My family likes to play games. Especially Sardines. At holidays we often reserved a church that was large enough to hold us all. After the massive meal that only 9 daughters (two were brave enough to marry in) and their daughters can assemble, after any planned events and the inevitable basketball, and after the sun was good and set, we’d gather in a room, abolish the glow of cell phones, and play Sardines. Old churches with rooms added on as needed or imagined, rooms that connected without logic, and hidden places around stages, were the best. Only the chapel was off limits.
One of my sisters is a pro. One time she hid on top of a fridge and it was a long time before anyone discovered where she was. From then on, like three-year-olds, we always checked on top of the fridge.
When you did find whoever had hid, you squeezed in with the fifteen or so other people who found them ahead of you—hence the name of the game—and hoped that nobody ate beans.
It was a snuggly moment that could disintegrate quickly if anyone started to laugh. We’d pack in, as tight to the last person as possible so that a stray foot didn’t stick out around the piano or a head above the row of chairs. In those tight quarters, it was as close as we came to hugs. I think that’s one reason we all loved Sardines.
The part I was most familiar with was wandering around a large, strange building, feeling with my hands in rooms where no moonlight entered, and realizing I hadn’t encountered any other seekers in a loooong time.
The reason I told this story is because the analogies or metaphors that can be pulled from it are innumerable (even the name of the game is one). But I won’t cross that line today. I often see life in terms of analogies, metaphors, or simple similes. Most writers are big on that stuff.
And it starts young. Each year a list of them from the papers of high school students is compiled. Here are a few, from an article: Top 25 Great Analogies and Metaphors Used in High School Essays. Enjoy.
1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. Traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. At a speed of 35 mph
16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.