Rock, Paper, Scissors: Conflict Resolution

I am behind the times when it comes to reading local popular magazines, a favorite when I can get my hands on it is the Chicago Magazine. The last page or ” The  Closer ” column in the April issue ( see, behind the times here ) was about what columnist Jeff Ruby called ” the dance of hands “.  The dance of hands is actually the childhood game Rock, Paper, Scissors! I love how he eluded to it as the most ” elegant and profound of all conflict resolution processes” This column totally reminded me of a former summer vacation event that would make a perfect wiglet or slice of life story.

It was the summer of 1999 and we were visiting my childhood friend from High School in Ohio, she and I had lost touch for all sortsof reasons and after many many years reconnected at our reunion in ’98. My menopausal mind at the moment can’t recall the name of the amusement park place (it will come to me) we were going to take all the kids to.  It had water, animals and parks, the sort of the thing you pay big bucks for and stay all day. Anyway, it was a really wicked HOT day, our kids were varied in ages and since this was the first time they had met they had not bonded yet.

My husband at the time had stupidly thrown out his back picking up my daughter. (don’t get me started) A visit to the local chiropractor that morning had already delaying the entire day, the kids were insanely impatient.  We decided that several of us would get started and the rest would meet at the park later.  Unfortunately only one of my children could fit in their van. I personally never ever played rock paper scissors as a kid or if i did I must have been terrible at and blocked it from my childhood memories. I can’t really remember unless I think really hard if rock beats scissors or paper or what. I am kind of embarrassed about that.  Yet, my kids are total rock paper scissor champions. They picked it up at school or something and just like Jeff mentioned in his column,  my kids use it all the time to settle disputes and make decisions. My girlfriend totally burst into tears as she watched one of my kids lose the game of rock paper scissors and stay behind while they left for the amusement park. She said it was the most amazing thing she had ever witnessed in cooperative childhood behavior ever!!

I still can’t remember the name of that park in Ohio with the animals, water park and rides. Oh well.  We ended up having a fantastic day despite all.

So for those who appreciate the game or the sport of Rock Paper Scissors (who would have ever thought) check out where the next convention is.

and locally in Chicago at the Ravenswood Pub there are championships – what a total riot!!

flickr image credit

K a r e n     H a n r a h a n
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1 Response to Rock, Paper, Scissors: Conflict Resolution

  1. Jeff Ruby says:

    Hi, Karen. Thanks for the kind words – and for the linkage. I enjoyed your blog posting about rock-paper-scissors. Heck, I enjoy everything about rock-paper-scissors.Keep on reading – and writing. I’ve got a new blog on called “Push” that you might like. Check it out and pass it on: <a href="http://”>,JeffJeff Ruby Senior editor Chicago magazine 435 N. Michigan Ave.• Suite 1100 • Chicago IL 60611 312.832.6721 • On 6/18/07 2:47 PM, “Karen Hanrahan” wrote:Hello there Jeff, I wanted to introduce myself and tell you how much I enjoy your work, I feel in many ways like I know you, as you seem to speak to many experiences I have had in my life. You do it with great wit and charm! I wanted to let you know that today you have been linked to on my new blog re : Fist Fight! Please check it out. Blog: Best of Mother Earth /

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