December 4, 2022- This will go down in history as the first time I won at “Candyland”, since 1959. The other players then were my sister, younger brother and a neighbour kid. Today, there were a friend up the road and two of her young neighbours. “Candyland”, the game, but not the fictional plantation in Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”, is the stuff of soft landings. Kids of any age can win or lose, because there is no strategy, no give and take-just pure dice rolling and advance or retreat, as the card pulled says to do. Of course, whoever shuffles the cards can pull a fast one, but why bother? Texas Hold ’em, it isn’t.
Speaking of poker, I haven’t played the game since 1974, before the heyday of Texas Hold’em. Back then, we preferred Seven Card Stud, and my own skills in the game were hit and miss. The particular logic of poker is often the sort of winner takes all thinking that routinely stoked anger in some of my friends at the time, with ridicule coming from those well-versed in ante-based card games in general, and Seven Card Stud in particular. Three guesses, as to how anger inter-playing with ridicule turned out. Poker is not the stuff of soft landings.
Some people see romance as a game of hit and miss. That is missing the point, both about love and about gamesmanship. A game, in the classical sense, has winners and losers. Love, in the true sense, has only winners. Of course, if romance-or any other by-product of love, becomes viewed as needful, then naturally there is a sense of loss. I have been in that state of mind, several times. Now, after an intense, but basically sound, marriage that physically ended nearly twelve years ago, and an equally intense, occasionally tortuous, effort to shed stored old pre-marital baggage regarding friendships with women, I have made the soft landing. Friendships with both men and women occupy two levels: A large number of people who I care about, but don’t see in the flesh all that often and a core group of people who I see on a regular basis. There is a third group, of 2-3 women, who are my closest confidantes, rating with my middle brother and my son, in that regard.
It is a world that some see as getting worse, a harder place in which to live. I don’t have their woes, but have come close at times. The parachute of the social network helps greatly, in lowering the impact, in softening the landing.
I remember playing Candyland! But my parents introduced us to Blackjack, Euchre, and Cribbage at very young ages. Once we had a firm grasp of card games, the board games that were all chance lost their appeal… Good to see the soft landings is still happening for you! We are hoping for softer landings at the holidays…
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I learned Cribbage from my Dad, when I was 10. Still, games like Risk, Clue and Monopoly occupied my circle of friends for hours on end, until we hit high school and other interests took over.