I grew up in a home of Mystery Game writers. From the time I was in Middle School, I tested the crazy parties Dad wrote and Mom tried to reign in and edit. Sometimes I played with my friends, sometimes I hung out with a bunch of “old” people and filled in one of the parts. But Mystery Game Nights were a very common thing for me.
Chris, my oldest sister, is 20 years older than me (she’s holding me in the picture above!). She did not grow up with this same experience. So as she’s preparing to test party with a bunch of her daughter, Tiffani’s 13-year-old friends tonight, she is overwhelmed, frantic, and nervous.
I have felt those same emotions while throwing multiple parties this past year. My sisters and I are working on revitalizing getting Mom’s and Dad’s business (shameless plug: whodunnitmysteries.com. Check it out!), and I’ve somehow become the designated tester – probably because I have the most experience with it growing up. But my party-preparation emotions mingle with my memories of watching Mom and Dad do this. Each party is a tender and bittersweet reenactment of my childhood.
Growing up, the energy in our home each party night while crackled. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. It was probably good we had mystery parties frequently. The house had to get deep cleaned at some point!. Cooking, cooking, cooking. To this day, Texas Sheet Cake and Homemade Fudge Sauce over ice cream send me back to being costumed and sitting with old people laughing my head off while we all figured out who the criminal was. And people, people, people! A variety of people were always invited to the games, including neighbors, members of our church, co-workers, and I recall our local grocery checker even came to a few! They united their small world in a way these people would never have become friends before.
Good luck on your game tonight, Chris! You’re going to do great! I’m excited about these memories that Tiffani is creating, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!