Growing up, my family's favorite game was Memory. It was a game the entire family could play at the same time, and we often did. I have many fond memories of playing Memory with my parents and older siblings, stacking up the matches we won and comparing piles at the end to see whose was tallest. We had an old set of cards that had been around a lot longer than me, which had interesting and rather odd pictures on them that are burned deeply into my... memory. The cards had chew marks on the backs from where my older sister Pineapple had strategically bitten them when she was young so that she could get matches without trying. And many of the pictures had developed names and personalities over the years: "Yellow Girl," "Tiger in the Window," and everyone's favorite: the coveted, fought-over "Dorcalestic Exclusivus" (don't ask.)
Hang on, hang on, this is the internet, so....
Vintage 1966 Memory by Milton Bradley. Oh, the memories! So many hours spent turning these cards over and over.
I don't know if this was a deliberate move by my parents, but all those games of Memory were excellent for our young brains. I am grateful for time spent as a family strengthening our mental muscles.
I bought a set of Memory cards for my kids several years ago. The cards seemed rather blah to me. They were just random, simply-drawn pictures, nothing special. Nothing that you would give names and histories to. And certainly nothing worth bestowing a title like "Dorcalestic Exclusivus" upon (again, don't ask. I'm not even sure I know exactly. I am the youngest, after all.)
Sometimes the kids would play Memory, but not much, and I never was very excited about playing with them. Mostly, they started taking the cards out and doing other stuff with them. They'd put a handful of them in a purse or backpack to carry with them somewhere. I started finding them ALL OVER: the car, the yard, the bathroom. And after awhile, I started throwing them away. My inner child told me I was committing a grievous crime, but my outer mom needed less clutter in her life.
Really, I thought, "let's wait until we can find a Memory set worth preserving."
I found one this last Christmas. The ironic thing is that it was a cheap set that cost five bucks at Walmart. But the cards are Dr. Seuss.
If there's one other thing I grew up with, it was Dr. Seuss books. We had nearly all of them and we read them until we had mostly memorized them. I love, love, love, love Dr. Seuss.
I love these cards! We get the game set up, and the kids start turning over the cards, and I see the pictures, and I start spouting off long Dr. Seuss quotes. I can't help myself.
...He was shortish. And oldish.
And brownish. And mossy.
And he spoke with a voice
that was sharpish and bossy.
Mister! he said with a sawdusty sneeze,
I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees....
The Wubble Chap from I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew:
I pulled, pulled and pulled. Then the next thing I knew,
I was pulling the camel, and Wubble chap too!
"Now really!" I thought, "This is rather unfair!"
But he said, "don't you stew, I am doing my share.
This is called teamwork. I furnish the brains.
You furnish the muscles, the aches, and the pains...
The Fish from The Cat in the Hat
But our fish said, "no! no!
Make that cat go away!
Tell that cat in the hat you do not want to play!
He should not be here. He should not be about.
He should not be here when your mother is out...."
And on, and on...
I have been having a lot of fum playing Dr. Seuss Matching with the Rabbit, Peanut, and Frog, mostly. It brings back many wonderful memories.