Remember MySpace? I can’t even type that with a straight face. Well, embarrassingly to say, MySpace was the forum used to create my first blog. This blog, sandwiched between creative selfies and Kanye West’s song, Heartless (not really building a case for myself here, am I?), contained one shining and brilliant moment of self-discovery. As brilliant a moment of self-discovery can be at the ripe age of 20, anyway.
In it, I professed my hatred for card games (obviously not classics like Go Fish and Old Maid; I’m not a monster), but especially my extreme loathing of pitch. Not even when I was 80, not even when all my friends – well, those who were left – invited me to play, not even if it was a choice between playing pitch or getting pitched from the game of life would I partake in this ludicrous activity.
My mind was firmly made up.
I hadn’t thought about that blog until recently. You see, I woke up last Sunday with a terrible hangover headache. Everything was a blur – and then – fuzzy recollections of the night before began to enter my brain.
My stomach lurched violently as I began to experience panic mixed with deep regret and shame.
What have I done? I thought, as I sat up straight in bed, rocking back and forth. Shivering, I wrapped my arms tighter around me.
The night had started out innocently enough. Clayton and I were visiting friends out of town, and our plans were to attend the Do the Brew beer sampling event later that afternoon. After sampling countless amounts of ales, blondes and stouts, I’ll admit my standards went down a bit. I wasn’t thinking clearly. A carefree, reckless attitude was certainly present.
After the event, our friends asked if we wanted to go back to their place to, you know, grab some pizza. Have a few more drinks. Just talk.
“Sure,” I naively said. “That sounds great!”
Before I knew what was happening, a pack of cards was placed in front of me on the table, and the suggestion to play pitch hung in the air like a wet blanket on a clothesline.
I shouldn’t. It’s late. I have to work really early tomorrow morning. Is that my phone ringing?
You can only prolong the inevitable so long, and my excuses were falling on deaf ears. Tipsy, deaf ears. The worst ears for declining pitch: the state game of Nebraska.
“I told myself I would never learn…,” I said feebly.
“Come oooon. Just play! It can be our little secret,” they cajoled.
Before I knew what was happening, cards were being dealt in my general direction. Ew. Ick. I tried to brush them away with a shudder, thinking of the people I would disappoint and hurt if I irresponsibly continued this heinous act.
It was all for naught.
I attempted to eject myself from the game with all the effort of someone who tries to politely refuse the last piece of apple pie, even though they secretly, desperately crave it. I couldn’t possibly.
Oh, no. It’s happening. Just close your eyes.
I played my first hand, letting the cards of failure fall where they may. Then, the thrill of the chase after almost nine years of painstakingly abstaining from the game took over. I felt … liberated.
Sure, I didn’t played my cards right – specifically, because I ended up playing cards, but also because I didn’t yet know all the rules. But the sense of camaraderie I felt, as well as the various card strategies and lingo learned, welcomed me into adulthood. I came out of the whole thing feeling more experienced. More mature. More worldly.
And so, so dirty.
Back to Sunday morning.
You see, my friends had encouraged me to play this game for more than nine years. With love, persistence and plenty of peer pressure, they offered to teach me more times than I can remember. Year after year, I never gave in.
Now I had to tell those very friends the ugly truth that I had learned to play pitch, and that I had learned it without them. I took to Facebook, and was met with the disapproval I expected, but lots of cyber slaps on the back. Following are some of the responses:
1. Yaayyyy for you!
2. I feel so cheated on.
3. And you don’t regret it either, do you?!
I may have lost respect from my best friend and others, but regardless, the training wheels are off. Like it or not, I’m a full grown woman now; well, despite my love of animated movies and staying up past my bedtime.
My friends may be able to forgive me for my shameless behavior in time. Whether I’ll be able to forgive myself is still up in the air, seeing as my careless actions now guarantee myself a spot at the card table whenever the occasion arises.
It’s too soon to tell if pitch is “the one” for me in terms of card games. So far, it’s been a tumultuous love-hate relationship. I guess all I can do is keep testing the waters and keep things casual in case I end up liking another card game more. After all, it’s way too soon to settle down with just one game for the rest of my life.
Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning all you need are two hearts and a diamond. By the end, you wish you had a club and a spade.