Playing Cards

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I don’t.  I have no knack for remembering what has already been played.  My past partners have gawked at my beginner’s luck or tutted in annoyance at my carelessness, stupidity and lack of competitive spirit.  I have trouble remembering the rules of various games and when they tell me there are two types of Canasta, my heart sinks.  As a girl I played a mean game of whist but I put my present  inability to play any sort of card game down to my dwindling mental faculties….and a burning desire to do something else with my time whenever I see a deck.  Yesterday I went to pick up a friend of mine who was playing with four friends.  These are Greek ladies.  Greek ladies playing cards make a lot of friendly noise.  There is a wonderful casualness about a group of people who have a total grasp of what they are doing.  I sat at the head of the table and watched.  The scolded about who should deal and how the deal was done  and what had been dealt and who put down what.  They knew what was happening, they knew what was going to happen, they remembered what had happened two or three hands earlier.  They drank water and coffee and ate sweets and puffed away at vapor cigarettes.  Even the Greeks have abandoned real cigarettes.  They listened to music from the sixties and seventies ( Greek music from that era is wonderful) and argued about who was singing and who was alive or dead and who had been imprisoned by the junta.  They kept score with a wonderful grasp of mental arithmetic and when it was over they kissed me heartily and pitted my total lack of skill at cards.  No one offered to teach me.  Wise women.

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