The Language of Love

Last night we played cards.  It came together, unplanned, one friend had come out to visit and help with the cabin.  Another friend called later and wanted to play cards.  So we did.  Euchre.  There’s a couple of things regarding this card game last night, that were very well played out in my head, if not in the way I played cards.

First, I know I am competitive.  But there are some things I know not to compete in.   Don’t race anyone on foot, I’ll never stand a chance.   On a bike?  Maybe.  Though I can’t run well, I use to be able to jump fairly high.   I can’t compete in that any longer, but I use to enjoy stunning a person or two with how high I could jump.  I use to compete in arm wrestling.   And win.  Every competition I ever entered, I won at least 3rd place, but usually 1st place.  One lady had been interviewed by a local tv crew and talked to me all nice before hand.   I told her it was only my second or third competition.  She was all motherly and her kindness was touching.   I was young, I appreciated it.   She told me about her colitis.  Later in the night I beat her, and she told everyone, where I could hear, that it was because I was so fat.   Yeah, Nice.  For a while I competed in martial arts tournaments.   Because of my age and the lack of many others my age competing I usually won something.   Nice, but the competition part wasn’t really there.  I did kinasorta compete  against myself by making myself do it.  Now if I compete in anything, it is usually just against the clock when I go for a long bike ride and I want to see how fast I can ride ten miles.   I have not broke 30 minutes yet.   I still plan to.  I still need to compete against something, so it might as well be against myself.  Or the clock.   This is enough for me.

Cards.  Competition.  I don’t mind losing.  I don’t.  I don’t like losing.   But I don’t mind it.  Not when it is just about fun.  So the second thing that stuck in my head from playing cards last night.   Was familiarity.  Communication.  We all have it to different degrees with the different people in our lives. 

Married persons.   Those of you in long term relationships.   Brothers and sisters.  Brothers and brothers.  Sisters and sisters.  Friends who have known each other a very long time on more than just an acquaintance level.  You have this language between you.   And it really is a language of love.  You know the nuances, the inflections.  The mouth movements without sound.  The eyes and the eye brows.  The friggin way the other person is arrogant about holding his cards because he’s so good he doesn’t even have to look at them but lays them down flat and just plays them willy nilly because he has a loaner hand in black and called it spades before it got to you and you’re holding a loaner hand in red. 

Sorry, I digressed a little.  Not much, but a little.  I don’t mind losing.  Really, I don’t. 

What was my point?

Oh, it’s the language between two people who are very close.  Don’t we all know our spouse’s “fake smile”?   Or our friends laugh that really means “that wasn’t funny at all” that they use in a group of people when someone thinks they are funny but really they aren’t.  Isn’t there a look, or a hundred, that you share with your friend or your spouse that tells the other one exactly what you mean but you don’t want to say it in front of someone else?  And aren’t there little gestures that we do that only those closest to us can interpret?  And what about that brief little eye grab with the other that says “I’m getting mad”  or “don’t you dare say it” when someone else is mean or thoughtless but you don’t want to start a fight or create a problem for others around you.  Or when you are playing cards against your spouse and you know all of his passive aggressive moves and comments.   And you know when he thinks he is better than you.

Wait, what was my point?

We had fun last night.  Yes, we lost.   But it was fun.  Ashley and I feel good that David and Ben won.  I knew going in not to compete against David in cards.   And I knew going in I was going to get “mad” at him for the things he didn’t say.  But it’s only because of the language we share.  I love him.  I knew what was going to happen.  But he doesn’t need to be so loud about it.   I heard him loud and clear.   We sucked.   He enjoyed beating us at cards.   That’s okay.  Sometimes the losing is okay because of the fun in it.  Even if a couple of times I looked at him and I was the only one that could hear “ha ha, we are winning”.   Just by the way he smiled and licked his lip.   Language of love.  Love it.