Saturday, November 13, 2010

DON'T ASK : for mature women only!

I recently spent time with two of my girl friends, Chel and Chris who had never met each other. The plan was for us to have fun and ‘test drive’ the brand new card game DON’T ASK , ($5 + shipping) created by Beverly Mahone, baby boomer expert, radio show host and author. The game was designed for girlfriends who enjoy discussion-lots of discussion-and conversations about circumstances they may or may not find themselves in. The situations are all based upon real life experiences that any mature woman can relate to.

The basic idea is to guess how your friend would respond to a variety of situations, such as problems with neighbors, a friend who wears inappropriate clothes and the bill collector who appears at your door.

According to Mahone, author of Don't Ask and I Won’t Have to Lie the idea for the game came when one evening she and some of her girlfriends “were sitting around talking about what we would do in certain situations.” She realized “that would be a fun game to play."

And she’s right. It is!

Chel, Chris and I sat down to play and kept at it for almost two hours. We got through only seven of the questions. Seven! We must’ve spent anywhere from five to twelve minutes on each question, sometimes revealing our own personal experiences, other times hypothesizing why someone else might answer the question differently.

I came to know more about my friends and their fine characters, and in the non-judgmental environment we discovered that our thoughts and feelings were well-received. Here is where our mundane worlds came together and formed community.

For example, in response to the multiple choice question of what we would do with incessant mistreatment of a neighbor's dog.

We all had the same answer but for different reasons. And we each had an opportunity to share our own experiences with mistreated dogs. That led to a conversation about neighbors who weren't neighborly, animal cruelty and the current condition of animal shelters. That, of course, led to more dialogue about our own history with a variety of pets.

The real genius of the game was that it brought our daily lives into focus where they mattered. What informed our responses to the game questions generated a format for us to get to know one another better.

DON’T ASK is a very well-thought out game.

The only glitch – and it was easily overcome – was that there were two sets of instructions. The rules on the deck itself called for two to four players whereas the promotional one-sheet indicated that need to be one or two teams of two. In the case of an odd-number of players, such as what we had, the book is to be consulted as the surrogate fourth player.

We didn't have the book so we did what any group of thoughtful, creative women do. We easily adapted the rules so that all three of played at all times. Alternately, two would guess how each other would answer and the third would ask the question and provide her own response to the question.

By the end of the evening (remember, we got through only seven questions) we uncovered one more DON’T ASK gem.

In explaining how and why we thought another would reply, we found ourselves celebrating each other's innate wisdom and integrity. And the two who met only that night came away with an appreciation of each other. Said Chris who accurately selected Chel’s answers: “I can see Chel really envisions the big picture and considers how an action will impact others. She has a sensitivity that leads me to believe she would do no harm.”
DON'T ASK is an ideal gift for any mature woman. The three of us are very grateful to Beverly for creating a game that is much more than just party fun!

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