Playing Cards Against Humanity with Your Parents

As we get older, I have come to find we become closer to our parents. We can do more things with them, hold conversations about topics only covered on last night’s episode of Jeopardy, and they irritate us far less. We start understanding our parents’ vantage points – we can attend wine tasting sessions with them (apart from the times we were nominated as the designated driver), and we understand why it is necessary to sometimes participate in more than just a “taste.” And while I’ve always been close to both my mom and dad, within the past few years, I have grown incredibly close to them. Yet this past Saturday night, I probably became too close to my parents. I decided it would be a wise choice (at the time) to play a game of Cards Against Humanity with the two of them, my sister (thank goodness she was there to share in our mutual scarring), two of my best friends, and my boyfriend. In case you are not familiar with the game, Cards Against Humanity is essentially Apples to Apples for the Frank Underwoods of the world.

Frank UnderwoodThe game’s slogan reads “a party game for horrible people,” after all. It gives us a much needed excuse to be pseudo assholes/comedians/highly and constantly inappropriate. I think during my first time playing I actually responded to the card “The U.S. has begun airdropping ______ to the children of Afghanistan” with the card “Dead parents.” Yeah, we might as well just book me the penthouse suite in hell immediately.

But seriously, if you don’t know how to play, there is no better description than right off of the game’s website itself:

To start the game, each player draws ten white “answer” cards. One randomly chosen player begins as the Card Czar, and plays a black “question” card. The Card Czar reads the question out to the group. Each player answers the question by passing one white “answer” card, face down, to the Card Czar. The Card Czar shuffles all of the answers, reads them out loud in a humorous fashion, and picks their favorite. Whoever played that answer gets to keep the Black Card as one Awesome Point. After each round, a new player becomes the Card Czar, and every player draws back up to ten cards.

I quickly realized, however, that the problem with playing this game with your parents – no matter how liberal and “cool” they are – is that you discover that your dad knows terms like smegma (dear Lord..) and your best friend does not (and then has to proceed to Google image it) and your mom continually has to ask clarification questions like what exactly is queefing and can someone explain what gloryholes are. No, Mom. No, we can’t. And we won’t.

Gilmore Girls_RoryEssentially, you come to know things about your parents that one should never know about the two people that created you. While yes at times, it was hysterically funny, there were also times where I was this close to sawing my ears off with a butter knife. And my poor dad, there were times where even he, too, was embarrassed – and this is a man that does not blush easily. He nearly choked on his own laugh when he had to read out the card “During sex, I like to think about ____.” At the very least, my parents have both raised me in an incredibly open household.

Pretty much...

Pretty much…

But when that fails, I have my other best friend to thank as she had brought enough junk food over that I was literally too far gone on my sugar high to even care. I mean, I figured drowning in a sea of chocolate chips would be far less painful than the butter knife scenario.

And then I discovered something else. As weird and awkward as this might sound, I came to see how truly connected my parents are in their relationship and their marriage. Each round, when it came time for one of them to play a black question card, they would always end up choosing the white answer card that belonged to the other. Every. Damn. Time. Which not only meant they racked up a bunch of points between the two of them, but it also proved that they know each other better than anyone else knows each of them. They know, understand, and respect each other’s thoughts, and evidently, they can foresee each other’s responses – even when it comes to a ridiculous game like this. That is the kind of connection they have built over the last three decades together.

The Parent TrapAnd while I won’t make a habit of playing this game with them every weekend, I do have to admire their relationship and how their best qualities as a team can be highlighted even in a card game. And until next time, we will continue to be a bunch of quirky and horrible party people.

Michael and Holly

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