Many, many years ago when the world was young… No, that’s not right, when I was young perhaps; things were so different. This was England just after WW2 and I was a callow youth…almost. There was no TV, but radios were big, in size and more often stationary and definitely not portable. Other entertainment was mainly spontaneous and related to the many youth and social clubs one could belong to. Where have those games gone we played then? Postman’s knock, Spin the bottle and my biggest dread, Winking were all regularly played but it was Winking that was my greatest fear.
In those sexist years the idea was for boys to stand behind a chair on which sat a girl and the boy with the empty seat would have to choose a seated nymph and wink at her to entice her to leave her protector and come to you. She had no choice in theory but to get up and walk to your seat, but might be slow to react if she was more than happy with the guardian behind her and liked the feel of his hands on her shoulders. He was not allowed to touch her and restrain with his hands unless she made to get up and leave him. It was a great laugh and much enjoyed by all that played the game…except me.
Winking was not a great skill of mine and foolishly I tended to choose a girl that was the most attractive. Sadly her guardian felt that way too and quickly pounced and restrained her should she make to move. So this inept winker spent many frustrating minutes in enticing one nubile teenager away.
Rules could be changed and a discreet kiss might be permitted for winning males but in the main I remained girl-less, winless and kiss-less unless a sympathetic belle mistaking my awkward wink sitting adjacent to the recipient of my plea would jump up unrestrained and walk calmly over to me.
I was never so happy as when this happened and basking in the pride of my success, I dreaming, would quickly lose her again. The lesson I failed to learn then was, that the choice of girl was so very important. As I was weed I should have chosen a wallflower, as her protector may well have wanted to release her and home in on his real love, who was probably desperate for him to look her way. Sadly, my more astute years will come much later...I hope it is soon.