I need to digress here for a few entries and talk about specific things that are happening to me here in Europe. My girlfriends back in the States are enjoying my general tips for Trailing Spouses, but they are starving for info about my day-to-day life.
OK, as all of my girlfriends know, I am a bridge addict. The card game, bridge. Not viaducts. You know what I mean. Southern girls in the US play bridge. We have bridge clubs and we have bridge night and we drink a lot of alcohol and eat a lot of food and play a few rounds of cards in between. The best thing about bridge night is the prizes. Whomever is the hostess that evening is responsible for buying a High Score prize and a Low Score prize. I love the prizes.
Anyway, I learned online that there was an English-speaking bridge group associated with the American International Women’s Club in Lausanne, Switzerland, where I live. Well, one cannot just join the bridge group. One must first attend a “Meet and Greet Coffee” at this women’s club, pay the yearly dues, fill out two forms, yadda, yadda, before one can even enquire about the various and sundry “subgroups”.
I am not a joiner. I hate making small talk. I am a Corporate Wife. Small talk is like, my job. I have to do Small Talk all of the time and I’m quite good at it until I’ve had a few drinks and then the real person emerges and my Small Talk quickly becomes loud, profane, Large Talk. That is usually when Mr. Big calls for a cab. “OK, time to go, dear. You just called that nice 34th wife from Abu Dhabi a Burka Durka.” And away I am whooshed.
So, here I am at this Meet and Greet and there are only 9 other women there and I drink my coffee out of a dainty cup and saucer, as one does, and mingle and try to look interested when all I really want to know is “WHO PLAYS BRIDGE HERE?!”
I asked all 9. No bridge players. I go into the little reception area/office and politely inquire about the bridge group. Well, you would have thought I was the Second Coming. The woman in the office looks at me and asks if I am a beginner. No, if I am being modest, I would say I am intermediate. If I am being honest, I would say I am a cut-throat, take no prisoners, queen of bridge bitches, but I don’t say that. C’mon give me some credit!
“Oh!”, this office woman says. “We are looking for some new (read younger) players for the advanced group.” OK, great, sign me up. Then she asks me if there are stairs involved with my domicile. Huh? I’m like, yeah, about 20 or 30. Too bad, Charlie. The advanced bridge group is comprised of so many really, really, really old ladies that they are dying off like fruit flies and cannot see and cannot hear and, most importantly, cannot walk up stairs.
But, but! They are looking for fresh blood. So, there is hope. In the meantime, I am going to be playing with a bunch of blue hairs who cannot see or hear and have to be carried up the stairs to my apartment. But I am down with this! I will install one of those chairs that travels up the walls to get these crones up there. I will provide magnifying glasses and ear horns. At this point, I just don’t care.
And then my baby sister pointed out to me that I could just join the BEGINNER’S group and fake it. Girl, I can do me some fakin’. I’ll be like, what? I bid 3 no trump. I bid 4 hearts. I bid 5 diamonds. Right out of the shoot. I bid BABY SLAM! I bid whatever it takes to keep me in this beginner group so I don’t have to carry no old ladies upstairs or buy any ear horns. I don’t even know the word for ear horn in French.
I bet these Swiss women don’t have prizes, either. And if they do, it’s probably some cheese. With holes.