Sunday, January 3, 2016
While I was with my in-laws, I learned a new card game that used a special deck and puns. Off hand, I can't tell you what the name is nor what it is like. I don't even remember all the rules! If I can, I'll post a picture of it. Right this instant, that game seems to be a symbol for my life. From childhood, I have played card games. A deck of cards is inexpensive entertainment and can teach a child many of the rules of math and arithmetic. I am sure that my math skills are related to all that early practice. My father lead many of the games, because when he was a young adult, he had earned extra money from cards and pool. My mother also had an aptitude for cards. They started playing cards with my siblings and I as soon as we could hold the cards in our hands without dropping them. I could not imagine a household without several decks of cards until I was married. My ex did not play cards, but it seems that our younger daughter inherited my skill with them.
My sister-in-law and her adult daughter were excited about this game and my daughter and I wanted to play. I asked for clarification of the rules. Suddenly the way to win was clear, so I planned my coup and easily won. No one wants to play me in cards anymore. No one wants to play me in backgammon, either. During one backgammon game, my opponent told me that with my skills, I should go to Vegas. Once in a bar, I did meet a gambler who enticed me into a game. After I won, he told me that he had never seen anyone throw the dice like I did, and then admonished me for not betting more. I really didn't like risking MY money like that. The gambler owed me money he didn't have and failed to pay. The act of gambling left a bad taste in my mouth, and the creepy, slimy company didn't help. My dad doesn't say much about his gambling days, but I know that he now has a very low opinion of the profession.
Why do I consider this card game to be a symbol for my life? I am very good at some things. I am not average. I can be phenomenal, but sometimes the associated costs become too high. I am an excellent worker, but I'm not good with people. I won't lie, even about the little things. I show exceptional talent for pissing off customers, especially when I'm trying to be nice. Today, the only jobs available seem to be service related, because all my technical skills are out of date. I rejected more schooling, because I don't have the money and don't qualify for grants and scholarships. (I checked all I could find.) My age and physical limitations narrow the already narrow field. I didn't reject even retail. Employers rejected me. Did I get an unacceptable score on their repetitive personality tests that take an hour to complete? Was I the wrong ethnicity? Did I wear mismatched clothing? It's a good thing that I own my own dwelling and that my needs are few, because I refuse to apply for government assistance.
Sometimes, I really wish that life were as easy as a mathematical equation -- or a card game.