Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blood+Yahtzee = Family? Part 1

One never knows what you might learn while enduring a blood test. One thing appears certain, however - the lab technician, a person whom you have most likely never met, will, out of some level of insecurity that must exist while poking complete strangers with needles and taking their blood, attempt to engage you in some sort of mindless conversation to get through the apparently awkward moments.

Much to my chagrin, I have been “victimized” by talk of the weather, the Detroit Tigers, the newest purse that the technician purchased, stories about their kids, their upcoming blind dates, and, well, a myriad of stories/topics that are meant to get the technician and the patient through the potentially uncomfortable moments between two strangers.

HOWEVER, I recently engaged the technician in a conversation that has changed life for my whole family! While having my blood taken by the technician, she repeatedly told me that she had worked 8 straight days, she was due to go home in about five minutes, and she was going to relax. To be polite, I asked her if she had any other plans for the rest of the weekend.

After going through a litany of her obligations for the weekend, including attending a wedding, selecting a ring for her own engagement, buying new clothes, etc., she also spoke of a pending Sunday night FAMILY GAME NIGHT at her parents’ house. Ignoring the stabbing pain of the needles and the draining of what appeared to be multiple gallons of my blood, I pressed for details.

She indicated that, even though she and her sisters had moved out on their own, all of them return to their parents' house every Sunday night for game night. She then listed the different types of games that they often played, all of them popular games, including Pictionary, card games, Monopoly, etc.

Even during the stabbing with the needles, my mind quickly bought into the idea. YES, we would establish a FAMILY GAME NIGHT at our house. Since all of my kids still live at home, it would be an easy tradition to start – hopefully starting a tradition that would last a lifetime, long after they move out!

So, later that night, Band-Aids and gauze still affixed to my arm, I gathered my kids around the kitchen and I announced that FAMILY GAME NIGHT was about to begin. Although I somewhat feared the “lame dad” reaction, much to my delight, they agreed to give it a shot!

(Please come back next Saturday for the conclusion!)

Paul W. Reeves

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