It’s My Blue Moon

May 31, 2007
Learn how to play the moon game, a friendly competition between spouses or friends.

NOTE: As you will see when you get to the end of this entry, I jumped the gun a little in the title

MoonMoon aficionados know that today is special. Tonight there will be a “blue moon.” No, that doesn’t mean it will look blue. That just means it is the second full moon that occurs within one calendar month. The reason I tell you this is because tonight I plan to point this out to my husband when I tell him I’ve seen it. Actually, he already knows about blue moons and there will be tight competition this evening to see who sees it first.

Why is seeing it first important?

For the past forty seven years my husband and I have played what may be one of the longest-lasting non-argumentative and unique marital competitions on record — the moon game.

Just what is the moon game, you ask? Well, let me explain the four simple rules as we understand them.

  1. Whoever sees the moon first and says so, or indicates in some way that he or she has seen it (making a circle with your hands or drawing a crescent shape in the air is an acceptable substitute), gets the moon for that night.
  2. The actual word “moon” must be said before the other person says it. The spouse who takes the time to say “Honey, I was just now out in the backyard and I saw a beautiful, round, delightful moon this evening” would lose if he or she started the sentence a second before the other person said simply “MOON!”
  3. The “prize” is the pleasure of winning. We don’t keep score, although over the years we both claim we’ve seen the moon more than the other one has.
  4. No cheating, but scheming is both allowed and encouraged.
  5. To learn more how we play it, read the article and see whether you might decide tonight to initiate a new game with your partner. Best of luck!

I’d love to learn what kinds of games you and friends use to playfully keep in touch.

REVISION LATER IN THE DAY: Tonight I wanted to watch the National Spelling Bee. Bob sat nearer the door leading to the garage, which leads out to the back, which is where one has to go if one is to see the moon. He’s taller than I am. He’s bigger than I am. He kept getting to the door first as we would periodically get up to check on the moon’s progress in rising. So I let him have it. The moon, that is. This way I could be magnanimous.

He didn’t quite see it that way. Claims he got it fair and square. (And between you and me, the only way I would have gotten it is if I stayed out there a long time, missing the show, so that I might see it through the trees. Problem is, he was determined to stay out as long as I did, so he would have seen it first anyway. Under those circumstances, I would rather watch the Bee, since I knew his height gives him an advantage in moon-watching when we’re waiting for it to pop over the hill.)

Bob did point something out that was quite interesting. Seems there is a blue moon in the United States but not in New Zealand. The new moon begins at the same time all around the world, but when it began it was already Friday, June 1, but it was still May 31 here. That means it wasn’t seen in New Zealand twice in the month. It’s one of those fun, but not essential pieces of knowledge — a little like knowing how to spell serrefine (that took the winner over the top), oraniseikonia, oberek, and cyanophycean (that took down the losers).

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