It’s the rare get-together when men and women don’t take their separate corners. Unless I’m at a rager, I’ve found that more often than not, men gather around the TV while women convene in the kitchen. A stereotype? Yes. But still, it happens.
Last night I went to a low-key coed gathering during which the ladies and gents remained intermingled throughout. The trick? Poker.
It was the first of what I hope will be many poker nights. There were attendees of all skill levels—from casino regulars to first-timers. We played a tournament, so the night was heavy on friendly banter and, yes, some heated competition.
Poker, I’d argue, is the great equalizer. Sure there are some players who are better than others (and I’m not especially good) but everyone’s money is green, so everyone is taken seriously. And while sitting around a table, waiting for cards to come your way, you can’t help but chat with your neighbors. Playing cards might be the universal icebreaker.
It sort of reminds me of what I used to hear about cigarette breaks. You’re all outside smoking and you start talking just to pass the time. Without realizing it, you’ve suddenly learned everything about your fellow smoker. It’s in these small moments, when you’re not paying attention, that friendships are born.
I don’t smoke, though, so cigarette breaks offer me nothing. But hopefully a few more nights around the card table will work the same magic.
And, because the poker episode of Friends is one of my all-time favorites, I present to you this video of Rachel’s big victory. Not exactly illustrative of my evening, but a great clip:
Are there other pasttimes–other than poker and smoking (which I don’t condone!)–that forge friendships when you’re not paying attention?
Happy Friday everyone!