I should have realized that it wasn't going to turn out well, when the first thing I did was hook my earring on my purse strap. I'm still using my travel purse which I prefer to wear across my body. When I was taking it over my head, the earring hooked. I gave it a couple of tugs as I was really tangled. The earring popped out and flew two tables over. Nothing like looking like an idiot your first time meeting people. I guess I should be used to that.
This is a huge game---28 tables (of 4). When the director (thank God it was David---who directs our Hillwood game and knows/likes me) announced the game movement, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was playing on the "expert" side. Right away, I was starting to get all worked up. I have about 110 Masterpoints---which is no where near expert level. You earn Masterpoints by playing Duplicate Bridge which is all I play. But, you earn them very slowly based on the number of people playing. You have to come in 1st, 2nd or 3rd to get anything. Obviously, if you come in against 28 tables, then you earn more points. Our Hillwood game averages 8 or 9 tables every week. As a result, even though Joan and I come in about 75% of the time, when you are competing against so few, you don't earn much. It has taken me 25 years to earn 100+ MP's at the rate of .18, .25. you get the idea---a loooong time. You earn a lot of points at tournaments---which I hardly ever do. Anyway, because Joan goes to every tournament around and has been playing for about 30 years longer than me, she's now a Life Master---1000+. Her "high" points made us ineligible to play in the game I am more suited for.
Right off the bat, first hand, I trumped my own trick, down "1". I know that our expert opponents though---"what an idiot!" On the very next hand I reneged---called director---like I said, thank God it was David. He teased me, "Barb, why did you do that?" To which I replied, "I just don't get these cards." Cost us two tricks and the hand.
I was so nervous, that I remembered the time last summer that I played in the Music City tournament and someone criticized me for "snapping" my cards. I didn't even realize that I "snapped" the cards. Today, I was very careful to NOT do that.
I finally calmed down by the 4th round or so when a couple of gals from my regular game came to our table. I was able to relax. Didn't improve my bridge, but at least I wasn't quite so worked up.
Here is the end result. I grade each hand just like a report card. On my regular days, I might have 1 or 2 "F"'s and 1 or 2 "D"'s with mostly "A"'s or "B"'s. Today it was totally the other way. The only good thing is that each pair is only at your table for 2 hands. If they had stayed longer, for sure my cover would have been blown! Then I noticed, that some people were actually drinking. Maybe that's what I need to do the next time I play there. Luckily, it won't be until April. A very humbling experience.