That’s what friends are for?

June 26, 2007

What is it about your friends that they love to see you miserable? Well, maybe not your friends, but mine seem to love goating me into playing cards when they know full well I’m either not in the mood to play or I’m trying to save a little money.

Yeah, maybe they’re not really my friends.

My dillusions about my social life aside, does this ever happen to anyone else? You’re either getting through your day at work…or running errands and spending time with your family on the weekend, or just having fun (for free) watching TV or surfing the Internet, when the call comes:



“You’re playing cards tonight.” (Note the lack of putting this in the form of a question.)

“I can’t, man, I got some stuff to take care of, and I need my cash to buy some…”

“Dude, you’re playing…don’t be an idiot.”

Can’t argue with that logic.

Now, I’m not talking about giving into an addiction here, nor am I in any way indending to make light of gambling addictions. My observation is simply that the people you know more often than not just need a fourth, or a fifth, and no matter what your excuse to abstain, it’s just not good enough.

I know what you’re saying – “you’re a big boy, you can say no.”

Right, I could, but herein lies the problem, and if you’re a poker player at heart you know the problem all too well. And all it takes is that one call or that one nudge to get the voices going inside your head.

You want to say no, but you reason with yourself over and over again until somehow you’ve justified it to your satisfaction that you can play.

Let’s take a minute to run through some of these common reasonings everyone probably deals with:

The line: “It’ll be fine…I’ll buy in for $40 bucks, and if I lose that on, I’m done.”

The reality: Yeah, RIGHT. The minute you drop down to your last few lonely white chips, you know damn well you’re readying the checkbook to cover your dumb ass. Unless you’re prepared to play cards without an ATM card, personal check or more cash handy (or play at a place where they won’t take your word of credit), you’re just flat out lying to yourself.

2.) The line: “I’d be the same way if I wanted to play and we needed another person.”

The reality: Which proves that you love taking your friends’ money just as much as they like taking yours. You may be friends, or you may just be putting up with each other’s presence for the greater good of having a recurring poker game.

3.) The line: “He’s right, I am being an idiot.”

The reality: If this is the line you use to make your final decision, then you’re absolutely right.

4.) The line: “It’s been a long day, I deserve it”
The reality: Maybe so, but you obviously had a reason for not playing initially. Do you even remember what it is? Or has that been supressed far beneath the visions of Swisher Sweets, Bud Light and a pair of fours?

5.) The line: “If I say no…he’ll keep calling me, he’ll keep calling me…OK…I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go….DAMMIT!”

6.) The reality: Heh heh, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

So, that’s the reality of what you go through when presenting with such a tantalizing option. Because deep down you know you want to play…you always want to play. And against your better judgment, the desire to have a good time doing something you love gets the best of you. It eats away at you and trumps the need to save money, wins out over time with the family, and pushes those errands and housework aside for another day.

But so what, right? You deserve it. And you’d be acting the same way if you needed someone else.

Yeah, yeah that’s right. I love those guys. They’re my best friends.