Childrens Game Rhode Island
First you gotta get an apple. Then, you like (pause) twist the stem until it breaks off from the apple. Every time you twist the stem, you say a letter of the alphabet. The letter in which the stem breaks off is the first letter of your future spouses name. After that, you like (pause) stab the apple with the stem until the stem breaks the skin of the apple. Just like before, each time you stab the apple, you state a letter of the alphabet. The letter in which the skin breaks is the last initial of your future spouse.
This interview with Catherine was conducted while we were waiting for an annual a appella concert called SOLtrain to begin. This concert was hosted by Cal State Northridges a cappella group called Aca Sola. She said that she had not played this game in a very long time, so there were quite a few pauses in her description of the game. In addition, the environment we were in was very loud and she was practically screaming while she was telling me about this game. She said that she used to play this game with her friends when she was in middle school in the lunchroom. Most people in her school knew about it. She said that it might be a Rhode Island or New England thing. She said it was more of a superstitious game her friends would play every time they were eating apples for lunch. She feels that it was cute back then, but she feels stupid looking back at her times in middle school. Whenever her group of friends would get the initials of someone they actually knew, they would have a great time of laughter and fun. It was a way for her circle of friends to get closer to each other and share in times of jubilance.
It was fascinating for me to hear about this game because I grew up with a similar version. Rather than twisting the stem of an apple, my friends and I would flip back and forth the ring-pull tab of a soda can. Each flip would be equivalent to the first initial of the person you had a crush on. This difference between using a soda can and an apple is particularly interesting because I am from the west coast, while she is from the east coast. Most of my friends from the west coast had also heard about this game using a soda can. The fact that we both played this game during elementary school illustrates that children enjoyed joking around about relationships between men and women.