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Marcia Stark Meth / Emmy Stark Zitter / Miriam Stark Zakon

What’s really fun is to watch people when they play — and that includes ourselves! Does the game bring out our hidden traits? Are we competitive? Obsessive? Laid-back? Imaginative? The truth can be surprising. When writing about our own “Trivial Pursuits,” we Schmoozing Sisters found some interesting self-revelations.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

It’s one of my favorite bits of family lore. I was young, no older than six, and I asked my mother, “Mommy, are we poor?” My mother, as always, was there with the snappy — and perfect — answer. “Only the devil is poor,” she said. “We’re just broke.” So were we poor? We didn’t think so. Yes, we knew there would be the occasional whispered conferences between Mommy and Daddy about paying “the muggage” (mortgage, in European-dialect English). But poor? We had a house with a backyard and plenty to eat. We had new clothes forYomYov. What else would a kid want?  A kid, one presumes, would want games and toys. A kid would want fun. So what did we “broke” — not poor — kids have to play with? I’ll tell you what we didn’t have. No Lego: That modern plastic brick was patented in 1958, and was still in its infancy when I was in mine.G.I.Joe hadn’t been drafted yet, Rubik hadn’t invented his Cube, and in the absence of digital technology, tech toys and virtual reality were virtually nonexistent. But we had… boxes! Emmy and I took two cardboard boxes, put two more on top of them and, voilá, we had a house. The local paint store had huge books of outdated wallpaper samples, which they were happy to share with us. We wallpapered our boxes, created furniture out of empty cans and matchboxes, decorated them with the indispensable supply of wallpaper samples, and played happily for hours, peopling the “dollhouse” with imaginary characters. 

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