Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Why I Hate Charades

If there's one game I loathe and despise, it's charades.

A couple times, I've been invited to play at a party as an adult and I flat out refused.

I was watching the movie, The Family Stone in which the uptight character played by Sarah Jessica Parker was forced to join in the merriment of a game of charades. And while she wasn't a particularly sympathetic character at that point in the movie, I was immediately on her side.

Since the movie always seems to be on HBO, I always seem to click on the channel just as the charade scene begins and every time it makes me squirm. I can't find the remote fast enough to turn the damn thing off. (I actually like the movie). So I got to wondering...why? Why does that scene make me so uncomfortable.

Charades, in my opinion, has got to be most embarrassing, exasperating, downright stupid and pointless game to ever be played by grown-ups.

I think I just figured out why.

It's because I spent most of my life pretending.

Pretending to be the biological child of my adoptive parents.

Pretending I didn't mind being adopted.

Pretending I didn't wonder about the woman who gave me away.

Pretending adoption was no big deal.

Pretending I was grateful.

Pretending to be the daughter my adoptive parents needed me to be instead of the person I actually was.

If you earn your living by Pretending then you have zero patience for fun and games pretending. When you've been turned into a pro by Closed Era Adoption practices, you don't want to play with amateurs.

25 Comments:

Anonymous Robin said...

oh man, i am so right there with you. good point.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Robin, Really? It seems what I thought was an extreme quirk of character may not be so quirky after all! Which is nice!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

Nina, I just *love* The Family Stone. The charades scene is priceless. Doesn't Sarah Jessica Parker do a great job playing someone who is never at home in her own skin?

Interesting how you connected adoption and charades, too. I think in any situation in which there's disconnect between a child and his/her parents, it can feel that way. I grew up with my biological mother, and I still feel it's a charade. Go figure!

10:17 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Eve,

Yes! I love that movie, too. I think it's JSP's best role. Maybe the fact that she's playing someone so uncomfortable in her own skin...as I was..is the reason I connected with both her character and the movie. Mmmm. That hadn't occurred to me!

The power of parents - and their legacy - continues to astound me.

I'm sorry it felt like a game of charades for you, to....

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've put some thought into what you said and I think that for adoptees,it is not a "game of charades",it was a way of survival. Since we did not have our biological connection/nuturing relationships that children need to become a person of significance to themselves, we invented a way to please others that gave us a sense of belonging and being loved.
I am still on a "dig" for my real self and I believe there are alot of us out there.
I will probably always be peeling(sp?)off the layers but at the end I WILL have the real me and that is importen to me. Hopewaits

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

I tend to think thats why I didnt pursue a career in theatre. Oh sure, I had loads of fun putting on costumes and pretending to be someone else for a while...the attention, the spotlight, the satisfaction of getting good reviews and compliments, but to go make a LIVING at it?! Something about it terrified me. I tend to think its because I knew I was already playacting...or maybe I was just a coward. I just had this idea that I woudl definitely lose myself.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Runergirl said...

Wow this post is deep. I agree 100. I have always been pretending in one way or another.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Third Mom said...

It frightens me to think my kids are pretending, too. In spite of anything I might do to let them be themselves, I think the simple dynamics of adoption make it something that's hard to avoid.

This is something I need to think about. Thanks for posting it.

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Blogger GooseBreeder said...

I so agree and thanks for pointing it out.I too feel uncomfortable with it and hate many games like Monopoly and refuse to play when another part of me thinks I might like it.Healing's always happening.
Thanks for this post and telling it like it is..we're all pros at
'the adoption game', now it's time to tell the truth.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Survival group against God?? LOL. Good luck with that. Truth is, no one knows the exact time this will happen except the man upstairs, however, I firmly believe that there are people placed here by God that post the warning signs and it's up to you to take heed.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well... that's quiet interessting but actually i have a hard time determining it... wonder how others think about this..

6:48 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Duh! I always wondered why that character makes me squirm so much. Thank you for clearing it up

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Anonymous Justina said...

Nina,

Thank you so much for writing this post. This post seems to have been written a few years ago, so I am not sure that you will see this comment at all. Still, I want to thank you for being so vulnerable in creating this blog and sharing your story to those who are interested in listening.

I read through both books by Nancy Verrier about a year ago and have since then been unable to deny my experiences as an adoptee, I.e., isolation, people-pleasing tendencies, the inability to let go of the past, etc.

This information was relevant and helpful, and since I have the tendency to intellectualize everything I read, quite intriguing and conceptual. However, I did not find anyone's personal stories until I found your blog.

And it makes a huge difference - it is in a way more profound and validating to read someone's (even quite traumatic) story than a psychological help book for all those involved with adoption.

You have inspired me to start sharing my own story, as an adoptee. Finally, something makes sense on this earth. I am at the very least, not alone in this struggle.

I am sorry that you have experienced so much pain and isolation in your life and wish you comfort and peace.

6:51 PM  

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