Family Time

I am always posting Ryan stories, but Ian too has his moments of silliness. I guess the whole rice thing proved that once and for all. But, periodically, Ian gets it in his head that we should have “family” time. His answer to this is that we should play cards. Yesterday was such a time.

“Cribbage?” I suggested. An intellectual card game, I like it.

“No, let’s play Rummy.” Apparently Ian wasn’t feeling very intellectual.

“I hate Rummy. War?” I countered.

“K. I’ll just have one card.” He thumbed through the deck and found the ace of diamonds.

“You’ll lose.”

“Will not.”

“Will too.”

Clearly, he lost. This seemed like a no-brainer to me, but I am a 53 year old woman and not an 18 year old boy. I don’t think I was cocky like that when I was 18. I could have been, but I don’t think so. I used to play cribbage for shots. And I usually won, but that was skill, not luck. War is the luck of the draw and if you have only 1 card, the odds aren’t in your favor.

“Crazy eights?” he suggested.


He lost again, and again, and a third time. I acquiesced and we played Rummy, which I haven’t played in years, and he lost at that too. Twice.

“You should quit, Ian.” Ryan interjected, relishing a moment to look smarter than Ian.

“Cribbage?” I suggested.

“No, let’s plat 5 card draw.” He was starting to sound a little surly. He dealt. I took two cards–that didn’t help.

I had nothing in my hand, ace high. And he lost anyway.

Really? Even when you have nothing, I lose? How are you doing that? The cards cheat!”

He is tenacious, I have to give him that. It is clear to me why young men go off to war – they persist against all odds, driving forward blindly against a superior (or at least luckier) opponent. He accused me of cheating, even though he had dealt every hand. He said it jokingly. The whole thing had taken on a comical tone.

I smiled patiently, “Cribbage?”

No!” he was almost whining.

“Chicken. I’m not even trying, I’m in the eagle chatroom while we’re playing.” I had grown up in a household of four kids–and two card playing parents. My dad had poker buddies. Everyone got a fresh deck of cards in their stocking at Christmas. I was playing cards with adults in smoke filled rooms by the time I was four or five. Ian was out gunned.

Ryan joined in and we played two more rounds of Rummy. I won the first. And by won, I mean I had 155 points to their combined 150. Ian and I tied for the second. It wasn’t a loss; I quit playing. He seemed satisfied.

It was like Ian’s personal Vietnam…thoroughly trounced repeatedly, and then satisfied with a draw. Yup, it is clear why it is young men who go to war. I think today, I will compromise a round of rummy for a round of cribbage. Cribbage is a less messy game. Although, I’m not sure Ian will be interested in any family time anytime soon.

Word Count: 528


One thought on “Family Time

  1. Thank you for the great memories. Although I was child one of one, my parents also loved playing cards, and along with the occasional board game (Life was our fav.) playing cards was our “family time”. My father taught me to play cribbage at 6 and I still love it although I hardly ever get to play because my wife won’t learn it and the kids are too busy.
    This reminds me of once, my mother was going to her sister’s in CT and my father had a bunch of his card playing buddies down for a cribbage party. I was about 12 or 13 and the plan was that my Dad would give me $5 for the night to wait tables. After getting the first couple of rounds, one of the tables asked me if I wanted to play. I asked Dad, he said ok and I ran up and got some quarters from my paper route earnings. As you might expect from the lead-up, I wiped out all of the guys at my table and won about $50 which in 1970 or so was about 8 weeks paper route money!

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