My father always told me that everyone had a game, and that you shouldn't play another man's game until you knew his rules.
Which is, on the whole of it, not bad advice for a woman in Vegas. I have been surprised how much game playing their really is. Oh, there's the Casino, where you expect the games. There's the men (and women!) handing out cards for prostitutes, there's the rodeo ticket sellers, there's the guy's with the the VIP passes for night clubs, the hucksters trying to sell stuff by giving it away for free. (Nothing's free, especially not in Vegas) Everywhere, bombarding me, there's advertising.
And I'm trying to make sense of it all. There's gondoliers on rides through indoor canals, with second rate opera, and a first rate ticket price (64 dollars for a 2 person gondola ride? Your kidding, right?). There's the 15 dollar room service coffee, the $50 of "free" slot machine money. Everyone has a game going on.
Our bit of the game today was to remember and forget. To remember Gabriel, and how much we love and miss him, and to forget that I have been pregnant 4 times and still have nothing to show for it. To forget the gut wrenching and back breaking pain of still not having a child to call our own, in a bed, in the nursery. To forget that we expected another child by the first anniversary, and we were sure of another child by the second. To forget.
Bill Engvald's game was to make us laugh, and we did. On a day like today, you can do worse than listen to a man who loves his wife and kids, loves his life, and is so darn funny. And for those who have seen his show, the other part of his game. PMP, HYS.
We went into the restaurant (ok, this is a Vegas resort, one of the restaurants) and we ordered a meal, and then we asked for a slice of cake and a candle. This is a problem, because obviously what we really don't want is 15 waiters coming out of the kitchen, standing in front of us, singing happy birthday, while we cry. It's going to be anything but game-like to explain - Surprise! You just sang happy birthday to a dead baby.
We asked, well Mr. Spit asked, while I looked mutely, the waiter, trying to explain that we sing our son happy birthday every year, but he's not here, because umm, he died, and it's a long story, and could we have the cake and a candle. We'll take it from there, these are our rules.
I have learned a lot about a bunch of different games. Some I know the rules too, and I'm willing to play, and some I've learned to just stay away from. But anyway, from my father to you, some advice.
Everyone has a game. Don't play until you know the rules.
And a million thank you's for your kind words, comments and thoughts yesterday. We appreciated them.