I have always been incredibly competitive, and I blame that on my Mum. You see the thing with my Mother Goose is that she doesn’t let anyone win, at any sport, card or board game. Now, normally when you see a Mother and her 2 children sat round playing Connect 4 or Snakes and Ladders, you wouldn’t normally hear the shouts of ‘YES! I won! LOSERS’ coming from the Mum. Well in my family thats exactly what it's like. I can even remember the time when I played tennis with my Mum, Brother and Granddad. I was about 10 and even then they didn’t take it easy on me. I was fully expected to defend myself from the rapid serves coming my way, even though my Mum played at club level, my Granddad used to teach tennis to kids and my brother was already over six foot at the age of 14. At that point in my life, being absolutely shocking at Tennis, taking into account the constant taunts I received from my Brother, and being the only ginger in a family of dark haired people, I actually found myself wondering whether I was adopted.
Now I am older, my Mum still finds any opportunity possible to beat me at something. So much so that any time she see’s an air hockey table, she is drawn to it like a magnet. Even at the cinema she doesn’t see anything wrong in dumping her bags down and challenging me to a game so she can ‘‘Whip your ass’’ as she puts it.
However, in the past year I have started to beat her at things. I will always remember the first time I ever won her at mini golf; her face was such a picture. At that historical moment she turned into the toddler from that Vic’s First Defense advert. Okay, maybe not quite as bad as that, but for the rest of the day she did look as if she was about to cry. Almost as bad as the time when as a family were playing Scrabble and my Mum had a smug grin on her face because she had got a double word score for the word ‘Private’. Next up was my Brother and all he did was add an ‘S’ to the end a got himself a triple word score. I thought her head was going to explode from the amount of ‘But..Er..You can’t...Eh?’ she was doing.
Her response when we asked her why she never let us win as kids is ‘I didn’t want a pair of kids that got into the real world and became mardy when they lost at anything. I’m just preparing you. Be grateful’. Oh she is such a babe.
On occasions that my Nana and Granddad used to look after us, they would buy us Chocolate coins and we used to play card games and bet on it with them. How underweight I was as a child might be due to the fact I always used to lose all of my Chocolate.
This morning I was feeling a little melancholy and decided to look through a scrap book I made when I was younger, and there it was, one of the wrappers from a chocolate coin. Next to the attached gold foil I had written something about how I never won my Brother at card games, but that I was fine with that because it made him happy.
Reading that made me realise that I have always been the same. I have always been a person who is happy as long as others are happy. Thats another thing I get from my Mum. I go to whatever lengths, get myself hurt, just as long as that person I care about is happy, so that I can walk away knowing they don’t think badly of me. I find myself sometimes sacrificing my own happiness or enjoyment so that others aren’t getting hurt. This has become apparent to me now, more than ever, especially when it comes to Love.
Our lives are like a game of Poker. There are times when we are lucky, and seem to have all the cards to get us exactly what we want in life. But there are also times in life when no matter how much you may try, you seem to keep losing until you have nothing left to give.
When you have all the right cards in life, it is easy to get carried away. We start to feel invincible, like there is nothing in this world that could knock you from your stool at the Poker table, and no matter how many people raise you more chips, you either match or raise them even more. It now comes to the showdown. What if that hand you were once so confident about, lets you down? All that was resting on something that you thought was safe, has now been lost. You walk away feeling like you have lost everything, the adrenaline that once engulfed your body has - along with your losing cards - been put back into the pack as well as the chips into someone else’s pile.
Perhaps, the hand isn’t that great. You find yourself sitting at the Poker table wondering whether this is a good idea. Yeah, maybe you have put a small amount of chips in, but they don’t matter, you could manage without them. Here you are, having to make a decision; do you cut your losses? Maybe your head tells you to walk away, after all it is the sensible thing to do, you know the hand you have been dealt won’t get you anything that is worth the effort. Yet, you hang on that little too long, and end up losing more than you would if you had listened to your head.
I’m afraid we are all addicts. No matter how bad things go with Life and Love, we always think the next time will be better. Perhaps it will be. I don’t know, at the moment I find myself losing the will to bet.
But you know what, if all else fails, go out with your best friends, dance like no one is watching and sing ‘Summer Nights’ really badly on Karaoke with the people so great, they don’t mind when your chips are down.
As it turns out, I am terrible at Poker, as well as Love, but play me at Tekken, and your going down. Oh, the irony.
Live. Laugh. Love