This I Believe

Lauren - Byfield, Massachusetts
Entered on May 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, pleasure

The simple 1.5” x 3” plastic coated cards I regularly use have small cracks and creases from the excessive games that they have endured. I believe in playing cards.

I was diagnosed with a learning disability that weakens my ability to retain information, and also impairs my attention towards tasks such as reading and writing. Playing cards became a tool for me to get away from the difficulties I encountered with my leaning disability. I learned to use the playing cards to take my mind away from the difficulties of my school work.

The ease I discovered of the games made me feel as though I was accomplishing something and that I was accomplishing it fast. I could attempt a game for five minutes, win or loss, and then move on to another game. The fact that the games went by fast and that each one was different from the last kept my mind intrigued. When I would get frustrated with work that my learning disability slowed me down on I would pull out a deck, play a few, games and then reattempt my work with a clear mind.

The one person who first introduced me to cards was my third grade English teacher. Although I no longer remember her name, she still remains a vivid image in my head. She had white hair, blue eyes, and long finger nails that looked as if they were curling a bit from there excessive size and they were always painted tangerine. After being diagnosed in third grade with the learning disability she taught me to play cards. I already knew simple games like ‘Go-Fish’ and ‘War’ but she taught me Solitaire, Pitch, and Rummy. I was able to understand the purpose and aspects of the games and apply the 52 cards in what would hopefully be a winning outcome.

There is no way to figure out the exact number of times I have sat down to play these games yet, throughout high school and especially now that I am in college I seem to be playing on a daily basis. Most of the time I recruit my roommate into a game or even my girlfriend when she has the time, but playing alone I find to be best. Winning or loosing use to matter to me, but I have become impartial to the disappointment of failure and to the excitement of success. I play now only to occupy my mind away from my school work and the outcome is of no importance any longer. The relief I obtain is unlike any other for my scrambled head

In one day I have been known to reach upwards of at least fifty games of solitaire in one sitting. Now I play on the computer and often leave my faithful cards for special occasions. Yet, not a day goes by without playing some type of cards.

Cards ensure that there is always a way out and a way to take my mind away from stress and school. I thank the people who created such a simple concept. This is why I believe in playing cards.