Monday, July 7, 2014

Let's Play the Glad Game!


Growing up in the 80s meant endless trips to the video store. Especially during the summer. We'd stick a hose in the 18-inch kiddie pool*, then head out to either return VHS videos or rent new ones - or do both. Of course this didn't happen until after Price is Right was over at 11:00 a.m. (We were a very structured family.)

Among our top picks: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sound of Music, Meatballs, Funny Girl, Grease 2, Swiss Family Robinson, Girls Just Want to have Fun, Lucas, Back to the Future, and... my favorite... Pollyanna. 

Ah, Pollyanna. Makes me so happy. I just watched it with my 10-year-old for the very first time. And if you haven't seen it, this may be lost on you... but my daughter kept saying, "Who cares about the stupid doll! Just get into your bedroom!"

But the parts that have really stuck with us, the parts that have entered our ordinary conversations, were when Pollyanna played her glad game.

What's the glad game? Well, let's play a round! Although, keep in mind that the game often centers around our first world problems. Or seems shallow, as some would think. But all you need in order to play is the tiniest bit of anxiety... then slap a happy or praiseworthy thought onto it... and there you have it - you're playing the glad game! (Philippians 4:6-8)

Here goes: 

You're at Yogurtland and people actually think there's supposed to be a line. Ack! They have no idea they can pop in and out of toppings and yogurt flavors, squeezing in here and there. And you suddenly find yourself becoming undone (internally, of course). 

What to do? 

You try to think of something to be glad about. Any ideas? How about... you saved up enough calories to include a base-layer - a crust if you will - of reese's peanut butter cups. And tada! You just played the glad game. (And then it always helps to, very politely, with charm and grace, show everyone how the non-line thing is done. No harm there.)

What other situations can we be glad in? 

You slept horribly, afraid you've got the perimenopause. But wait, you have an unopened bag of $10.99 dark roast Peet's Coffee and it just so happens to be your favorite kind of California morning outside (doesn't have to be California, but helps) - cool and overcast, super marine-layery, pigeons are cooing. And once again, you just played the glad game!

Now back to my childhood at Video Max... what did I do if I couldn't find a single good movie, and Goonies wasn't available to rent for the 11th time? After wondering if Blockbuster might have it (being honest), I would think about the glad game and be glad about the pool we had waiting for us, all filled up and warmed by the sun.

Wanna play? 

*A pool that never ever ever EVER looked anything like the picture on the box. Oh but (I'm about to play the glad game), I sure did love smelling the plasticky rubberness of it when pulling it out of the box.

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