Family Life Lessons in a Game of Cards.

Today, we had a family game of three-handed 500 and had so much fun. Moreover, we even invented a new lexicon, which I’ll blame on the cards rather than the players. They could be incredibly uncooperative!

Although playing cards might sound like an activity for a rainy day, it was windy outside and we could even see the Spring allergens in the air with the naked eye. So, we were hibernating inside. Moreover, it’s not only school holidays here, but also a long weekend. While for some, this would signal an increase in activity, for us it meant doing as close to nothing as possible, which as it turned out, didn’t even come close. Our daughter needed to be picked up, and my husband and son went off to see a movie together. So, we aren’t such miserable sloths after all.

Anyway, with our daughter in Sydney, that left the rest of us playing three-handed 500. I know I’ve played this before, but it never seemed so brutal and unforgiving before. Today, it seemed that the person who won the bidding and played out the game was almost destined to fry and burn, and very promptly end up in negative territory. Naturally, the player most likely to hit rock bottom, was Mr 13 whose teenage love of taking risks got him into considerable trouble, which we ultimately dubbed: “The Minus Club”.

Even now, I still remember what it was like to play 500 as a 13 year old with my friends at school. I still haven’t forgotten the allure of winning the kitty…the curiosity. It had to be a pot of gold and I couldn’t possibly let anyone else pick it up. It was mine. Of course, it helped that we didn’t score our games. So, it didn’t matter if I went backwards faster than a speeding bullet.

However, with my husband, being one of those mathematical counting types with a mental calculator stuck inside his head, after a few practice rounds, we were scoring. Well, HE was scoring. I was jotting down some priceless family gems,  and as this game progressed, the pickings were ripe.

Now, this takes me back to Mr 13 who has been asking me to play 500 for weeks, but didn’t really know the rules. Moreover, he has no idea just how brutal a three-handed game can be, when your rivals pair up and you’re fighting for life on your pat malone.

So, when asked which suit he was going to bid on, he replied: “I’m playing eenie meanie miney mo”.

That didn’t sound like a good start.

Then again, I somehow managed to bid the wrong suit. I blamed that on the coffee not kicking in.

Meanwhile, my husband who is very difficult to beat at cards, Scrabble and chess, was having a bad day. We hadn’t taught our son Masare, so even though he probably had great hands for that, we just stuck with conventional bids. So, my husband’s gems for today included:

“Wanna play snap?”

“Who dealt this mess?”

“Blerk! Waiter bring me a bucket”.

My husband only bid about once throughout this game, which lasted a couple of hours what with my son and I returning time and time again to the minus club and my husband’s score creeping along at a rate of 10 -30 points a hand. That made for a long and very slow road to 500.

I reached my PB or personal best when I romped home getting 10 hearts. Those 250 points just managed to get me out of the sin bin at the time.

Anyway, all of this is leading me towards the grand finale…

I was the Champion!

Of course, I immediately jumped around doing the victory dance, singing “we are the champions”. Not because I’m a bad sport. Rather, it’s a rare moment that I beat my husband at anything. As for the whole thing of needing to beat my 13 year old son instead of letting him win, I say it was good for him. Will put hairs on his chest, as my Dad used to say. One of the most important things you can do as a parent, is to teach your child how to win and lose gracefully. Moreover, as he struggles to beat my husband and I, we’re training him to compete well against his peers. This is his training ground.

Yet, at the same time, nothing beats winning.

Well, that is unless you’re writing some mamby pamby piece about families spending quality time together and learning how to interact and communicate when devices are switched off. Then, it would all just be about bonding, creating memories and you wouldn’t need to keep the score.

Humph! We must be talking about someone else’s family!

Do you have any games you play to the death in your family? What are they? 

xx Rowena

4 thoughts on “Family Life Lessons in a Game of Cards.

  1. Tara

    Pictionary. I barely draw a period and my nephew guesses what I’m drawing. People think we cheat, but we’re JUST. THAT. GOOD! 🙂

  2. New Journey

    What fun….my husband and I play a card game called, Hand & Foot, its fun and only had 4 rounds, it is helping us keep our sanity during the hot days when we can’t go outside, and I am using it to help stave off dementia…I think I will also pick up some puzzles….have to do something to stay young….your game sounds like fun, don’t think my husband could do more than an hour or so…..we also pay dice, its called 10,000…..my kids love scrabble, they have a lot of fun with that one. I have to use a dictionary LOL I was raised playing card games at the kitchen table at night. Pinochle was one you had to grow into, love it too….Kat

  3. Rowena Post author

    Hi Kat.
    Sorry I’ve been quiet for a bit. It’s Spring here and it hsn’t rained for months and so the air’s been really dusty etc and it’s been like inhaling pea soup. Today, it’s raining so I’m being pretty careful. My lungs seem to be quite sensitive at the moment. I have also got stuck into a research project looking at the girls who came out with Bridget Donovan my 4th Great Grandmother from the MIdleton Workhouse in County Cork, Ireland and all that who begat who really got rather carried away. There must be a touch of Rain Man inside me because I love working all of that out. What’s intrigued me with this scenario is the familiarity of the names and names that aren’t that common either. it’s both intriguing and spooky.
    We finally just sold the old BMW that used to be my Dad’s, which died about two years ago. We got $500 for i which amazed me. That was because there was no for sale sign on it and he approached us. I’d tried to sell it for $200 and failed. That’s one huge hting off the declutter list and we now have our front lawn back. Hopefully, that’s in time for the garage sale.
    I’ll have to look up some of those gamnes you mentioned. Hope you have a great weekend! xx Ro

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