Friday, October 14, 2011

Playing solitaire on real cards

So, over the course of the past two days, my solitaire playing has showed me how addictive it can be. I went over to talk to Marian (WHO IS BACK AT WORK!) and she was busy putting out a computer center fire, so I sat down at the extra computer behind the desk, and you guessed it, started a game of solitaire.

While I was on the reference desk today, for one hour instead of the usual two, I played solitaire.

On the way home from work, I bought a pack of cards. They're the pink kind, for October being breast cancer awareness month, but I bought them because everything in my apartment is pink. My laptop is pink, my cell phone is pink, my wireless mouse is pink. Even my Kleenex is pink. (I only buy pink Kleenex.)

And I opened the pack of cards and smelled them. They smelled like cucumbers. I had to laugh. They are not only pink, but they have ribbons on the cards. Like inside the clubs and spades and ribbons. I thought it was really silly and thought, that will be distracting when I'm playing...there's also a little card inside instead of telling you how to play cards, it gives you tips on how to detect breast cancer, make sure you get your mammograms and do your breast self-exams.

I came home, and called the person in my family who calls playing solitaire "smoking a cigarette," my mother. When she's stressed or bored, she plays solitaire. With real cards, on the kitchen table, or on her side of my parent's bed.

We talked about next week (the sinus surgery upcoming on Wednesday), that she's bringing extra pillows (so I can sleep sitting up), and I told her to bring her cards, we could play Canasta. And while we talked, I shuffled the cards and made piles of the cards on the bed.

In an episode of "The Good Wife" this year, a lawyer said to the lawyers of the Good Wife team (I'm not remembering their names), "things are dead." (well, that was the essence of the quote.) But that ideas, bytes, bits, they are more important than a bowl, a carrot.

And all those commercials for pre-made dinners? That say cutting up food is drudgery? They lie! I like cutting up food. It's relaxing. It's empowering. I'm making something. (In other words, don't buy me a food processor.)

What did I do after I got off the phone with my mother? I figured out how to play solitaire again (I had to use this e-how video) and I dealt cards all evening as I watched Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, and The Odd Couple. But here's the thing. It wasn't just playing the game (which I lost more than I won--I'm not sure I even won a single game, to tell you the truth), it was holding the cards in my hands. The sound the cards made when I shuffled them. The feel of the cards in my hands.

I can tell you now, if given the choice, I would rather play solitaire on cards than on the computer. I don't care if I win. I don't care that I got 49 points in 140 seconds. I don't care how many games I've won, and what my highest score is. That is NOT why I play. I play to have something to do with my hands when I'm bored or stressed.

I think I summed up my computer solitaire addiction perfectly today when I said to Marian, this is one of the things that I'm doing because I'm anxious and it's not doing a bit of good.


suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} said...

how many blogs do you have, woman?

there is definitely something to be said for tactile experiences. cannot be replicated online, for sure.

i hear ya on the chopping. my food processor is great for some stuff, but quick chopping is more than canceled out by long washing!

Holly said...

(analog anything is more pleasurable for me lately.)
I like that your mom calls it that, and I enjoy chopping vegetables too.

Sarah Louise said...


Suzannah, I have two main blogs, this one and my "librarian" blog, plus the cupcake blog, and a Pittsburgh about 5ish. But this was the first one.


Helen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen said...

I'll say a prayer for you Wednesday! It sounds like a very unpleasant procedure, but I'm sure you will be glad to have it behind you. Yes on the tactile experiences! That's why I quilt :)