Sunday, March 8, 2009
Poker in Rye (or is it Rye Beach?)
Ok, as noted before in this blog, I love playing poker with my friends (C and D) on Friday night. The most fun is when we are actually at their house, eating wonderful food, drinking champagne, laughing and playing cards. The biggest adventure is getting to their house. Now, I like to think of myself as a smart woman and I know my husband is a smart man. We both have advanced degrees, both taught at the university level. My husband is even a map maker by trade (takes a smart person to do that, right?). Well, our intellectual abilities come into serious question every time we drive to our friend's house. We never make it there and back without making at least one giant navigational mistake. Take last Friday night. In a heated discussion about insurance and retirement we flew by the first and least difficult turn off of the main road, completely unaware. Somewhere down the road a bit when we had decided to not talk about insurance and retirement and had calmed down, we both looked at each other, "Oops, think we missed the first turn off." That should have been our first clue that the drive to our friend's house would once again be an adventure. As we backtracked, I felt we were going in the right direction even though my husband questioned me the entire way. "I think it's right across from the ski shop," I tell him only partly sure I know what I am talking about but it was all I had to go on. Luckily, I was right and my husband listened to me so we made our first turn towards poker fun.
With confidence my husband and I commented to each other as we headed down the road, "We are sure we know the way now!" Famous last words. Quite some distance down the road after we knew we were going the right way but something didn't seem right, I asked my husband, "Does this look familiar to you?" "Yes," he says to me. "It looks just like it did the last time I got lost down here. The houses are all getting bigger and I've never seen that church before. Looks like we are headed to the ocean again." OMG. Whatever is the matter with us. Two intelligent people, completely directionally challenged. Is it our age? Is this what happens past 50? We soon reach the ocean shaking our heads and, fortunately, laughing. "Let's just follow the ocean to that restaurant C works at," my husband tells me. Oh, yah, right I'm thinking. Having no idea where we went wrong I had no idea where to go. How can you backtrack if you think you went the right way? And, of course, it is pitch black outside in New England on a winter night so impossible to read any street signs.
I phone my friend and she doesn't answer. We always get lost so I'm thinking, "How can she NOT be available. We are once again L O S T! I leave a message but am laughing so hard I don't think she will understand a word I have said. I hang up thinking, we may not make it to poker tonight! I know my other friend lives near the restaurant we're headed towards and C lives just around the corner from her. "Take a left," I yell at my husband as we approach the restaurant. He obliges, being completely lost himself at this point. OK, I say, with limited confidence, "I think you go up that street and take a left somewhere." Off we go down that street a short distance. "Does this look familiar to you?" we ask one another once again. "Hey, ask that woman walking her dog," my husband barks. I'm thinking, "Whatever are we going to ask her? I do not remember the name of the street." I tell my husband that I don't remember the name of the street. He persists, so we stop the car and I roll down my window. Our own dog is now barking as though a murderer is standing by my side. She jumps from the back seat to the front in attack-dog-protect-owner mode. "Can you help us?" we appeal to this kind-looking woman,holding our dog back. Of course the obvious first question out of her mouth is, "What street are you looking for?" My husband impatiently looks right at me (I told him I didn't know the name of the street!). "Hmmmmm," I say. "I know I can recognize it, if I see it." Ok, we are in big trouble now. Not only are we lost but now we sound like complete idiots. How do you stop a woman and ask directions if you cannot remember the name of the street? The woman, again kind as can be, continues to try to be helpful, "Who are you friends?" We give her their names and she stares back at us blankly. We thank the patient woman for not laughing at us and/or calling us names, roll up the window and just start driving.
Now sometimes in these situations you let your intuition take over so my husband started driving in the direction he sensed was right. You should trust a map maker, right? We took a right and it all started to look familiar. "Hey, there's Mclaughlin Drive!!!!" I yell as we almost speed by. "Take a right!" I holler. As my husband accelerates around the corner (so happy we seemed near) I yell at him again, "It's that first house on the left!" "How strange," he says slowly "I thought we were at the other end of this street." As he slows down...we..... arrive. We learn later that we actually whizzed right by this street we just turned down. So, we were here and didn't even know it.