Before You Were Born

Ten years ago, my family took a vacation in Boston. One of the restaurants that we visited was Durgin-Park, and their tagline says “Established Before You Were Born.” It must have been established prior to 1900, in that case.

Well, both yesterday and today, “before you were born” might apply to my personal situations… on either end of the spectrum.

This post is quite like my “No happy medium” post from three years ago, but I wanted to find a different view.

Yesterday, I played in another two-session bridge tournament (the Milwaukee Summer Fun Regional), and participated in the Gold Rush pairs event. This event requires that each player has fewer than 750 masterpoints (I’m definitely eligible with only 32), and section and overall winners will win gold points.

I didn’t mention this explicitly in the post three years ago, but one commonality is that my opponents might say any of the following lines:

“How long have you been playing bridge?”

(to my partner) “Is he your (grand)son?” (NOTE: Only applies when I am in a pickup partnership when my partner is a middle-plus aged person)

“I’ve been playing bridge since before you were born.” (Uncommon)

“It’s good to see young people playing bridge!”

Since I mentioned the bridge tournament, I might as well also mention how I did.

In the first session, my partnership scored 51.6 percent, which was one of my better tournament finishes.

Unfortunately, we were in a strong field, and that score was NOT enough to qualify for masterpoints! (There were 23.5 tables in play, all of the Gold-Rush type. My partner and I were in the middle stratification.)

In the evening, my partnership scored only 45 percent of the matchpoints, in a six-table game.

However, it was an open game because there were not enough Gold Rush pairs to have a full Gold Rush game. Thus, many of the pairs were in the “A” (unlimited masterpoints) or “X” (1500-3000 masterpoints) strata. My partnership was in the “Y” stratum (0-1500 masterpoints), and our score was the best of the “Y” pairs sitting North-South.


Earlier this morning, I had the following Facebook post:

“1.14 carats from 45 percent, and zero carats from 51.6 percent. Go figure!”

The “carats” that I refer to are the gold masterpoints. These also happen to be my first gold points in my bridge career!

Now all I need is 467 masterpoints to attain the title Life Master. That’s a long way away, though…

Flipping the script, I have been playing the Pokemon TCG since 1999 (a span of 18 years–wow!). In competitive play, there are three age divisions: Juniors (ages 10 and under as of the season’s beginning), Seniors (ages 11-14 as of the start of the season), and Masters (all other ages).

Since I have been playing the game for 18 years, I could theoretically say to all Juniors or Seniors, “I’ve been playing this game since before you were born.” But I wouldn’t do that, because they might take it as intimidation, and I only get the opportunity to square off against them in casual League play or small tournaments. (In larger tournaments, each age division has its own flight, unlike in bridge where all skill levels within an event are playing on an equal field).

Come to think of it, I should make one of my next blog posts a Throwback journal post from Boston. I’ll take it! A dive! Look for it on Thursday.


Semester Kickoff: 10 days

Green Bay/St. Norbert: 68 days

Minneapolis: 75 days

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