Monday, April 2, 2018

REMINISCING: It's True Love, Apple of My Eye

With Easter falling on a Sunday for the first time since last year, I didn’t get around to publishing a Reminiscing article. I’ve had an extra 24 hours to think of something epic about which to write.  It didn’t really help...much. Still, I came up with something that most of you who grew up around the same time I did will definitely recognize. I’m sure that more than a few of you have actually done some of the things I’ll be writing about.

Much of this will be about the girls we went to school with. They were more in tune with the potential love interests than the boys were in, but I know of a few boys who did some of the games I’m about the describe. This is more than writing someone’s name on your notebook with hearts and googly eyes. These are the games that were played to see who your true love was or if the person you liked was a match for you. None of this is scientific, but it worked great in junior high school.

The easiest and earliest game I can remember that determined who you would fall in love with was the “Apple Twist.” This one was really simple. If you had an apple in your lunch, before you took the first bite, you would twist the stem of the apple while reciting the alphabet. When the stem broke off, whatever letter you were on at that time was the first letter of the first name of the person you would fall in love with.

While not part of the main game when I looked them up, we also worked out what the first letter of the last name would be. With the broken stem in hand, you would start the alphabet all over again while stabbing at the apple with the frayed end of the stem. Once the stem actually broke the tough skin of the apple, that was the letter from the last name of your true love. As I said, it was all very scientific...and very easy to cheat.

One of the other “games” was the TRUE LOVE game. Sometimes we used ALWAYS, and other times we used FOREVER. When I looked at the websites about the game, I didn’t see either of those versions as part of the game. I don’t quite remember it the way they describe in the game, but the results are definitely spot on. It says that Wendy and I love each other 127%. Even though that’s on the low side, it’s in the ballpark.

The game goes something like this. You put your names together and then put TRUE and LOVE side by side. Count up in the instances that each letter shows up in the pair of names. Once you have that all done, add up each column. That will give you the “percentage” of true love that you share.:

Craig Edward Bacon
Wendy Renee Giertz

T  1 L  0
R  5 O  1
U  0 V  0
E  6 E  6
 12  7

Go ahead and try it. I’m sure it will all come back to you. As for the ALWAYS and FOREVER versions of the game, I could not find anything about it. Maybe one of you, dear readers, will remember how it went. Please let us know if you can remember.

The last one I remember didn’t start out as a love game. It was a fortune teller game. With this one, a piece of paper is folded into a group of triangles. The outside and the inner tops are given numbers. Underneath the inner tops were the fortunes, or rather the names of prospective love interests. You would choose one of the visible numbers on the outside. The paper is open and closed a corresponding amount of times. Then one of the visible numbers on the inside is chosen with the paper opened and closed again that many times. Lastly, another of the visible numbers is chosen and that flap is lifted. Voila! The love of your life.

These are just three of the games that I can remember. I’m sure there were others. When I asked someone who is younger than me about the games she may have played, she mentioned Spin the Bottle. I’m nearly a decade older than her but I never played that game. I thought that was only something from the 1950s or 60s or bad swinger movies. I thought of Seven Minutes in Heaven, but I never played that one, either, so I didn’t write about it.

These were fun games that really had no bearing on who we dated. It was simply a moon eyed, teenage way of passing the time while thinking about someone we really, really, thought we could like. I’m sure many combinations of names were tried, hopefully getting the highest score on that one person in that one class. At any rate, looking back it seems like a rite of passage for adolescence.

I’m not sure what the kids do today, but my guess is there’s an app for it. It makes me feel a little sad. In our day, you had to know spelling, math, and origami. Today, all the kids need to do is swipe their phones for the highly scientific answers we worked so hard to discover.

Craig Bacon was very happy when his TRUE LOVE game came out at 127%. Not that he needed the reassurance. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who know he and Wendy.