RG Junkie

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Confessions of an RG Junkie

©2002 Beth Weiss, Published in the January 2003 MPULSE, The Dayton Area Mensa Newsletter

What is the appeal of RGs?   As I write this, Iím eagerly looking forward to the Pittsburgh RG.  Iím even going to miss Games Night at Johnís to attend it.  Itís only been a month since I had a great time at the Columbus RG.  The Dayton RG was in April, and Central Indianaís RG was in January.  I wouldnít want to say Iím turning into an RG junkie, but perhaps I am.  After all, the only reason I missed SEMMantics in May was pain from a lower back injury, and I have plans to attend HalloweeM in Chicago (well, actually Arlington Heights, but thatís close) in early November, and if I can figure out the logistics, Cincinnatiís RG in December as well.

But there is hope for me.  The Queenís Croquet in June wasnít an RG (and I was one of the walking wounded there, anyway).  And Iím taking my kids to the Central Indiana OG (Outdoor Gathering) the weekend of September 28th.  Thatís not an RGóitís an OG.  Weíre staying in cabins, not a hotelóand that means itís not an RG, because Yvonne has defined RGs as taking place at hotels.  And the Focused Gathering on relationships the weekend of October 4th is definitely not an RG, even if it will take place at a hotel. 

Okay, so perhaps Iím quibbling over terms.  Mensa has started really filling in my weekends, thoughóand Iím lucky that it has.  Iíve tried to dissect it; what exactly do I find so appealing about RGs?

It could be the constant games in the Games Room.   Itís not uncommon for people to play hearts until 5:00 a.m.  (double deck cancellation hearts, to be preciseólots more social than Ďregularí hearts).  Iíve played in the euchre tournament at every event Iíve been toóand even won in Indianapolis.  Iíve never played one of the rail games, but probably will someday; theyíre popular enough there has to be something to it.

It could be the dances.  In Indianapolis, the DJ was late, so people raided their cars for CDs, found a boom box, and danced anyway.  And when the DJ left (too early in some peopleís opinion), we went back to the boom box.  In other cases, I donít know when the DJ stopped; I wore out before that!  But where else do I get to dance The Time Warp or watch The Locomotion going through the halls.  And even more importantly, play out the parts in Paradise By the Dashboard Light?  A younger crowd might not appreciate it, but Iím just in the right age group for the music range; itís all stuff I danced to in school.

It could be Boingy Boingy in the swimming pool.  That could get addictive, even though Iíve only participated once. 

It could be the food.  It could definitely be the food.  Hospitality always seems full of something I want to nosh on.  Heck, they do better at that than I manage in my own kitchen.  Iím already learning that every RG has its own ďfeelĒ, and its own slant on edibles, but nobody ever goes hungry.

It could be the programs, or it could if I could tear myself away from food and games and the swimming pool long enough to go to many of them!

It could be the hugs.  Iíve tried green dots with a ďGĒ (for gentle), but it doesnít really matter; thereís no shortage of hugs even when I donít wear any dots at all.  And theyíre such warm hugs, so friendly.

It could even be the backrubs.  I picked the right seat at dinner Saturday night in Columbus, and got several neck and shoulder rubs from people who were waiting in line to get their food.

Except for maybe the hugs J though, I think those are all incidental; I could give up one or the other of them with just a wistful glance.  Itís the people, of course.  Itís the late night conversations while walking in circles around the hotel parking lot.  Itís the people that make the games so much fun, and Boingy Boingy only works with great people.  Itís the quiet chat in Hospitality when you canít sleep and neither can someone else, and you find something you both have in common.  And all those hugs and backrubs only feel so good because they come from really special people.

So, thatís what I find so appealing about RGs, and why Iím quickly turning into an RG addict.  Fortunately, as addictions go, this one is good for me; it leads to endorphins and other wonderful stuff, and itís a great addiction to have.

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