It can break your heart. It can inspire you to throw phones at walls. It can make your nose all snotty and your face all blotchy and red from crying hours of tears.
Marriage is hard.
Living together is hard.
Divorce is rampant and single parents are everywhere.
So knowing all this why do we gamble our hearts?
Last Thursday, Chris and I and Mom and Dad Wehkamp took a trip to WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma.
I've never been much for gambling. The idea of losing money for no real reason doesn't really appeal to me.
But Dad Wehkamp gave me some seed money and I decided to take a chance and play some hands of blackjack.
Chris asked me why I kept playing the minimum beat each hand and I told him that I was scared.
"The worst kind of money is scared money," the old man dealer told us.
"You have to be willing to put it out there if you really want to win big!"
So I tried with some faux confidence to push more than the minimum bet out on the table.
Not only did I win with my larger bet, but Dad W. won, Chris won, and Mom W. won too.
We all cheered and high-fived.
The dealer helped explain to me the "rules" of when to hit and when to stay. Rules that only work because it's assumed you're committed to playing for a long period of time.
The rules of blackjack are based on averages. They don't work if you play two hands and leave. You have to give them time and keep with them in order to yield positive results.
I took everyone's advice, followed the "rules", and was thrilled to see my pile of chips growing.
Time wore on and my pile of chips grew and grew. I got a little more daring and learned a lot more about the game of black jack (when Chris and I were in Costa Rica I was calling it "slap jack". I think just getting the name right yesterday was a huge improvement in my gambling shortcomings).
And then, the inevitable happened: My chips slowly disappeared under Gary's wrinkly dealer hands, and I was left with a quarter of what I had started with.
It felt yick.
So why gamble?
I asked Chris on Wednesday if he could guarantee me that marriage would get easier.
"Absolutely," he said.
"I can also guarantee you that it will get harder."
Chris and I will enjoy some great times, but we're also going to lose a lot too. We can't always predict what we're going to be dealt.
We're committed though. We're staying at the table. We're going to use the rules we know will work in the long run.
Maybe gambling is less of a gamble when you're committed.
When the chips are down, and we feel like we're losing everything, we're going to keep betting on us.
(Wow. I really ended that as cheesy as possible.)
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