Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Mother's Bridge Club

My mother is currently in three bridge clubs. She must be a fairly good player because she often plays in tournaments and, when asked, will admit that she wins "here and there". Those are her words for "a lot".

When I was a little girl, my parents were in a couple's bridge club and I can remember the nights they hosted the club at our house. Like most all other social events they hosted, there were copious quantities of adult beverages served and consumed. I can only assume that cards were dealt, hands were played, and games won. My brother and I could hear the laughter and merriment go on until the late hours.

Now since my mother no longer has a predilection for the bottle, she is no longer married, and the average age in her bridge clubs is, say, seventy five, my assumption was that they had become more genial and proper affairs. But then again, I have been known to sell my mother short and assume she has slipped into the boring years of matrondom to live her life as a good southern lady should. Let's just say I'm glad to hear she is still alive and well and perhaps it's best I'm on a need to know basis.

Yesterday, I was visiting her and she asked me where she could get the inside of her car cleaned. Now, my mother's life line is her car. She is constantly on the go and one never knows what she may have with her. Years ago she started driving a small SUV so she could carry pieces of furniture if she found a bargain. It is not unusual to find the occasional mahogany chair or wicker table in the back of her vehicle. And, there are the bottles of water, packages of crackers, and God knows what else. (She says you never know what you may need on the road.) My brother swears if we ever have a national disaster, she could live out of her car for a week.) But I digress.

I gave her the name of the car wash we use that does a fairly decent job with the inside. Then asked, "Just out of curiosity, why do you need that done?" "Well, it's a long story, but I'll keep it short. Jane picked me up for bridge the other day and her car was spotless. Next week, it is my turn to drive and my car needs to be cleaned out, so I really need professional help." "You car pool to bridge?" thinking to myself that made sense, given the cost of gas and that everyone was trying to save money and live on the conservative side.

"Well we have this system. Each week we trade off. One drives, one brings the refreshments, and one brings the money." "The money?" "The money, for the game. Of course, we already have it in envelopes. We are always discreet." Of course, I thought, southern women would never want to be ostentatious with the money they pass around at the Bridge table. My Mother - playing Bridge for money. And, I always thought they passed around mints and nuts.

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