| This week Jinny’s article will be written by her daughter, Adele Anderson.
I have to admit that there are some things that I just don't get; like gambling, for instance. Gambling just makes no sense to me at all. Odds being what they are, it seems to me that it's highly unlikely that it can be particularly profitable. Mathematically, it just doesn't add up to a good idea. When I was in the Army some friends and I decided to visit Las Vegas. Las Vegas, of course, is the gambling capital of the world. One of my friends stated that a person could make it big gambling. I pointed out to him if more than a very few people were making it big Casinos would not be so enormous and gaudy and their owners would not be so obscenely wealthy. He obviously wasn't certain how to respond to that because he changed the subject and started talking about showgirls instead, assuming, I suppose, that no one could argue with the validity of showgirls. No one I was with managed to do any hitting of the big time while we were there. Mostly, they just spent their money and oggled showgirls. I decided that not only did I not get gambling, I didn't get Las Vegas either.
I also don't get golf. Not because I don't get the game, but because I can't imagine why anyone wants to play it. I like going to the driving range, but the game of golf seems to me to be a masochistic activity at best. I have known lots of golfers; most of them have been absurdly obsessive about the game and pretty bad at it. The sad thing is, I have known people who have played golf for years and were not much better at it than when they were when they first started. And this is after years of investment in time, equipment, fees, and lessons. Frankly, if I am going to spend 20 years playing some game I want to be a lot better in the end than I was at the beginning. Golf was invented by the Scots, a dour and humorless people who felt that it was a good idea to invent a game which would have roughly the same effects as banging one's head repeatedly against a tree. I ought to know, I have enough Scottish blood to bleed plaid. They also invented banking. I get banking, but I don't like it much.
Another thing I don't get is camping that is just like being at home. I appreciate that people enjoy it, I just don't get it. I have friends who have big, expensive campers that they drive to camp sites and plug into outlets. These camping trips have all the comforts of their homes including stoves, sinks, refrigerators, televisions, CD and DVD players, and a host of other conveniences. When I was growing up, camping was a lot of great things, but convenient was not one of them. When you went camping with my father you hiked with everything on your back up into the meadows of Yosemite, slept in a sleeping bag in an old canvas tent or in the open, cooked in a fire pit you dug first, washed your gear and yourself in a glacial mountain stream cold enough to freeze you solid, and generally roughed it without complaint or whining. If we had suggested to my father that we should go somewhere with electrical outlets, he would have been appalled.
Another thing I don't get is saving everything, for either practical or sentimental reasons. I have a friend who has saved everything her kids ever made, did, or wore. Her children are all grown up but she still has every report card they ever got in school, even the ones that she would just as soon forget. She also has locks of hair, numerous school book reports, their first baseball gloves, their first pair of shoes, every birthday card they ever got, and even every baby tooth they ever lost. Frankly, the baby teeth kind of gross me out. Since she had four kids, this assorted paraphernalia takes up a whole lot of space. Her kids don't care about the stuff and refuse to take possession of any of it. Since it is all stored in boxes in her attic, she never drags it out and looks at it, but she refuses to get rid of any of it.
Once a year I try to go through everything I own and divest myself of anything I have not used in a year. I realize that I run the risk of needing at least one item immediately after getting rid of it, but I'm willing to take that chance. Over 24 years of raising children I still find that I have accumulated a load of 'stuff' that I really don't need, never use, and frequently forget entirely that I own. Obviously, I have been less than diligent in my purgings. This summer, I plan to change all that. I told my son, Chuck that henceforth, we need to attack our purging of 'stuff' as if we were Quakers or Gypsies or something. He's OK with that providing that disposable 'stuff' does not include anything of his. The interesting thing about people is that they will totally ignore things and never even think about them until the time when they are asked to give them up; then suddenly, they become prized possessions that they can't possibly live without.
There are other things I don't get...like the sport of curling. Does anyone actually get curling? I've watched curling and I still don't get it. As far as I can tell, you slide some big disc thingy along the ice and run like mad sweeping in front of it with a broom. Who invented curling? Are there official curling brooms? Can you take curling lessons? Do schools have curling teams? Why would anyone invent curling and who thought it up in the first place? Is it based on something crazy Viking party animals used to do after a battle using their enemies’ heads? That, at least, might be a little more interesting. Can curlers actually be defined as athletes and is there some rigorous training involved with curling? I understand that it is now a competition in the Olympics, but so is synchronized swimming. Go figure. Somehow, I think that if anyone had tried to introduce curling or synchronized swimming into the original Olympic games a fistfight would have broken out among the Greeks. Come to think of it, maybe that's how boxing became an Olympic sport. Stranger things have happened.