Monday, February 28, 2011

Its Not in the Cards

Do you and your significant other have something you just can not do together without getting mean with each other? For some its home improvements. I have talked to people who cannot grocery shop together. It seems all relationships have some "breaking point" activity that just needs to be avoided to maintain domestic tranquility. In my relationship it is Euchre. Yes, the card game. How stupid is that? Pretty stupid. However I have figured out why a deck of cards is our house of cards. I will fill you in on that later, the entertaining part is hearing the tumult that is caused by this card game.

Card playing is not something I did in my family growing up. We are not card people. We are are a cerebral people, we play Trivial Pursuit. I come from a family that likes to spout the crazy amount of useless facts in our enlarged heads. Are we all geniuses? No, not all of us. We could get pretty worked up in a game of Trivial Pursuit. It was competitive, and I loved it because even as a young person I had a lot of useless facts. I am proud of my useless facts. My useless facts make me fun to sit next to at a dinner party. Knowing a little about various topics makes for sparkling conversation. Point being card playing was not a part of my upbringing. Cards are not full of fun facts. Cards are cards.

My beloved spouse is from "card people". His parents had regular card games at their home. Socially this was their thing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Many people play cards. I have girlfriends that carry decks of cards in their purses "just in case". Okay, "just in case" of what??? I have been afraid to ask.

Euchre has always been the card game that tested my patience with my spouse. Really, it tests his patience with me. I learned that game in college from one of my roommates and I liked playing with her and other people. True, I can not remember "trump" even if I call it up (seriously). In college it was fun. We would flirt to distract our competition. Good times. Until I played euchre with my future spouse, my brother, and his future ex-wife. Suddenly my not remembering trump, and not paying attention to my partners cards made a difference. Note: DO NOT OVER -TRUMP YOUR PARTNER. This seems to insight an annoyed rage in my spouse. Not a violent rage, even worse it is the eye-rolling rage. At times I was sure he would roll his eyes out of his head. This type of response from ones beloved is very painful. Even worse is the "talking about it" later. He honestly would replay how the cards were played and how I "over-trumped" his "trick". I can not even remember what trump is during the game, let alone all the card that were played after several hands of euchre. He takes cards seriously. That is the way he was raised. This scenario has replayed in several settings over the years. A close friend witnessed the "euchre curse" and I really think she was pretty shocked by the emotion. Even she said, "Maybe you two should not play cards together. Ever".

Trivia Girl can not roll with Card Shark. He enjoys this card game. He has skill and apparently a photographic memory. He does not know that John Quincy Adams used to swim in the Potomac River most days of his presidency (true fact). That is how we differ.

So is it really about the cards? No. It is about me not wanting my spouse thinking I am a moron. I really do not care what the rest of the world thinks. Any other person in a Euchre tournament can say, "Allie is a real dolt when it comes to playing cards", and I literally would not care. Well, I may have a few snarky comments, but that is just me. My spouse's opinion matters. It mattered when we were dating, and it matters to this day. So it has never been about the cards. The cards are just the thing that exposes a shortcoming in me that I prefer he not see. The cards are the pants or dress you try on one size too small (because just maybe they will work) and then look in the mirror to see the horror. No one wants their mate to see that. Cards expose my mental figure flaws.

This revelation that is not about the cards has taken me about seventeen years to realize. Perhaps because I have never wanted to admit that someone's opinion mattered to me. Perhaps now I can learn to play cards for enjoyment and to socialize. Maybe I am going to have to let him read this blog so he knows its not about the cards after all. Maybe.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Time Flying By

Time flies when you are having fun. That is what I have heard all my life. A one hour dentist appointment feels like an eternity. A one hour lunch with a friend feels like ten minutes. This fall my oldest is entering the 7th grade. She will have class changes, several teachers, not just one. She will have school dances. All those things that I have thought are so far in future, are upon me. Time has flown by. I guess I must be having fun being a parent! Last night we went to what will be her new school for the orientation, tour, and to select her "elective" classes. ELECTIVES, that is right, not just the usual specials. She gets to pick. I will now pat myself on the back by letting you know I did not tell her what to pick, or even make any suggestions. My very independent daughter also did not hesitate when marking down her preferences. I am proud she knows what she wants. I just wish she wanted her mommy around more. On the ride home we talked about what she thought of the school. (Its fine). Was she nervous about going to 7th grade? (No, it will be fine) Why are you being crabby with me? (See list below)
  1. I do not have a cell phone and everyone else does, I will be the only 7th grader without a phone.
  2. Make-up. I am the only kid that does not wear mascara and liner.

REALLY. This is what I am on the hook for, no phone and make-up? Great. I have a retort for both points. First of all, the kids with phones were texting and walking into people. Which makes them look unaware and rude. These texting kids were also texting the fool next to them, which is just plain stupid. If she thinks I am going to be complicit with her being a moron, she can guess again. When she gets a phone I can guarantee if I see her being this ridiculous, I will take it and turn off the service. I am not sure what is wrong with the parents that let their kids look foolish, maybe they were updating their Facebook statuses*. Something like this, "My kid is texting the person they are walking next am raising an idiot".

Point two, the make-up issue. My daughter has mile long eyelashes, that are also thick, and dark. I am not sure what these beauties would look like with mascara on them, but I am betting she will poke someone else's eye out with them. I am not blessed with lovely lashes, thus I do goop on some mascara and I have since about 8th grade. The surprise with this complaint was I have never heard her mention she wanted to wear make-up prior to last night. Honestly, I am not sure where I am standing on this issue. She looks lovely so I see no point for it, but maybe we can broker a deal by the beginning of 7th grade. I really do not want her putting her friends make-up on in the bathroom at school (we all know that is the alternative).

So time is flying by, throwing mobile phones and make-up tubes at me, waking me from my fantasy that my daughter will always be a little girl. She is really a smart, wonderful, young lady and blessing. Time is handing me a new phase in parenting. It is not that she needs me less, just in new ways. Now I need to up my game and become the parent of an adolescent...wish me luck.

*(Full Disclosure: I have a Facebook account, I regularly update my status. I do not do it mobile (ever) and I rarely, if ever use "lol". That was also a joke and in no way am I disparaging those who mobile update, or use "lol")

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Life Is Too Short To_______

The title really sums up my prevailing attitude of late. Life is just too short to put up with some stuff. Life is also too short to put off some stuff. So here is my (partial) list and I encourage you to make a "Life is too short to ________" list. It really helps define the important things in life.

  • Life is too short to not laugh everyday
  • Life is too short to not make yourself a priority
  • Life is too short to spend time on activities that make you miserable
  • Life is too short to create drama that is not an original screenplay or a novel
  • Life is too short to put off saying "I love you" to those who matter
  • Life is too short to worry about what everyone else thinks
  • Life is too short to not share your faith, your passions, and your vision
  • Life is too short to not take a vacation from your problems
  • Life is too short to keep score

Those are just a few off the top of my head and the bottom of my heart. Happy Valentine's Day! You are your own best sweetheart, the others are just lucky candy hearts.