The Shared Whee

by Bernard De Koven on October 22, 2012

In my post about coliberative, competitive and cooperative games, I mentioned, perhaps too briefly, this:

“What am I doing when I’m pushing you on a swing? Are we competing? Are we cooperating? I think we’re doing something else entirely. I think we’re sharing the whee.”

I’m not sure if this is one of your typical flavors of fun. It’s more like the very essence of fun, like fun itself, when it’s shared. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there are as many kind of whee as there are flavors of fun, the shared whee being only one of many (or several of many). And in all likelihood there are whee degrees, all the way from the mini-whee to the really, really big whee.

We do a lot of whee-sharing: with kids, pets, lovers. Sometimes, one of us is the prime whee-er. Sometimes, we whee together, at the same time, for the same reason, feeling the same thing. And sometimes – and these are the best of times – we can’t really tell who started the whee, or who’s wheeing more.

Whee-sharing is why we find ourselves at concerts, dances, in amusement parks, sports arenas, playgrounds. Why we play games. Any game. Even solitaire.

Even the solitaire whee, the whee that you find on a surfboard or mountain top, feels like a shared whee. You don’t feel alone. You feel like the wave or the wind or the light itself is wheeing with you. Even on a slow stroll through the neighborhood it can get like that.

But me, I’m especially interested in the whee we find ourselves together in. The you and me whee. The whee that comes from the core of something very much like love. The we-whee.

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