Have you ever noticed that there seems to be an entire class of activities that exist solely to give us excuses to be together without feeling awkward? (Man, that sentence is awkward.) What I mean is, there are so many things we do that alone and by themselves are good, but their true potential is only unlocked when they become the passive activity, and when being with and enjoying others becomes the active activity.
Pool, for me, is one of those activities. (When I say pool, I'm referring to billiards, not swimming. I enjoy swimming by itself.) I find pool very relaxing, but what I truly enjoy about pool is the way that the activity provides for me an excuse to be with and talk with others. Somehow sociality seems more easy and natural when our conversations are punctuated by "Who's turn is it?" and "Hey, nice shot!"
Dominoes, again is one of those activities. My friends and I used to go to BYU campus and play "Mexican Train" together for hours; but it wasn't about the game. That was only an afterthought. What we really went for was intense discussion about politics, poetry, school — and of course, women.
Now, I slightly hesitate to place kite-flying in this same category, because for me there is something innately beautiful and visceral about kite-flying. Nothing says "it's spring!" like flying a kite. And yet kite-flying fulfills its purpose during precisely that moment when the kites are high in the air, beyond the point where they need attention; when friends and family can lean back and carelessly and thoughtlessly manage the kite by the periodic pulling in and letting out of string; and when at that moment the conversation begins to flow, punctuated only by the flapping of the kite in the breeze.
Camber and I went kite-flying this evening with Sean and Catherine.