Why Play 'Duck Duck Goose' When You Can Pretend to Be 'President of the World,' Like Stacey Abrams Did?

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Stacey Abrams is the kind of person so wise and composed that you assume she was born a fully realized adult the moment she exited the womb. In a profile in New York Magazine, Abrams and her sister, Leslie, mostly confirmed this. They spoke to Rebecca Traister about the precociousness of the child who would go on to become a Yale Law School grad, romance novelist, tax attorney, entrepreneur, sci-fi junkie, and now, potential Georgia senate candidate. Though as a kid, according to anecdotes the sisters shared, she sounds frustratingly and impressively sensible.

Her sister Leslie, a federal judge, describes Abrams’s thoughts on finger paint:

“She was never rude, but she’d say, ‘This is silly.’ It was: ‘What is the purpose of this finger paint?”

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Leslie also summed up Abrams’s attitude towards illustrated children’s books:

“When I go home I’m reading Nancy Drew. So why am I reading Dick and Jane at school?’ ”

Abrams recalls not getting “Duck Duck Goose,” a dumb game for boring, unimaginative children—which, she’s not wrong!:

“I was born trying to figure out why other kids were just playing in a circle,” Abrams says. “What are you doing in the circle? Duck, Duck, Goose? What is the goose supposed to do? You could be organizing; you could be producing products that are for sale. You have a circle, but how are you utilizing it?

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What kind of games did Stacey Abrams play? Role-playing her future career, naturally.

When they were around 7, Stacey and Leslie often pretended to be imaginary sisters named Jeanine and Janelle Magnolia. Sometimes Jeanine and Janelle were detectives solving cases; sometimes they were millionaires having adventures on their private jet. Leslie is laughing. “There was one. I got to be the judge in it” — she pauses and looks for permission from Abrams, who nods and completes this confession of childhood ambition herself: “In that one, I was president of the world.”

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Duck Duck Goose is fine, but let girls play President of the World. Who knows, they might hang on to those ambitions, like the Abrams sisters did.

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.

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