. Make him smile 4 times and laugh 2 times by the end of the night – a very doable goal. These kinds of games work really quite well to improve the dullest of social situations. With that in mind my first tactic was absurdity, it seemed like a good plan. “Hey Kyle, you are acting way to happy to be here, stop it right now!” He gave me a consolatory smile. (A small smile counts – that’s one) But, the expression said, you got to be kidding me, this is unbelievable, am I going to be stuck next to this old guy all night? He turned away to begin counting the floor tiles.
I gave up for a second and decided to see what table talk his parents might have. “Nice day today wasn’t it?”
“Well it wasn’t that great we just came from a funeral.”
Hmm…now what do you say to that?
My son in law handed me a note - good job - make the kid feel even worse. My wife dug her nails into my thigh and gave me that we will talk later smile.
Undaunted, I looked at the kid. “Sad day, huh?
“I never met the lady” – Gee, what did that kid do? First a funeral of someone he never met and now a fund raiser – Whatever it was it must have been really bad. I looked over at my son in law and gave him a, you are so wrong smile – YES!
I never got Kyle to laugh but I did get three smiles. – You might say I am losing my touch but heck a funeral and a fundraiser that makes for a tough audience. I’ll take three smiles as a victory.
Do you ever play games to get you through a boring event?

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