Rule #9

Sorry it has been a while. Everyone knows about gearing up for the school year.  And also at this time it seems that the poker season seems to get more intense.  My fiend wants to go to this satellite game or this one or this one.  Which brings me to rule #9…..

Make direct calls to the significant other’s family to let them know they are still alive.

See at this point with my fiend working and playing poker..his family might be wondering if he belongs to the witness protection program. Or maybe was the result of a mob hit.  Maybe a bookie got him.  They have NO idea and imaginations can run wild.  This is when we, as poker widows, need to contact the family and say, “Yes, the poker fiend is alive.” and “No, you don’t need to send flowers.” and “Yes, you still need to buy him a birthday present.”

But be prepared to discuss how well the fiend is doing.  Usually, my response is “I have no idea.” Or, depending on who you talk to, be prepared for the “But does he make money?” and “Is it worth it?”.

Usually for the first question, depending on who I talk to, the answer ranges from “He does just fine” to “That is none of your business.” Also depends on my lack of sleep and caffeine level at the time too…

For the second question-well depends on how you measure worth…money wise-maybe/ maybe not. The fiends sanity-yes. My sanity-well since I lost mine YEARS ago, not an issue.

And also contact the family allows us a chance to talk to someone about something besides poker. Because honestly by this time my neck and face hurt from nodding and smiling.

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Rule 8 for the poker spouse.

So on to rule 8 for the poker spouses. Read the lovely disclaimer in a previous post- again great respect, but sometimes us spouses need help too.

So here is the rule- Made a list of all persons we use to know and send them Christmas cards.

Okay, seems rough but let me explain. This kind of hits closer to home if you have kids from elementary school through high school.  They seem to always have SOMETHING going on, and most likely, one of the parental units has to drive them to whatever something is going on. And usually a lot of the groups the kids belong to also ask for the parents to help. So you also volunteer for one or two things (REMEMBER TO SAY NO OR YOU WILL BE DOING TOO MUCH). It can be busy with one child, but we have a few more than that to coordinate. Then add on the fact that your poker fiend goes out to play right after work, and guess who becomes taxi, cook, and chief bottle washer? Yup, us quiet, suffering spouses. (okay maybe not that bad but I was going for a combo of guilt/sympathy there)

So here is the spouse, working their full time job, coming home to take care of the household, and kids, and to make sure the fiend has clean work clothes (trust me I have seen stains that make me faint and I have been a nurse for 19 + years), grocery shop, volunteer, etc. etc-needless to say their social life tends to suffer–no, on life support?–no, let’s face it, it was buried in an unmarked grave because the spouse has no time to get it a headstone. And for me, an added bonus was I move like 600+ miles away from my family and friends, so really my social life was pretty dead before all of this.

Then when the spouse has a minute to sit (usually either using the bathroom or driving to work), they think “I wonder how so and so is doing” or “I really should send an email to this person” or “What was that person’s name again?”. Hence, the list starts….. And I know we have facebook and social media, but really, how much can one get from a status update? And trying to find time for both of you to be available to IM each other–funny, funny. So the once a year Christmas card comes into play.

I am think of designing my own soon.. something to the effect of “Happy Holidays. I know you thought I had died but I am just a poker widow. Kids are alive, I am alive. Hope all is good with you. Send Chocolate.”  Eh, still working on it.

But until then I am just smiling…..

The pros and cons of being married to a poker fiend

Hello All,

I know it has been a while, but life near the end of the school year gets CRAZY!!!  And when that happens, the mom taxi is in full swing. But, I have been thinking on things to share. And last night, at about 1 am, when I could not get back to sleep and dreading that 3 am alarm, I thought of some pros and cons about being married to a poker fiend.

1) Sleeping arrangements.  Now this past weekend, my fiend went off the Firekeepers to play some poker. I was also working a few night shifts during this time, so I was not going to be awake if he was home anyways. But him being away has its pros and cons. Pros-I am a light sleeper. So when any sort of noise or movement happens, I wake up. When he is not home, I do not have the constant distraction of him moving (my hubby can NOT lie still to save his life). I am also the type that if I get myself into the perfect position, I do not move. I can place my glasses on my stomach and sleep completely still for 2 hours without them moving. When I have the bed to myself, I can sleep well, and not get pushed into the upper corner of the bed.  Cons-I have now gotten to a point that I need to hear his stupid BiPap machine, so I have to now play music or something if I am alone, sleeping. Our room is very cold (to me) all year long, so I have no heat source. I do enjoy him cuddling up next to me, it does help me sleep.

2) The dishes. Now if ANYONE has seen Caveman, you know he is not a man who shys away from food. So this brings me to the dishes. We have no dishwasher so we do them by hand. Pros- when he is away, he is not getting snacks at night. When he gets no snacks at night, I do not wake up to dishes waiting for me in the sink or on the counter. Hence, no extra dishes for me to wash. Cons- last night he did not see we had a gallon of milk, and he went out to get a gallon so I would have milk in the morning. And so he could have milk at night. He also, once in a while, when guilted into it, will wash some dishes. This does help me save my poor hands.

3) The away trips. Pros-when he is away, he is unwinding and can come back with a fresh attitude. He is enjoying the company of people who understands what the hell he is saying, seeing people who follows his blog, acting like a poker fiend. Cons-I do miss him. And the dogs miss him too. Maybe the kids…maybe.

That is all I have for now. I am sure I will think of more. But until then, keep on smiling.

Rule #7

Hello All,
I know it has been a while.
First, the poker fiend is quite happy with his job…esp. since he is like 1/2 mile away from a poker room. A standard text from me is “Where are you?” and him responding “At so and so”. “Oh, didn’t know you were going”. From him “Thought I told you” or “Just a quick game”, or “Someone invited me” or “I was killing time” or “The moon-god told me” (okay maybe not the last one). But this is a great time for me to bring up rule # 7
“Not asking about their winning, but about their fun.”
When the poker fiend was trying to do this as a full-time thing, this was a lot harder. BUT, asking him about his winning, well that added more stress to him. It added to his mind-set of “I gotta win, I gotta win, I gotta win”. I don’t know many poker players (okay I know like one), but I would think this would make them play worse not better. This is supposed to be fun, relaxed, enjoyable. If you stress your spouse out, the answer to how much are you winning will be zero–then it will make you upset which will make them stressed more which will make them try to win more which will make them more stressed causing them to lose and this cycle will continue on and on and on like a really bad sitcom (insert any you want here).
But if you ask them did you have fun, they will start tell you stories about the players and their hands and how they were playing, and the pots and snap calls and shoving in and flushes and lots of other terms I still have no clue what they mean. It is worth it to see his face light up when he talks about it though so I listen. And sometimes he says things I understand like chips, coffee, cards, the river, flush, playing tight, and that is pretty much it right now.
But I am learning.
So let them enjoy the fun.
And don’t worry about the winnings.
That will come with time.
Just keep smiling.

OH NO!! A real??? job

So my poker fiend had to break down and get a job–like in an office type job. Well it was either he broke down and got an office job, or I would just break down. So is this a defeat? Is this the end? Will his dream never come true? The answer to all three of those questions is “No”.
So now we must look back and see what we can learn.

First-that I can work more and sleep less than a robot and still function.

Second-before we decide to let him follow his dream again, he should have a bank roll established.

Third-he knows that I will support him in his quest to be a full-time poker player.

Fourth-I am really good at looking like I am listening and understanding what he is saying.

Fifth-I still laugh when he talks about “the nuts”.

Sixth-that we can both be patient with each other during our good days which is easy, and during our bipolar days which can be a challenge.

Seventh-that I got spoiled by him being home and that will never do if he goes away to play for months at a time.

Eighth-I think he is much more relaxed with his game, and how he plays. No longer the added stress he was giving himself of he has to do well, he has got to make it, etc. And because of this, I think he is playing better.

Ninth-he still eats, sleeps, and talks poker. And I still do not understand everything he says, so I still just nod and smile.

Rule Number Six

So I am sorry it has been a while, but I am back.

On to rule number six:

We’re not entirely ready for these changes but will do the best we can to accept these changes

No truer words have ever been spoken or written when it comes to a poker spouse. When me and the poker fiend talked about him doing this full time, I thought I could handle the ups and downs of his winnings. I was not ready for feeling like I was doing everything for the family; from making a steady paycheck, to caring for the house, to caring for the kids. Now, in all honestly, I was not doing it completely alone, but many times, after working 12 hours, I would come home, and have to clean up dinner, clean up dishes, start some laundry, make sure homework was done, etc. etc. because he had gone off to a tournament. And also, to be fair, he did make sure I would be alright that he did go and he had cooked dinner.

I also felt like he got a chance to leave the house to hang out and have fun, and all I did was work and home. And if I did have a chance to hang out with someone, I felt like I was teased for having a friend. Again, it really was not THAT bad, but it was changes, and this was how I was feeling. And remember whether the feelings are truly an impression of the facts, most times, feelings will override the facts.

And when I realized this one thing, this idea of my not entirely ready for these changes, I think I finally learned to deal with it better.  And when he asked if he could go out to a tournament, I was torn between not wanting to stop his dream and wanting to spend sometime with him (remember we are just coming up on 2 years married). So I would feel bad no matter what answer I would give him.  I really think alot of the changes we spouses have to go through is our own thinking. And also being able to say what we are really feeling. Now I do not mean nagging–gets us NO WHERE, but just being able to say what we are feeling. And just saying it out loud can be a big help for us, even if it feels like they belittle what we have told them (come on people, it has happened, I know).

But as long as we try to understand the changes happening, and try to learn to deal with them, we will be stronger in the end. And we will have a poker fiend who will also just smile and nod for us…….

Poker Household

So it has been a while since I posted anything here. Living with a poker fiend is still an exciting up and down roller coaster ride of uncertainity and adventure.  Never knowing if tonight he is going out, whether it will be before or after I come home from work, what might be for dinner, who might be home….

But I would not trade this for the world. And those 12 steps I started on–they still hold true now as when I wrote them.

And now, my boys are learning the fine art of poker. Noooo not from the fiend, they are learning the basics on their own. But I am quite sure, so, the fiend will get his chance. Then he might decide to mold them and shape them in to all star players…

or teach them bad so he has less competition—but I doubt that part.

So the house is slowly being taken over by poker.

And I am slowly losing my mind.

Tight to start looking at those 12 steps again