I'm a big fan of gin. Don't worry; I love the game, not the drink. I have a philosophy about gin, in fact. It's 'If you can't drink it, play it.' Because I'm both underage and the fact that alcohol of any kind would mess with my medications, I can't drink gin. That isn't a loss for me though ... I sure can play it!
Now it's confession time ... here's mine: I play gin all the time. Not only does it help me relieve stress, but it gives my confidence a boost whenever I win. That's probably why I play it mostly when I'm depressed or sick. Lately, I've found winning a card game is a wonderful way to boost your self-confidence. Hey, it certainly boosts mine.
My grandmother taught me the game a very long time ago, and it just stuck I guess. My family is chock-full of gin-playing people. My grandmother and her next-door neighbor play almost nightly, my mother plays it with me when I'm bedridden due to illness, my dad tried to play with me (I think I beat him too bad), and I play on the Internet from about 11 at night until 2 in the morning on a regular basis. It's an addiction.
Besides being entertained for hours, I find myself relaxing while playing online with people I don't know and I'll never meet again. Because these people don't have faces, just screen names, I don't feel sorry when I beat them. If they can't take it they shouldn't play.
Take a "wise" 17-year-old girl's advice the next time you're angry, upset or just stressed out: Don't go for gin in a bottle; go for a deck of cards and go find someone who can't play well so you can beat them to give yourself that warm, fuzzy feeling of victory.
Emily Hendricks, 17, is a junior at Central High School in Cape Girardeau.