I Believe in Croquet

Grace - Lawrence, Kansas
Entered on July 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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I believe in croquet because it brings my family together. It has been played at all of the family reunions that I can remember. It epitomizes the behavior of the male part of my dad’s side of the family. They could easily play for hours on end; the only thing to stop them is torrential rain or ominous nightfall. Croquet is one vicious game, where you become the hero for blasting the leader hundreds of feet away. There is no real sense of victory in winning the game the correct way. The proudest and most memorable moments come from blasting each other hundreds of feet away and having to shout across the yard like an angry crow to communicate whose turn it is. Croquet is a game of intense competition and sacrifice; there’s no messing around. It is a tradition that has been passed down for years, ever since my dad was a child.

My family usually builds several courses, all with hindrances such as hills and holes to make it ridiculously difficult to get through the miniscule wickets. The game can be extremely frustrating and embarrassing as well. Croquet is full of risks and gambles; sometimes a blast can backfire and turn into a dud, becoming a huge waste. A common phrase heard while playing croquet it “tough break”. The leader must constantly be on guard, because before they know it, the rest of the crew will chase them like a crowd of beggars after money, to blast them way into the tall grass, street, bushes, or forest. The rambunctious game always takes ages, but it is so worth it, and it does not matter to me whether I play or watch.

The sets we play with are now aged and cheap. The mallets are fashioned with hideous yellow glue and duct tape; and still, there are times when the mallets fly off the stick, often flying farther than the ball. Although research says there must be scoring and boundaries, my family has never played the game that way. I feel like this symbolizes the love and compassion we feel toward each other. It makes no difference who wins and there is no real competition involved. We just love spending time together and making the most of that time we have. A family reunion without croquet is like trying to watch an action movie without sound; there’s something missing. I believe in the power of croquet to bring about a great recreational time with friends and family. In some ways croquet is like life; according to the rules, there is a set path you must take in the game, but ultimately it is your decision which way you go. In life, even when your future is set, only you have the ability to change it. Croquet symbolizes who my family is and all of the good times we have together. It is now a big tradition and I plan to carry it on throughout the rest of my life.