Just say no?

October 19, 2008

I had to say “no” to a poker game tonight.  The reason isn’t important, just one of those things that didn’t end up happening…the timing wasn’t right, we were doing something else, etc…

But it was the first time in years, almost since I can remember, that a group of us were together who have played cards before and we didn’t end up playing tonight. 

And this isn’t just any group.  We had two different people from out of town (different cities, as well).  We all were hanging out at a friend’s house, and the five of us were there…our old “original” Florida poker group from 3-4 years ago.

Everything was actually set.  We had talked about playing cards leading up to tonight (all week).  We all were looking forward to it.  Nobody was late, nobody was too drunk to play (I was the closest).

So what happened?

I’ll tell you, we all actually were content just hanging out, eating and talking on the back porch.  That, believe it or not, became more fun than sitting around playing cards.

It opened my eyes quite a bit on my drive home.  Things change, priorities change, people change, preferences too.

What was going on in our lives was – shockingly – enough of a conversation holder not to need poker infused into it.  And by the time we realized we hadn’t gotten around to playing poker, it was late enough that half of us had to leave for the night.

No big deal.  Not the end of the world.  Just a funny twist of events.  We didn’t play, and nobody even brought it up.  Nobody said, “Hey we should wrap this up so we can get a good hour of cards in.”

I was waiting for it, but it never came.  From the porch we went to the dinner table, kept on talking, and then after dessert we migrated over to the TV to catch some of the ALCS Game 7. 

So what does this mean?  Not much, I’d imagine.  I still love playing cards, and I’d still get in on a game whenever I had the opportunity.  I suppose it did signify another chapter in my life, though, as cliche as that may come across.  I usually would’ve been the first one to remind people about the game of cards.  I’d have been the one with a deck waiting like hot coals in my back pocket.  I even would’ve thrown my chip set into the trunk of my car as a backup in case the house didn’t have the right tools to get the game going.

Did none of those things tonight.  In fact, I only even brought 9 bucks in cash with me.  Didn’t even think to stop at the bank to grab some more bills – even on the off chance a game would occur.

I guess sometimes you just say “no” – even without realizing that you’re saying it.

Now if only I could find a way to practice the same technique when it comes to alcohol.