Bridge Over Troubled Water

(Editor’s note: myevette is on holiday this week, so Brian has graciously offered this post to fill her slot.)

Brian picPromises, promises, we make so many promises—like the ones in the famous Simon and Garfunkel song “Bridge over Troubled Water” (1970). The song is sweetness and melancholy in wrenching combination.

Speaking of bridge, I got hooked on the game of bridge in college. It is analytical and psychological, so much so that it would make an excellent college course. Love for the game and its accompanying books of famous hands took a lot of time—way more than helpful for a college student.

041224-N-4757S-194   Persian Gulf Onboard USS Monterey. Sailors enjoy a Christmas Eve Ice Cream Social on the mess decks of the cruiser, USS Monterey (CG 61).  USS Monterey is currently attached to USS Harry S. Truman's Carrier Strike Group TEN (CSG 10) and is on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. (United States Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Third Class Craig Spiering.) (RELEASED)

When I got married, Tandy had no interest in bridge, and yet it remained my consuming pastime as a new groom and new ensign in the navy. It is hard to be in the navy, be married, and play bridge. Something would have to go.

A fellow shipmate was my bridge partner for local duplicate matches. On top of that, other friends played rubber bridge daily and kept the pressure on to play, and that took hours most evenings.

Meanwhile, Tandy would read magazines, and read books, and read—well anything, while hanging out as we played. She never threatened me. It was just obvious that there was a bridge, and there was troubled water, and that signaled needing to put the clues together and do something.

spadesBridge had to go. I would like to say that I could play an occasional game of bridge in those days, but not so, and there was no point in trying. It is a good thing to recognize when an activity is such a bothersome trigger that it is not worth engaging.

It’s not that bridge is wrong; it is a beautiful thing, just not for me. Now and then, almost 45 years later, my grandsons and our oldest son need me to be a 4th for a game of spades. It is very competitive, and grandparents and parents need to be good at playing for real, but not being real vested in winning or losing.

The human race has likely always loved games. Why not. The sane person learns, however, when it is time to put down a game and keep other bridges from closing down and fading away. For me, to enjoy my “silvergirl” and see her “shine” meant getting off of my own bridge and walking more on hers.

Bridge_Over_Troubled_Water_by_stellated