Monday, December 11, 2006

Dutch Bingo

Living in a strong Dutch community in West Michigan for the majority of my life, I became fairly adept at an activity called Dutch Bingo. Dutch Bingo is based on similar principles of the whole "Six Degrees of Separation" theory (where everyone in the world is linked to everyone else by no more than 6 people), or that Kevin Bacon movie game everyone played in college but I was never much good at.

I rocked Dutch Bingo, however.

An example:

Me: Hi, I'm Dana VanDutchwoman. Nice to meet you.
New Person: Yeah, nice to meet you. I'm Dutchie VanVanderMaasma.
Me: VanVanderMaasma...What high school did you go to?
New Person: Excellent High School. Graduated in '92.
Me: Right! Do you have an older brother named Hollander? My best friend dated him for a while.
New Person: Hollander is my cousin. How about you? Where did you grow up...

And so it went. By the end of the conversation, we could usually establish at least a couple points in common, and it was easy to build from there.

My Dutch Bingo talent is all but wasted here, really. This is the best I can do:

Me: Hi, my name is Dana NewNewYorker. Nice to meet you.
New Person: Hi, I'm Joe WestCoaster. Nice to meet you, too.
Me: So, um, do you breathe?
New Person: Yes...?
Me: Hey! Me too! Isn't that great, we've got that in common!

Slight exaggeration, perhaps. Still, the relationships that I've built here are based on no assumptions, which I've found to be an OK thing, because who's to say those assumptions would be true in the first place?


jLow said...

Hey - my friend Tina was a lawyer in NYC until this past summer when she moved back home to Texas. She lived on West End Avenue.

I know you know her!!

Cause NYC is so small-town and all.

Love yer blog! (found it via Lorraine - it's her fault!)

Dana said...


Tina was the one who wore all that black, right?

Glad you're here.

Michelle said...

Sorry, I can't help you on the NY bingo. I do have one connection through a Jewish family I consult with. Their daughter is in boarding school out there. Perhaps you've run into her?

jLow said...

yeah - she wanted to be "different" from everyone else in the city.

chelle said...

I don't find Dutch Bingo that fun anymore. :)