Monday, August 13, 2012

Bridge Weekend

Quote of the Week: "Bridge is a social, but not very sociable game. That is if you take it seriously, as most bridge players do." - Ruth Mills Teague

Back on college, a group of friends and I formed an unlikely group: Bridge Club. Several of them (including my BFF Maggie) had studied abroad in Scotland and picked up the game there. I wormed my way in by living in their dorm and knowing bridge from childhood. Along the way (as people graduated, as most of us migrated to DC, etc) we added roommates, frat brothers, band geeks, ex-boyfriends, and spouses. This year, we decided to revive one of Bridge Club's favorite traditions - Bridge Weekend. Basically, we rent a nice vacation home (hot tub a must) and spend several days drinking and playing cards. 

If you've ever played Spades or Hearts, you know the basics of bridge. The difference is that trump changes based on a round of "bidding," where you and your partner try to communicate what you have in your hands and how many tricks you think you can take. Bidding is just about as complicated as it sounds, and is by far the most difficult part of the game to master. When I was a kid, I used to say, "I'm good at everything except the bidding." I might as well have been saying, "I know how to play, but I pretty much suck."  

I've improved a bit since those days, but not much. Which is unfortunate, because I'm something of a sore loser - I can only handle so much before I make an excuse and walk away. Happily, at this particular Bridge Weekend there were several tables going at once - so once I got fed up of losing at one table, I could rotate out and start losing at another table. Yay?

No matter what the outcome of the score sheets (our motto is, "Points Above The Line Don't Count!"), hanging out with my old Bridge Club was a real treat. We get the chance reminisce about college days, catch up on each others' lives, and make a bunch of new memories - all because we play this game. With all due respect to Ms. Teague, bridge (or any game) can be sociable... if you've got the right group!

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