I have never been very good with numbers, at least not if I have to calculate them in my head. I once bargained for Giants tickets with a scalper through the window of my car while stopped for a red light.
Scalper: “Field Club seats for $65 each.”
Me: “Would you go $200 for three?” He gave me a big smile. Money changed hands along with the light.
My husband: “Way to go! You do realize you just gave him more than he initially wanted?”
Every now and then you just have to make someone’s day.
You can probably imagine why playing Poker makes me squirm. Same way with Bridge or Hearts. When we used to play Bridge I’d always feel relieved if I got to be the dummy. When we play Hearts, if I try to run the cards, I experience a mild panic attack. My husband always seems to know just how many cards of each suit have been played. Every hand! All this while watching TV and carrying on a conversation. Me, I know that two suits are red and two are black.
Numbers are funny. My mom used to say she was no good with numbers but she could tell the checker exactly how much each item in her grocery cart cost. She couldn’t give you the total but she always knew the price. I can probably tell you the number of calories in every item I’ve eaten in a day but never ask me for an end-of-day tally. Maybe that makes me a live-in-the-moment kind of girl. Or fat.
Now colors, that’s a different matter altogether.
Officer: “Can you describe the vehicle that side-swiped your car, Ma’am?”
Me: “Certainly. It was a sleek, sexy number the exact shade of a ripe pomegranate seed.”
Officer: “Year and make?”
Age is another of those numbers that gives me trouble. When you’re five, ten sounds old. When you’re fifteen, ten sounds young. My mother never wanted anyone to know when she turned eighty. She said it sounded so old and people would treat her differently. I told her that was just silly. We wanted to throw her a big party to celebrate. Then I noticed myself wanting to hold her arm to help her across the room. She told me that every now and then she’d catch a glimpse of herself in a mirror and wonder who that old lady was. Then she’d realize she was looking at herself.
“It’s always such a shock,” she confessed. “Inside I’m still just forty.”
Two years later, I turned fifty. Fifty sounded so old. My mother just smiled. “I’d kill to be fifty again.”