"Game Night" means different things to different peopleSep 27, 2021 12:42PM ● By Jaci Lawson
Pat and Wayne Smith of Grand Junction got themselves a buck on their 2020 hunting trip
Our girls were in high school when my husband, Dave, joined a rod and gun club. He was excited to be up there shooting at targets and helping at the range every weekend. He came home one day and announced the club was having a game night and wanted to know if we’d like to go.
The girls were like, “Yes!” I was surprised but so proud. Their father had tramped around Girl Scout jamborees for them, taken them to pony club events, danced with them at father/daughter dances (when he hates to dance), watched karate exhibitions, and sat through ballet recitals—really bad ballet recitals. For them to be so supportive and excited to be part of something he loved warmed my heart.
We arrived at the gun club and the girls scrambled out of the car and rushed to the door. Dave and I brought the crockpot of moose-chili and a case of soda-pop. As soon as the door opened, the girls were inside lining up to buy the raffle tickets in the entryway. When we walked into the clubhouse, they gazed around at the empty tables and the buffet that lined the back wall and looked disappointed.
They stared up at their father and said, “Daddy! Where are the games?”
“Games?” he said. “Yes, the GAMES.”
Suddenly, I realized their excitement was not for their dad. It was for games like bingo and Skee-Ball and party games and arcade games. We are a game family—Monopoly, cribbage, cards, trivia. We love games and they were here to play.
“The game is on the table,” their father said.
“It’s game you eat,” I said, “like moose or venison. Not games you play.”
It was then that I realized we hadn’t dressed for the occasion. The girls and I were dressed like we were going out for dinner at a nice restaurant. Everyone else was dressed like lumberjacks, wearing flannel shirts, orange vests, big rubber boots and camo pants.
We seemed to be attracting quite a bit of attention, so I suggested that Dave go visit his friends and the girls and I found a table in the corner. We no sooner sat down than this really big man with a long beard walked past all the empty tables, pulled out a chair at our table, and said in a deep, gravelly voice, “Is this seat taken?”
I looked at him, then at my lovely, well-endowed teenage girls, and squeaked, “Yesss. Yes, it is. Sorry.”
The man went away and I started making frantic come-hither gestures to my husband. “Don’t leave us alone,” I whispered.
We could not get the girls to taste bear or elk. Dave tasted the mincemeat pie—his favorite pie—but when he found out it really was minced meat, he spat it out. Since these hunters apparently didn’t eat side dishes (every single dish on the buffet was meat), we didn’t eat much.
Although we didn’t win any prizes, it was an educational evening that made for a great story.