Saturday, February 21, 2009

Whist (Part 1 of 2)

But first a confession.

I don't play games. Any games.

Snakes n ladders. Poker. X-box. Pick up sticks. Blackjack. Wii. Horses. Roulette. Super Mario Brothers. Slots. Trots. I Spy. Pac Man. Checkers. Chess. Euchre. World of Warcraft. Rumage. Bridge. Play Station. Game Cube.

Nada. None of them.

I've tried them. Don't see the fun in them.

Linda is different. She grew up in a family that played every game known to man. When company came, they played cards. When they went to the cottage, they played Punch Buggy and cards. At the cottage on rainy days they played pick up sticks and cards.

Cards. Cards. Cards.

The background theme music to their lives was the sound of cards being shuffled.

PLAYING CARDS Pictures, Images and Photos

It was different in my family. When company came we turned off the TV and talked to them. On car trips we read books. On rainy days we read books. On sunny days we read books. In the morning we read books. At night we read books.

The back ground music to our lives was the sound of pages turning.

One of the adjustments needed to accommodate our marriage was that I had to learn to play cards and Linda went on a gaming diet.

Computers helped. While I read or blogged, she was into World or Warcraft, or playing solitaire, or the geography quiz on Facebook or scrabble on-line with friends in North Bay.

We could be together yet still follow the paths laid out for us by our family, by our own primal experience. We were at peace. Content.

Until two weeks ago when I came home and found Linda in a state of near bliss. A look of pure joy on her face. We were invited out, she told me. My son-in-laws parents had invited us over.

That's nice I thought. I like Wally and Ruth.

"To play cards," Linda said.

"But, but.."

"Whist," She told me. "Nobody plays whist any more. Everyone will be learning the game together. It will be fun."


"Its a tournament. They have ten couples coming over for the night. Its a card party."

"Ten couples?"

"Yes. You'll love it. Everyone loves playing cards with you," she said, before a stray thought caused her trouble for a moment. "Well, as long as they're not serious about the game." Then she brightened and tossed that quibble aside. "Your so funny. And you don't care if you win or loose. You'll love it."

"I don't care if I win or loose because I always loose."

Linda smiled.

And so on Saturday night we went to Wally and Ruth's to play cards.