Saturday, July 29, 2017


January 12, 1993
     I did something this weekend I've never done before. I attended a bridge competition at the Marriott Hotel in Newton with partner Helen Gillis.  We soon learned that entering an individuals’ tournament is like entering a den of lions. Some of the creatures remember their manners, but others snarl and claw when they are displeased. Fortunately you play only two hands with each lion, so if you get mauled, you lick your wounds and hope for better luck at the next table.
     My most wounding experience occurred toward the end of the session. My partner was declarer, and when I put down my hand, he didn't roar but did something even more disconcerting. He stared at the dummy and said icily, "I don't believe this!"
     Befuddled and embarrassed, I muttered to myself, "I guess I should have rebid my clubs. . . or maybe three no trump would have been better. Or . . .."
     "Shh," said the opponent on my right, conveying the authorized information that my whimperings were distracting my already distraught partner. If I hadn't taken the hint, I expect they would have called the director, who would have cited the Shut-Up Rule and expelled me from the lions' den.
     By the second round, I was so addled I couldn't tell a diamond from a spade and again ruined the score of the expert across from me. He didn't utter a word of criticism, but if looks meant anything, they'd have called for a stretcher instead of the director. When I escaped to the next table, I told the woman sitting there that I had just played opposite the rudest man I had ever met.
     “He’s my husband,” said my new partner.
     That was all I needed to botch the two hands I partnered with Mr. Rude's wife. She patiently explained how I should have played them, and when I thanked her for being so helpful, she said, "I really don't think people should do their learning at a tournament like this. I've had nothing but low scores because I've been stuck with one rotten partner after another.”
     A perfectly matched pair of lions. I hope I never see them again and have a feeling the hope is mutual.

October 15, 1993
     I played bridge yesterday with seven other women at the home of Mary Ann Ward, whom I know through golf. I was substituting for someone who was away and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. You bring your own sandwich for the lunch break at noon, and the hostess supplies coffee and dessert.
     During lunch I heard a story told by Millie Mitman. Her mother, in her mid-eighties, was invited to a relative's wedding. She was very excited about the event, wore a pretty new dress, and happily greeted everyone from her wheelchair.
     Then someone pointed out to Millie that her mother was slumped in her chair, with her head rolled over on her shoulder. Millie thought she'd had a stroke and called for an ambulance. She had the presence of mind to ask that the driver refrain from sounding the siren, so the wedding guests wouldn't be upset.
     The ambulance arrived quietly, and Millie's mother was rushed to the hospital. Shortly afterward, a phone call came from the emergency room. "Your mother has no problem," said the doctor, "except that she's drunk. She'll be fine in the morning."
     Every relative who stopped to greet the dear soul had brought her another Old Fashioned. Her son had been careful in recent years to water down her favorite cocktail, but this wasn't the case at the reception. The next day Millie's mother asked her a lot of questions about the wedding. For some reason she couldn't remember very much about what went on.


  1. Hahahah!

    Wanted to stop by and visit. Sheesh too bad you had a couple of pills for partners. But despite these *happy* people, bridge still sounds like a fun and interesting game.

    Thank you as always for taking us along on all your adventures!

    Love always,

  2. P.S: Please let me know if you become active on your Twitter account again. Or, I'll check periodically. xo

    1. My memory is as fauoty as my vision. I have no recollection of twittering. I have sometimes been drawn to Facebook because of messages by relatives and friends.]
      A p,s to my response to you: Ted is picking me up at 11:45 to take me to an appointment at Linden Ponds, a senior housing facility where several bridgw-playing friends have preceded me.
      I'll have to face the hassle of moving after my condo is sold but family will help with this.

  3. Dear Rhapsody,
    It is always a delight to see your comments. I may have to give up the bridge games -- and I'm definitely giving up driving. My eyesight has become so useless that my car bumped up and down over three curbs last week. My children advised me to take a taxi, but the fare is over $50 both ways. Thank heavens for Netflix films or I'd be a very bored lol. And this would be nothing to lol about.
    Thank you, dear friend, for being such a faithful follower and for publisniing so many of my mom's poems on your wonderful blog,

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