When I was a young mom I actually loved Creative Memories. I bought stickers and funky scissors and die cut thingeys and over-priced acid-free scrapbooks because my God what if the paper wasn't acid free? What if it was all acidic? WHAT THEN?
But then something happened. And one day I woke up and I was no longer aroused by my shiny folder bursting with Stickopatmus stickers. The scissors just lay there with a dullness I hadn't noticed before. I saw the stacks of thousands of sheets of colorful, patterned paper and thought, Maybe Bob should take over the historian role in our house. Or maybe I can just get some plain photo corners and store my photos in an album without stickers and borders and artfully penned journaling under every single stinking memory. One day I just stopped.
My girls grew older and I gave them my stamps. I bought them their own albums and said "Have at it" - and you know what? They did. They are able to record their own memories, and I don't feel like it's a little lame that I am collecting stickers at my age.
But there remains something I thought I had also put behind me. Something I thought was long dead and buried. And it keeps rearing its ugly head and snarling my name - Bunko.
Tonight I am illustrating how dear my lovely friend Kristi is and how much she means to me by acting as her Bunko sub. I have been totally up front with her and told her I am coming for the free drinks and food. I can't even remember how to play the game, and when I try to conjure up the memory of the last time I shook the dice with a bunch of women, I just hear chopper blades in my head and everything goes dark. Bunko.
Years ago my best friend Sarah and I bonded over our mutual disdain for the game. We were probably rebelling against everything else in our life that was structured, social, and involved gaggles of women. We both endured the Officer's Wives Club, the Key Spouse responsibilities, and all the other "have-to's" of officer's wife life. So we drew the line at Bunko.
But we got sucked in anyway. And then we were promptly kicked out. Is it just me? Or is it really hard to get kicked out of a Bunko League? Anyone?
Sarah and I were blatantly silly at the Bunko games we attended with the other medical and logistical wives. New to the game, we refused once to switch tables because we were both so enamoured with how the track lighting made our new jewelry sparkle. Why did we have to move? Why did we have to roll the dice so quickly? Why couldn't we just talk? Couldn't we convert the whole thing to a book club? And then we went on to win the entire pot and all the prizes anyway. People weren't thrilled. The last straw came when we had to bring a Christmas present for a gift exchange at the December Bunko. It was maybe 30 minutes before we had to leave and Sarah was on my porch drinking a cold glass of wine when she shot me a panic-stricken look. "Jen! The gifts! We have to show up tonight with a gift!"
"No problem," I
Just in time for our departure, Bob showed up with two very cheap jarred candles that were Kroger brand, and Sarah and I hastily threw them in two foiled Valentine's gift bags. "It was all I had," she said, "but it's red, so that's Christmas-ey, right?" Of course. Yes. It would all work. We arrived at the home of the Bunko hostess in our newest clicky shoes and let ourselves in.
*Cue Psycho horror music*
Lined up in the foyer, were piles of beautiful, artfully created gift baskets, decorated bags, and elaborately wrapped gifts. And there we were, looking fabulous, but bearing the equivalent of a porn mag at the birth of Christ. We hid our bags and went in to the game, more subdued than usual, won anyway, and then endured the shame of the gift reveal. The women didn't even try to hide their disdain - and it was finalized that another woman would take the candles home and regift them in a near-constructed teacher gift basket for the holidays.
We were never asked back.