The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 9:05 am Thursday, February 8, 2018

“Game Night”

By Marie Craig

Before we moved to Mocksville, we lived in a small mountain town in Western North Carolina. Our good friends invited us to go with them to their church’s game night and covered dish supper. We agreed to go, and I looked forward to playing board games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, or Parcheesi. I started to ask my friend if I needed to bring some of my games such as Uno, etc. But I decided they probably would have enough.

I had a favorite recipe for chopped cabbage, Ramen noodles, balsamic vinegar, and oil. It made a huge amount, so I put it in my giant Tupperware bright golden-colored bowl, and off we went.

We met our friends and they introduced us to the friendly members of the church. I didn’t see any games anywhere, but I figured they would bring them out after supper. There was a long line to the tables full of food, and I saw lots of meat dishes with labels in front. One of them said “venison” and another said “bear” and another said “squirrel”. At that point, I finally realized that the game night was not what I’d thought. Luckily, there were meats I am more familiar with, so I enjoyed my meal. I was amused by this mistake of mine but didn’t say anything about it.

The other amusement was when I was leaving and carrying that big yellow Tupperware bowl. A woman looked at it and then at me and said, “Oh! You’re the one that brought that cabbage dish.  It didn’t look like it would be good, but it was!”


By Gaye Hoots

When I was in the sixth grade, I was still a tomboy. I spent as much time with the boys as I did the girls. It was becoming awkward because some of the girls were choosing boys to be their boyfriends. The guys were a bit confused by this. A couple of the boys had been close friends of mine for years, but we did not want to be teased or labeled a couple.

My closest girlfriend for the past five years was the daughter of a teacher. She had transferred to another school, and I missed her. The boys I was closest to had mothers teaching at Shady Grove.

We had several new girls in our class because the bus routes had changed. Glenda, Judy, and Martha had attended another school until that year. Barbara had recently moved here too.  The girls were pretty. Two of them excelled at art. Our teacher was impressed with their art. I couldn’t draw a stick figure. The girls talked about Elvis and experimented with lipstick. It made me feel out of the loop.

My relationship with the boys and girls had been competitive in both sports and grades. Things were changing. We learned to play basketball, and I fell in love with the game. Martha and Barbara were tall, and this gave them an advantage in the sport.

We got to elect a Halloween king, queen, and attendant, for the first time. This required dressing- up, and I wanted the title. The vote was a tie between a pretty, blonde named Glenda and me. We had the same initials. Our teacher announced a tie with one vote marked GH only. The boy who placed this vote said it was intended for Glenda, so I was the attendant.

When we returned from Christmas vacation, I was no longer one of the boys. We were friends, but I made more of an effort to socialize with the girls. We were starting to mature physically, so I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t bring myself to scream when I heard Elvis, but I did try a pale pink lipstick.

Farm chores filled much of my time. My free time was spent reading. It would be a year before I was eligible to play basketball. I had not developed an interest in clothes yet. I was still upset that pants for girls had been ruled out in fifth grade unless worn under a dress.

It seemed more difficult to be one of the girls. The boys thrived on competition. I had not recognized that girls were competitive too but with different goals and no clear-cut rules that I could yet discern. The female role models I emulated were strong women who were family oriented. None of them focused on a feminine image. My mother could have been helpful, but I associated femininity with being in a diminished role.

By the end of the year, I had limited my competitiveness to grades and basketball. We were not yet competing for the boy’s attention, or I was not aware of it if we were. We were a fairly cohesive group, and I was making peace with being female.