-Anyone Playing?

Welcome back to the Post Script of Cruise Ship Bridge Lessons.  I wonder if I’ve totally put you off enrolling in bridge lessons aboard after reading about our instructor, Christine, last week. I certainly hope not!  Believe me, she’s still in my head when I deal a game!  This memorable character left quite an impression on all of us!  My husband says I shouldn’t have been so polite when I mentioned one of the male passengers had declared, “Christine, you scare the ” s_ _t ” out of me!”

All teasing aside, our cruise did come to an end after 58 short days! My husband and I experienced a bit of emotional reluctance when expected to descend the gangplank for the final time. Who were we going to play BRIDGE with? How were we going to keep improving?  When would we have time to play BRIDGE, once we returned to reality?  Oh such deep, disturbing questions (and all mine)!

We had good reason to wonder.  Reality hits hard when one has been away from home for a couple of months.  Although we’d prepared “our people” at home with HUGE hints that we’d be dying to play BRIDGE with them upon our return… the invites never quite materialized.

There are several BRIDGE CLUBS available in our neighborhood, but Christine’s words of caution kept ringing in my ears.  She convinced me that we’d be decimated if we joined a group too soon, without further lessons.  Husband Ryan was too busy to indulge me with practice games (using our Joan Butts’ cards), knowing that it’s near impossible to play with 2! So what was a girl to do?  I kept reading my BRIDGE books, studying my notes and I joined lessons and practice sessions online at http://www.joanbuttsbridge.com  I highly recommend this site for anyone who is out there and wants to retain the skills you’ve gained. However, I should caution you…


Seriously, you start off thinking, I’ll just play 3 hands and 10 hands later, your husband is begging you to shut down, as the glare off the screen light is causing him sleeplessness…


As well as playing online, I began to search for players. I’d coyly inquire at each social gathering whether the new people we met were BRIDGE players.  And then I’d plead my case that we were newbies, looking for people who could handle the patience required to play with us.  Somehow, I was fortunate to hook a couple from our Yacht Club who were willing to give us a go.  Well, didn’t we have to scramble?  Not only did we NOT have a BRIDGE table and chairs, we actually didn’t have an ideal spot in our home for setting one up.  The fateful night arrived quickly for our first off-ship game, and wouldn’t you know it?  Her husband was a card genius!  He could deal the cards and quickly calculate what was in everyone’s hands just from the bidding.  He and his wife were also masterful at counting all the cards played and keeping track of all four suits.  OMG!  I practically folded on the first hand, as he began to coach me through it.  I swear, my heart palpitations made his voice ring in in my ears as he, more or less, chatted away while playing my hand for me (as well as his own). ONLINE BRIDGE certainly hadn’t prepared me for that!  We ended up retiring to the Great Room early for more wine, forgetting the BRIDGE, altogether! (We’re taking our cards along on the Spring Cruise with our yacht club, as we plan to coerce these formidable players into a few BRIDGE nights on the water…)

And then there was the neighborhood girl’s group that I so desperately wanted to be asked to join.  Of course, they already had their regular foursome.  However, word was out that one of the players was fulfilling grandchildren-sitting duties for an extended period of time.  Just the opening I needed to squeeze my way in!  Before showing up at my girlfriend’s house for this exciting evening of dinner and BRIDGE, I feverishly reviewed my notes and rules for bidding.  After all, it’s one thing to be totally useless in front of people you’ve just met, but when it comes to friends you know well, that’s a whole new set of pressures!  Who would have guessed that despite having no HPC cards all night, we ended up playing for about 3 hours straight and had the best game night, ever!  The pacing was great, the company was superb, and we all just enjoyed our social time playing the game!  (Christine would never approve!)

And remember the couple that persuaded us to enroll in Cruise Ship Bridge Lessons in the first place?  Well, it turns out that they’re only a 2 hour ferry ride away and isn’t it fun to plan sleep-overs  for BRIDGE week-ends?  (Okay, it isn’t as easy as it sounds, as they’re either just leaving on another cruise or tied up with grandchildren, but we’re on it, and looking forward to  lots more upcoming BRIDGE weekends in the near future!)

I hope you’ve had a few laughs regarding our journey to becoming BRIDGE players! It has been so great to connect with our Cruise Ship partners to find out how they’re doing with the game.  Husband Ryan doesn’t know it yet, but I have plans  for us to join a mixed group, once he finally decides to retire. I think one of my girlfriends may decide to join me for bridge lessons.  (I just have to ween myself off of ONLINE BRIDGE first…ha!)

Please leave some comments below this post where it says, “LEAVE A COMMENT” ! Isn’t that brilliant? My readers and I love tender moments and funny stories and I just know all of you have some of those to share.  Please do!



2 Responses »

  1. Now you have me thinking about playing bridge again, but it has been so long since the last time we played. Would certainly be good for the old brain!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *