Thursday, July 10, 2014

House of Cards

I've been waiting to write this post for awhile.
Okay, truth be told, It's one of my favorite stories. I think about it now and again, forget about it and then a little something reminds me. It's a story that speaks volumes about the woman my mother is, and the daughter she's still raising.
But let's get some back story first...
I don't play cards. I don't know how to play cards. If there's 2 skills on my bucket list to learn they are:
 1.Learn to play the guitar
2.Learn how to play Poker, like a Bauss.
I presume the later will be more of a challenge, as I would have failed high school, if I didn't have an amazing math teacher that gave me my exams, after class, personally. I didn't actually figure out that I transpose numbers, and letters, and flip their order around, constantly, until I was in my mid- 20's.
That being said, I play King's Corner's(just aged myself by 45 years), and I'm one Hellofa Uno player! Who doesn't Love handing down a Pick 4!?
Also on the list of games I don't play?
Bar Dice.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I Hate Bar Dice!! As a former bartender, I can tell you there is NOthing more annoying than the patron that Insists on playing. Yes,, please Sir,, Slam that cup down As Loud As You Possibly Can!! The harder you slam it, the better your chances,,of winning? No. Every bar has different Bar Dice Rules, and well,, every bartender has different Bar Dice rules. And every bartender has to selectively explain the rules to someone 3 drinks in. And then explain them again After that cup Slams again! My rule? Keep that cup clearly away from me.
Just the other night we were visiting our nearby resort bar and I started playing with the coasters, standing them at perpendicularly to themselves. I asked P if he had ever made a house of cards. He then asked me what exactly a house of cards was, so there, I had my answer.
I must have been only about 7-8. It was nearing the holidays, and my Mother was planning and strategizing her menu for her annual holiday get- together with the ladies from work. Every year, Orlene, Margaret, Nancy, and about 15 other women would converge on our household and have hor's D'orves and cocktails. This is later where I would become tipsy on my first champagne punch. About 2 days before the party I decided to build a House of Cards on the slate tile in our entryway. Many failed attempts and, some successful ones later, I decided to move Project House to the kitchen. Yes, right there in the middle of the kitchen floor, up went my first House, in a line of many figuratively, and literally I would build. Day 1 before the party, I used up the first 52 I had, and started to add from another deck. Day of the party: I had a skyscraper that I needed the kitchen stool to reach the top. There my mom was, making the meatballs, pouring the punch, and divvying up the dip. The entire time, carefully not to disturb the masterpiece I had worked at for 2 days. If I haven't previously mentioned before, we were a family of 5, then for this party we added about 15 more.
And the House of Cards stood tall, in the middle of our small-ish ranch home kitchen. I don't remember exactly when the house took it's fateful fall, but the impression of building it, and having it in that room, has stuck with me for years. I know that it lasted well into the party for the girls to see. I know that my Mom never asked me to go in a different room, or would insist I set up shop somewhere else. I wasn't an un-disciplined child that was allowed to run wild. Perhaps my Mom let me continue, knowing that my mind, my problem solving skills, and my creativity was the best babysitter I would ever have. And having her as my Mom?
I would say, that's having the deck Stacked in My Favor.

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