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On Sunny Lane: What Kind of Wimp Am I?

If you have been reading my column faithfully for the last five years, you probably recall that Sweetheart and I like to play cards and other games in the evenings.

Sweetheart and I have different approaches to playing these games. From the minute the cards are dealt, he is “in it to win it.” As soon as he learns a new game, he begins to devise a plan to use the rules to his advantage. I know the wheels are turning, because I can see it in the look on his face.

I want to win, too, but I want to cooperate with my opponent and facilitate the action of the game. I have discovered that, although the moves I make may benefit my opponent (that is, Sweetheart), his moves benefit me, also. And, of course, the moves each one of us makes take us closer to our goal. However, one of us leans toward throwing up roadblocks and the other is laying down stepping stones.

Sometimes, it isn’t important to me that I win the game, I just want to enjoy playing.

And then there was last Sunday night. I was tired, but I wanted to have a friendly game of cards. Sweetheart wanted to win. He won both games. Even though he didn’t break any rules, he held onto key cards that slowed progress.

I was enraged! I raised my voice! I told him I wouldn’t play that game with him any more—only the one game that has no possibility of such shrewd tactics. I did everything but cry and throw down the cards. Sweetheart went to bed.

As I was brushing my teeth, I thought the whole situation over. What kind of wimp am I, anyway? I know I can win that game fair and square, because I’ve done it before. I can do it again.

There will always be people who bend the rules to benefit themselves, with no regard for whom they hurt. This game can teach me how to be tough, play fair and still come out on top. My mother used to say, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Maybe your mother said that, too.

Well, I told Sweetheart I was no longer upset about the card game and we would play again another night.

We have this tradition. When one of us wins a game, the other one gives him/her a victory kiss. Of course, you can’t give a kiss without getting one, so we’re both winners.

That’s a deal you can’t beat. 


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or send a comment by emailing her at

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