“Um, to answer your question Grandma, bukkake is this thing where… well, it’s a fetish, and basically a bunch of guys stand around someone and they… um, they all ejaculate on them. Sorry…”
File that under conversations I never thought I’d have with my grandma. Thanks a lot, Cards Against Humanity.
I wasn’t excited about Lily’s first impression being a full frontal version of myself…
It all started when my brother announced that he was bringing over his fiancé, Lily, for dinner and games. We’d barely said three words to each other; I was nervous about making a good impression. So when my sister floated Cards Against Humanity, I had to seriously question her judgement. Casually flaunting the dark and raunchy sides of your humor can be a great bonding tool in the right company, but I was pretty certain my mom, Lily, and my grandma were not the right company.
“It’s like Apples to Apples, but more adult,” my sister said when she suggested the game. I tried to emphasize just how adult it could be, but all parties agreed to play so I headed downstairs to grab it.
I wasn’t excited about Lily’s first impression being a full frontal version of myself, and I was pretty sure I wasn’t ready for my grandma to see that side of me either. The sexier aspects of the game are not the sort of thing our family has ever discussed. The added factor of getting to know Lily was the cherry on top of the awkward cake. I have a hard time meeting new people in general; I’ve been told I’m better first experienced in small doses. If the poor girl ran screaming into the night, my brother would never forgive me.
I decided precautions were necessary. I packed myself a bowl and smuggled it past everyone and out into the backyard on the pretense of letting out the dogs. I moved past the small circle of porchlight to stand behind a tree. I glanced over my shoulder to make sure I was out of view of the window, and took a small hit off my pipe to relax me a bit before heading back into the warm light of the dining room.
The first few rounds felt tense and I spent them avoiding everyone’s eyes. Occasionally I cast a longing glance at the pantry shelves behind my grandma, lusting after the potato chips contained therein. After a few rounds, I snuck a glance at Lily, trying to guess how well she was taking the situation. She wore an expression of slight discomfort, but within the first ten rounds she won a hand, and she picked up her first black card with a small smile.
Mom and Grandma were a couple glasses of wine in at this point, and everyone was starting to relax. My card choices became a bit bolder. Most hands drew laughter from nearly everyone. Even Lily would crack a smile now and again.
A round came up where my wife, Rachel, was judging. The black card read “What is my superpower?” With a sideways glance at me, she chose the “The female orgasm” as her favorite.
My mom proudly stepped forward to claim the points for her answer. Had she just thought it was funny? Had my mom heard us having sex? Our room wasn’t under hers, and I’d tried so hard to be quiet. Still, it was possible. I was completely mortified, and I could feel my cheeks burning. She gave me a mischievous smile as she casually asked why my face was so red. I tried to be nonchalant. Unfortunately, my poker face is utter shit. The entire table erupted in laughter, and the ice was officially shattered in our little group.
I was enjoying the upheaval of my preconceived notions.
As the game wore on, I found myself increasingly impressed with the cards Lily was throwing down. She had a clever, deadpan sense of humor, with plays like, “Instead of coal, Santa now gives the bad children” combined with “Dead parents.” I was pleasantly surprised at how fun the game ended up being. I was enjoying the upheaval of my preconceived notions.
We started cycling back through old cards, so we decided to check the score and see who was winning. Lily had amassed quite a few points; while the rest of us had been getting rowdy and silly, she’d quietly come from behind to develop a commanding lead. She was one card away from victory. It was Lily’s turn to judge the best submission.
She read aloud the black card: “Blank would be woefully incomplete without blank.” In one of those perfect Cards Against Humanity moments, I tossed out “Harry Potter Erotica” followed by “Daniel Radcliffe’s delicious asshole.”
She flashed her coy smile and fist-bumped me. And then she fist-bumped Grandma too for good luck.
I didn’t think there was a chance in hell Lily would choose my vulgar subversion of a beloved young wizard like Harry Potter. But to my delight, she not only laughed but chose my combination as the winner. Quiet, conservative Lily chose to read aloud the phrase, “delicious arsehole” in reference to an innocent English child actor.
The next round, Grandma was judging the strangely appropriate, “What grandma finds disturbing, yet oddly charming?” Lily threw down “Two midgets shitting into a bucket.” Grandma erupted into uncontrollable laughter as she awarded Lily the point. Lily had won.
I screamed “Fuck yeah, Lily! Who the fuck are you?” She flashed her coy smile and fist-bumped me. And then she fist-bumped Grandma too for good luck.
The game wrapped up, and I sorted the cards and put them back in the box as my mom and Grandma cleared the glasses from the table. We congratulated Lily on putting up with my brother and fitting in so well with our family. We figured at this point she was pretty well initiated. Now she really knew what she was marrying into.
My own insecurity and fear had prevented me from opening up and showing them who I really was.
We said our goodbyes and Rachel and I snuck out back to take one more toke before locking up for the evening. As we walked down the stairs to our room, the euphoria of good company and a bubbly high gave way to introspection.
I pondered the unexpected turn the evening had taken. My family had seen a side of me I typically took great pains to keep separate from them, and they hadn’t been shocked or upset. Just like I hadn’t given Lily enough credit, I hadn’t given my family the benefit of the doubt, either. My own insecurity and fear had prevented me from opening up and showing them who I really was. If it hadn’t been for a card game that aims to drag the darker impulses of humanity into the light and poke fun at them, I might have never known my family at their best: a funny, kind, slightly raunchy, and ultimately very accepting group of people that I’m proud to love and be part of.