Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thoughts about playing bridge

I'm not a bridge player. In fact, I have some negative feelings about bridge players. You see, when I was very young, living in a small town on Crete, among the ex-pats there were three avid bridge players -- one of them my now ex-husband. They were desperate for a fourth and I was pressured into learning the game.

For love, peace, and to please my friends I worked hard at learning the game. Everyday they cajoled, coached, and took turns suffering as my partner. Until the day it happened. Yes, the doors to the once-daily bus opened and, wonder of wonders, a bridge player emerged.

I'll never know how they recognized him as a bridge player within five minutes, although I suspect they took turns meeting the bus and interviewing any likely candidate..."Excuse me, but do you, by any chance play bridge?"

My brief life as a bridge player was over. I was summarily dismissed, never to have a seat at the table again. I felt... well, a strange combination of relief and rejection.

But this article in the Wall Street Journal started me thinking about it again. Our AAUW branch has both a morning and evening bridge group.

I wonder if they'd offer an opportunity for beginners?

in reference to:
"My ideal bridge four? W.H. Auden, me, Woody Allen and Barack Obama, who strikes me as being the sort of person who is considerate—and a listener. I'm not sure whether the current president plays bridge; he has other things to do, I suppose. And my least ideal bridge four? Saddam Hussein (an unforgiving partner), me, Marilyn Monroe (bad memory for cards), and Gandhi (not competitive enough).
— Alexander McCall Smith is the author of more than 60 books, including the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series."
- Alexander McCall Smith on Bridge - (view on Google Sidewiki)

The WSJ article offers some links for new and experienced bridge players and some interesting observations on the game, its history, and it's players. It's good reading.

Photo: Associated Press  Warren Buffett and Bill Gates play bridge at the Nebraska bridge regional in Omaha in August 2005.