A fully-filled-out dance card, or in my case, a fully-scheduled bridge datebook, doesn’t guarantee that you won’t occasionally be a wallflower. Sometimes more than occasionally. This week it happened three times.
On Tuesday, I showed up at the Airport Bridge Club and learned that partner Marie Suprinick once again wasn’t feeling well. Marie wakes up hurting and begs off on about 50 percent of my dates with her. Should I just not take any more dates? Well, Ah’m just a boy who cain’t say no. I haven’t the heart to. At any rate, substitute Ruth Hnath came in and we had a better game than most of the ones I have with Marie – 51.72%, .34 of a master point.
On Wednesday night, my Thursday partner – Alicia Kolipinski – called to say she wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t play. Unlike Marie Suprinick, she didn’t want to schedule a new date. She didn’t think she’d be playing for a while. I was crestfallen. “Hope you feel better soon,” I said and wondered if I should be sending her a get well card. Plus we had done so well in the ACBL International Fund Game last week. I was really, really looking forward to playing with her again.
So club manager Bill Finkelstein called in his Thursday sub – Faith Perry, who’s always the life of the party. We had a great time together. We always do. Trouble is, we also both overbid. By the time we reined in our wilder instincts and settled into winning a couple boards, we were thoroughly out of contention. It was so bad that Faith figured we had a 20% game. It turned out not to be quite that bad, but our 40.88% was wretched enough to be dead last overall.
Then, during lunch after Thursday’s game, my Friday partner, Nadine Stein, calls to say she can’t play. I’m dumbfounded. Is a date with me a curse? This time I’m paired with another partnerless player, Bill Regan, who’s not overly adventurous and therefore a good counter-balance to my intemperance. He was wondering what he was in for, however, after I pulled a not-vulnerable sacrifice bid on the third hand of the day and went down five doubled. We recovered, though, and came home with a 53.83% game, third in the B strat, .28 of a masterpoint.