Gambling Gambits and Spades

gambitBetween my love of shiny things, my knack with numbers, my comfortable relationship with the whims of fate, and the way people often underestimate me– I’m pretty sure my parents were worried I was going to turn into a professional gambler.

I was a shark in the making.

Every year for Christmas, I’d ask for cards so I could be like my favorite super hero– Gambit, the card-throwing Cajun charmer.  My favorite toy was my Aunt Helen’s mini slot machine that worked with pennies.  I would dutifully ask for one of those, too.

Every year, I would get every present on my list, plus extras.  Everything  except my gamblin’ goodies, that is.

I guess their distraction-strategy worked, though, because I didn’t end up placing a bet or playing with a regular deck of cards till I was 22 years old.  I didn’t get near a regular slot machine till I was 25 years old on my first trip to Las Vegas.

During a family dinner, right after a trip back from Vegas, I asked my dad why he didn’t ever buy me the slot machine or poker set.  Unlike my mom, who was raised a Southern Baptist, my father never had a problem encouraging vice in moderation.

Bouncy ballHe told me I’ve always reminded him of a bouncy ball in motion.  A neon orange zig of energy in an otherwise white, square world.  There were things that were okay for other people, that would never be okay for me because they would stop my energy, distract it, or change the shape of me– the shape that let me move with such force.

It was such a vivid picture that I stayed away from most recognized vices, not wanting to be a deformed rubber ball, hobbling along towards nothingness.

In December of 2010, right around Christmas, my life changed.  The upside of all those dirty hotel rooms, hungry nights, and poverty was a new-found appreciation for playing cards.  They’re the most transportable, cheapest form of entertainment in existence.

200px-Playing_card_spade_A.svgI still didn’t gamble, at least not for more than a handful of sugar-free sticks of gum.  Even with my life on the rocks, I wanted to hold on to who I was since the beginning of my life.

I did start to see the beauty of cards and the new symbols that previously had meant nothing to me– like the spade.  The symbol has grown on me, and I’ve grown into it, and if I had to have a sculptor make me a statue to represent my 2012… it would be a sculpture of a spade.

“A sword, a spade, and a thought should never be allowed to rust. “
- James Stephens

It’s odd for me to find such an affinity with a symbol that meant nothing to me for most of my life, but it does.  It’s become Dave’s logo for his artistic identity, too.

“If we plant a flower or a shrub and water it daily it will grow so tall that in time we shall need a spade and a hoe to uproot it. It is just so, I think, when we commit a fault, however small, each day, and do not cure ourselves of it.”
- St. Teresa of Avila

I like to think that childhood-me loved Gambit’s playing cards so much because I recognized a piece of my identity in them– a glimpse into my future– but who knows.  More than likely, it was just about the outfit.  You can’t go wrong with a coat like that.


Two Daily Post challenges that were strangely correlated to me:

Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?

Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?

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  1. As I meet new bloggers, I am always impressed by the creative blogs I see around me, and for that reason I have nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Enjoy it as a compliment. Marsha :) You are the – and everywhere I go I read people’s comments about all the good you do. :)

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      1. You are raved about in the Blogosphere, and so the thanks goes to all your other ravers as well!!! I can agree with them wholeheartedly. AND I love my drawing. I showed ti to a friend today, and she thought it was SO cool that you would do that!!! :)

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  2. I love this story! It makes me think of significant things from my own childhood. I’ve noticed with my daughter too, how her earliest inclinations are still with her; her favorite thing as a kid was digging up rocks and asking hopefully if they were fossils– and now she’s an archaeologist!

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    1. That’s such a great story about your daughter!! I hope she tells people, it makes her sound like the world’s youngest archeologist, haha! :D Isn’t it great to think of things that way? It makes it seem like we’re on a path, and though we may take different directions to get there, certain milestones are planned and part of the bigger, more ultimate picture. :) Thanks for reading! :D

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    1. Oh yes, please do. It was nice to know why he worried about things in regards to me, that he didn’t worry about in regards to my other siblings. :) Thanks for reading!

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  3. Two daily post challenges with one stone. You are such a jack of all trades, a king among paupers, a queen of hearts, a diamond in the rough, the sharpest tool in the shed…I can’t think of anything for clubs. Damn it. Wish I was you.

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    1. Poetically spoken Kozo, it’s no accident we bump in the same CLUBS. Yet I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. You’re all aces in my book!

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    2. haha! You guys are masterminds of the playing card pun! :D Though RoS did get in a diamond-pun first, haha. :D Well, since I know when to fold, I’ll pass on the puns and leave y’all with a bad joke: A man walks into a bar and notices a poker game. He takes a closer look and realizes that there’s a table of players… and a dog. The dog appears to be playing! The man is so excited he interrupts the game to say, “Wow, a dog playing poker? He must be the smartest dog in the world.” One of the players looks up and says, “Not that smart, everytime he has a good hand, he wags his tail.”.

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    1. Oh good, well– welcome aboard, Lena! The next three days I’ll be posting like a madwoman, but it’ll go back to more of these after the new year. :D I’m so thankful that you’ve stopped by and commented! :)

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  4. I barely made it past Gambit before wanting to comment. I’ve always had the biggest crush on him and wanted to be like him when I was little. I have every comic that was Gambit, my first email addy was using his name. <3 Such a sexy sassy cajun. /sigh

    But loved what your dad said also. It's always great when someone gets you, especially if it's family. It's a special bond.

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  5. Actually, I see a lot of the cards in you, especially the suits. You have a large, loving heart. You are truly a diamond, a jewel of great worth. You wield the spade, planting love and laughter wherever you go. And you carry a club to get rid of whackos like me. ;)

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