I’m No Threat To Omar Sharif

The other week I was invited to substitute at the neighborhood bridge game.  They meet the 2nd Monday of the month and with 8 players, one always needs substitutes.  Delores learned I played bridge one day while Mom was still home.  We were sitting on the porch enjoying the sunshine and  the subject came up.  I told her I had not played in years, so I wasn’t too sure how much I remembered.  Anyway, a few days later she asked if I would substitute for october.  The 2nd Monday is one of my caregiver support groups but I decided to go to bring that month.  Fortunately there is another support group the day after and I went to that one.  I told Delores I would come.  It was to be at Sheila’s house, she lives on the other side of Delores and I have always wanted to see her house.  When we first moved here, it was a small brick house being rented out because the owners were in Alaska.  He was an Alaskan Airlines pilot and when he was station on Seattle, they came back to their little house.  However, it didn’t stay little long, they remodeled and expanded the house; later when they moved, they sold it to Sheila and her husband.  It’s quite a house, though going straight into the living room from the front door isn’t the best arrangement, in my opinion.  Ah well, was it ever thus?

My bridge playing days started in New Jersey in 1977 – I learned to play at the Y and then played at times in Newcomer’s.  I will admit I felt lost a lot of the time, I would have the hand and then wonder how I got myself into it.  I kept taking lessons and things started to make sense, I finally figured out how to finesse the queen.  Doing no-trump and making sure I had transportation back and forth from my hand and the board was a lot trickier.  However, I must have been fairly good because a group of four ladies would play every Monday and when one had to leave, I was invited to be the permanent fourth.  That really made me feel good.  I enjoyed playing with them and had to quit when Eddie went to a new company in Los Angeles.

I found another  bridge class and it seemed a little easier to play there.  One day one of the women in the class asked if I would like to be her partner in duplicate – that was played another day there.  I was very flattered and agreed to be her partner.  now that is a whole different ballgame than just friendly, social bridge.  They have set hands and partners move from one table to another – I managed to acquire at least 1 master point.  But it is very cutthroat bridge.  We sat with a husband and wife for a round and at one point I thought he was going to leap across the table and strangle her for a move she made or didn’t make – I can’t remember.  It made me realize that playing bridge with your spouse is not always a good idea.  One friend in New Jersey would play with her husband and he had been known to comment to her that he knew she was smarter than that after a particular move.  Glad my other half isn’t interested in cards!

I don’t think I played bridge when we moved to Connecticut, I started again in Atlanta.  What amazed me was how much easier and fun it was than when I first played – maybe getting older and smarter helped.  There was a regular monthly game through Newcomer’s there and I played with all kinds of levels of players.  I had a lot of fun with it and enjoyed myself as well as the other women.  Even played with Kevin Spacey’s mother – just about the time he won the Oscar in the 90’s.  She was discussing what she planned to wear that night.

The older I get and the more places I live, the harder it is to remember what I did in each place.  At the moment, this was the first time I played since Atlanta, though I may remember something later on.  Anyway, I had a very good time with the neighborhood ladies and I found things began to come back to me as we played.  My partner and I did well in the first round – we played 6 games a round.  The second round I did okay with my new partner and they decided to do a third round.  By then it was close to 4 and I happen to see Eddie out by the drive setting out the wheely bins for garbage pick up.  So I called and told him we were going to play another round, then I would be home.  By the end of the afternoon I came in with the 2nd highest points – that was gratifying.  Also helped to have gotten great cards – it can be very boring when I don’t have many points or quite a few hands.  Wonder if they will ask again.

I refer to Omar Sharif because he is well-known as a master bridge player – now retired because he says if he can’t do it properly, he won’t play at all.  I have no idea how many master points he has, but I doubt I will every acquire any more.  A nice friendly game of bridge is my preference, I just want to enjoy the game and the people I play with.

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