The Way We Play the Games We Play

While dating, Jerry’s friends told me that to have a successful relationship with him I would need to learn to love baseball and Cincinnati Chili. I won’t tell you which one was easier to love, but I have now successfully done both.

We were married just a few short weeks when I decided to make Cincinnati Chili from scratch. (If you want to try it, click here for the recipe. It’s great the first day, but even better after it sets a day). The ingredients were all together and now it was time to let the deliciousness simmer for hours to blend the chocolate, garlic, chili pepper and other flavors all together. To pass the time Jerry and I decided to play a game of Canasta (a card game that both of our families played, though rules varied in each family).  cards-769043_1920Periodically I would get up and stir the pot of awesomeness.

I looked at the cards in my hand and realized I had missed a significant play. Sadly Jerry noticed too and capitalized on my error. This “whooping” continued until the game was too far gone for me to have any hope of winning.

drop-147190_1280How did I respond?  I cried.  Big crocodile tears.

How did Jerry respond?  “What’s wrong?  What happened?  What did I do?”

Baffled and beside himself Jerry tried to figure out what was going on.

Once I could compose myself enough for us to figure out what was going on we learned that though our families played the same game, the play culture was very different. I learned that in the Borton family if your opponent made a mistake you took full advantage of it. The Morris family,  on the other hand, played with the unwritten rules that if someone makes a mistake you perhaps make the most of it for a round or two, but you eventually let them back in so you can continue to play together and have fun.

It probably wasn’t the first, and surely would not be the last time that we bumped up against family history and expectations!

At least the chili did not disappoint.

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