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Day 8 – Card Shark

“It’s hard to walk away from a winning streak, even harder to leave the table when you’re on a losing one.”
― Cara Bertoia, Cruise Quarters – a Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships

There’s a card shark in town and he’s out to deal you a losing hand. Some people call him the The Inner Negotiator, but his foes-that’s us- know him simply as the The I.N. He sneaks up to the table before you even know he’s there and, if you’re not vigilant, you’ll have more chips stacked against you than a bag of Ruffles at a Pringles convention. The I.N. likes things that come stacked. Stacked odds. Stacked women. Stacked decks.

If he gets hold of a deck of cards, you better know what to look for. Here’s just a few of his favorites he hides up his sleeves.

The Deserving Card. Played when you’ve had a good day, a bad day, or anything in between. This card is easily trumped by the “I Deserve To Feel Good About Myself In The Morning Card” Remember, never has anyone been heard to say, “I wish I’d drank more last night.”

The Waste-Not-Want-Not Card. Played when there’s a glass or two of wine left in the bottle. There’s actually two cards that beat this card, The Drain, or The Cap. Those are pretty self-explanatory but they need to be played quickly before you re-think and decide to take a risk. If you don’t Dump it down the Drain, it will Drain you into the Dumps. If you don’t Cap it, it will Cap you. The great news is, during Dryuary, I.N. takes this card out of the deck because, if you don’t open the bottle in the first place, you won’t feel obligated to drink the dregs.

The Martyr Card. Played when your Significant Other shouldn’t have to drink alone. Sit this hand out. No reason to double your losses against I.N. with two losing hands at the same table.

The Cool-Crowd Card. Played when you’re with others and don’t want to be different. Really? Drinking is an adult game, not Follow the Leader. You are an adult. Isn’t it time to stand out instead of fit in?

The Ritual Card. Played on occasions when you’ve always had a drink in the past. This card is often mistaken for The Routine Card and some people use the two cards interchangeably even though they are vastly different. The Ritual Card should be played only on those very special occasions in which drinking is integral to the “ritual.” The word ritual is actually defined as a solemn or religious ceremony in which certain actions are repeated in a prescribed order. Driving home from work, opening the door and going to the refrigerator and grabbing a beer is not a ritual, it is a routine. We are trying to remove drinking as part of our routine this month. Remember? If I.N. throws you a Routine Card this month and tries to convince you it is a Ritual Card and, therefore, a “special” reason to drink, recognize it for what it is, another ploy to get you to throw in your hand. If he deals you what looks like an authentic Ritual Card this month, i.e. a wedding, a birthday party, or, goodness forbid, a baby shower, you will need to ask yourself if drinking really is integral to these solemn sacred ceremonies. (cough, cough, sputter). Or, have these occasions, too, become just another reason to drink?

The Party Card. Played when you can’t imagine having fun without alcohol. This is one of I.N.’s most devious cards. This is when you need to brush up on your strategy and get more adept at using your Imagination Card. The more you practice with the Imagination card, the greater the rewards. Only rank amateurs succumb to The Party Card.

The Wild Card. In cards, The Wild Card is a great card to have as it can be used as a substitute for any card you need to make a winning hand. In Drinking? Not so much. Last time I played my Wild Card, I ended up being carried out of a bar in the middle of the afternoon.  “Winning!” was not anywhere in the the caption to that picture.

The Julia Child Card. Played while fixing dinner – a little for the skillet, a little more for the cook! Make sure you have the NA (Non-Alcoholic) Drink Card prepared and in your hand before you start cooking. The Blog: This Girl Walks Into A Bar is serving up a new NA Mocktail recipe daily during Dryuary. That’s 31 drink choices-regardless of what you’ve heard, NA does not mean boring.

So, when, not if, I.N. shows up, itching for a game, you’re prepared. Don’t panic. Just slouch down in your chair and put on your poker face like you see all the professional gamblers on TV do. I.N. doesn’t need to know you’ve got him beat. You’re already holding all the cards you need for a winning hand in Dryuary.

This Post Inspired From: Jimmer (Moderation Management Member) and other MM members.