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Clothespin Game

If you play the clothespin game, spring for colorful clips that match the decorations of the shower.

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This game is good for all showers. An old standby, it sorts the lovers from the fighters.

Here's how the clothespin game works. Before the shower, the hostess determines a word or gesture that guests must not utter or perform during the shower. The forbidden words are ones that are hard to avoid during the course of the shower, like wedding, gift, honeymoon or the groom's name. Off-limits gestures are usually habitual and equally difficult to avoid, like crossing your legs or touching your hair.

As guests arrive, the hostess clamps a clothespin on her shirt and explains that if she says the forbidden word or does the off-limits gesture, another guest can take the clothespin. The object of the game is to collect as many clothespins as possible from other people. If a player has collected extra clothespins and gets caught crossing into forbidden territory, she loses all her/his clothespins to the alert guest. At the end of the shower, the player with the most clothespins looks silly, but she or he wins the game and a prize.

It's fun to see how guests react to this game. Some players, the lovers, are relieved to be rid of the clothespin. They just want to talk and act naturally. A few of these types get it over with immediately, walking up to the first person, clothespin held in offering and do the deed.

With other players, this game activates a latent competitiveness or reawakens sibling rivalry. When the bride's grandmother, who seemed stiff and standoffish for the first two hours, suddenly launches herself from her chair and charges across the room to snatch a clothespin from her sister's dress, you'll understand why this game shows up at nearly every shower.

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