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When a Gin Game is more than Just a Gin Game

Posted Aug 23 2008 3:05pm


I’m not a poker player. Yes I know how to play and I actually enjoy watching poker competitions. I don’t play because I don’t have a poker face. Everything I do, say, or think is a ‘tell.’ The hubby always says he likes this about me; I’m a miserable liar. I confess every sin before it’s even committed. Poker’s not my game. I like gin rummy. It’s a fun game, my kids know how to play, and it allows for a break from traditional family social time, typically in front of the television. I had been bugging the hubby to play with me for weeks.

On our trip to Geneva-on-the-Lake , I saw a card-playing table in the Lodge’s lobby. “We should have brought cards, we could have played rummy,” I pouted. Several times I asked that he play with me, but each recent request seemed to interfere with other plans of the day. Two weeks ago on a Sunday, out of nowhere, he relented. He shouted upstairs (he was downstairs in our bar/pool room), “Wanna play cards?” I jumped up from the couch with my laptop nearly flying across the room, “Yippee!”

I grabbed the cards, a piece of paper and pencil and ran down the stairs. I think the hubby could sense my feelings of deep introspection regarding my potential life changes. Within days I would have my meeting with the search committee and my potential new boss to discuss my qualifications for a position that I just knew was personally made for me. I was excited and apprehensive at the same time. I love challenges and thrive on change. I produce the best life results in an environment where change is expected, where I am stimulated to constantly improve, where new ideas and opportunities present themselves and crazy ideas are rewarded with the opportunity to test them out for productive results. I wondered if I would be entering a culture that would fit my style. I worried that I would be abandoning my current colleagues. I wondered if, at this time in my life, taking a risk – stepping away from a comfortable and relatively secure position to jump into a world of uncertainty and newness — would be the right decision. I needed a sign. I needed guidance.

As we played, my mind often wandering away from the cards, the hubby and I talked through the options. He mocked me saying that my need for a ‘sign’ was obtuse – going so far as to say that my idea of getting a ‘sign’ from the Big Guy above was wanting a 4’x6’ wooden sign, trimmed in tartan plaid, planted in the front yard, with “Go for it, make great things happen!” painted on its center. He laughed as we talked through my mantra of “What if?” that had found its way into what should have been an exciting process. He told me that I would receive the signs I needed, or I wouldn’t, but that if I did, or if I didn’t, I’d just know. It all reminded me of how folks keep saying that we’ll ‘just know’ when it’s time to let Master Oboe go. A colleague of mine often tells me that I let my intelligence get in the way of having faith, of just believing – without needing concrete, scientific proof or evidence along the way.

By the time we finished the game, I realized the hubby probably didn’t want to really play cards that night. Instead he used the game as a guise to help me process everything that was rolling around in my noggin. Of course he also used the opportunity to kick my tail, wrapping the game up with a 520 to 418 score. Still, as I walked upstairs to pull down the bed for pre-sleep relaxation time, I couldn’t keep from looking out into the front yard, turning on the porch light, and scanning the acres of land for that 4’x6’ sign.

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