That summer, the Rowells rented a house at Lake Tahoe and CD and I spent a lazy week lounging by the lake. CD was eight and a half months old (those half-months seemed to matter back then).
J enjoyed what – in retrospect – can only be considered conservative gambling. Before he played the first chip, he settled on an amount he was willing to lose and stuck to it, no matter what happened.
That wasn’t good enough for someone with my Midwestern roots. The concept of gambling was – and still is – an anathema. Spending real money for what will probably amount to “nothing” violates my core values. Watching J do it – with our money – created unbearable anxiety and made me intolerable.
I hovered over his shoulder while he played, snatching every chip he won and stuffing it in my pockets on the theory that if he lost the rest, my stash would pull us closer to even. Not surprisingly, my oversight dampened the fun for him, (apparently, today such chip-snatching is against house rules).
My tolerance for games of chance – for any ambiguity, actually – is considerably lower than J’s, which explains why he’s a trial attorney – a profession in which no verdict is ever guaranteed – and I write fiction, where I control the ending.