Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Feel of Family at Certain Pool Rooms

Sometimes we have no idea what people go through and how tough things are.  I think a lot of people (including myself) haven't truly sat down and thought about some of the things some players go through or are having to deal with when they are playing/gambling.

I recently interviewed someone for Billiard Buzz (for the March edition) and to read about how he tries to handle the pain in his only leg for as long as he can, makes you wince.  Knowing some people might be dealing with cancer and still trying to play (like I wrote about recently) or maybe struggling to keep their emotions in-check while they are going through a bad breakup or recent death.

We really don't know what people are going through sometimes and trying to deal with all that while trying to play the game they love??  How do players focus and play their best with so many life distractions?  Crazy.

One of my friends who gambles all the time prefers to only play at a certain pool room.  He brings his loving wife along and she loves to watch him play and she is his biggest fan. 

I've actually never even seen him play unless she's around.  What's interesting about this is his wife has Huntington's Disease (HD).  What is HD?  Well, HD is a brutal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and has no cure. This means her body is failing and her movements aren't smooth. The best way to describe what it looks like is a person with HD can't really walk straight or talk normal.  However, if you know him and you know her you don't think anything about it.  They are two great people in love who are great friends to many of us.

He constantly professes on Facebook, "I'll play you at my home pool room." And he will play just about anyone.  The only catch is, you gotta go to him.  So, being the nosey person I am, I asked him why he only likes to play pool at that certain pool room.  But, I already knew the answer. I knew he was going to say it was a certain table he liked to gamble on or the smoking wasn't as bad there or that it was close to his house.  But the reason was actually really shocking to me.  I had no idea.  And I don't think many people have any idea.

He shared with me at this certain pool room he goes to most often, everyone there (patrons and people who work there), treat him and his wife as family.  He said, "They know us and they care about her.  It feels like family." 

And because his wife has HD, that's more important than I can even put into words in this blog.  While he's gambling, she can sometimes spill a drink or drop a cigarette.  His and her friends (the patrons and workers) will help her if something comes up he happens not to see first.  He is the one who normally helps her right away, but sometimes he might be down on a shot or someone might be in his line of sight of her when he's playing, and he may not see something as fast as someone else who is closer by. 

Other times, his wife is in the bathroom too long and he would need to find someone to go check on her.  At this pool room, when she's MIA for too long, the waitresses and female bartenders check on her even before he asks them to.  Everyone there cares for him and his wife and because of that, THAT's the reason he plays out of that pool room most often.  And that's also why there's an open invitation for anyone to come to him to gamble - because it's not comfortable for him and his wife at other places.

When he goes to other pool rooms, the caring atmosphere isn't there because they don't know them well. 

At other pool rooms (don't get upset, peeps), drunk people will actually make fun of her (thinking she's really drunk) or no one helps her right away if she needs help.  As you can imagine, anyone who makes fun of his wife is quite a distraction and it also hurts her feelings deeply. 

If you don't know either one of them, one does wonder what's going on with his wife. That is natural, right?  But sometimes people don't ask, and instead assume.  And sometimes these assumptions are rude and occur when the husband is trying to concentrate and gamble.

So, in order to be in a more peaceful, calm and caring atmosphere among good friends, he goes to this certain pool room where they both feel most comfortable and cared for.

I don't know why I'm so surprised, as I thought humans had more decency and were kinder to others.  But I guess when you get around a bunch of drunk young friends, people aren't thinking clearly and say stupid things not realizing the situation.  I know no one is deliberately mean, but sometimes hurtful, rude things are said.  And in the home room they go to, NO ONE would tolerate anyone treating her badly or making fun of her.  The friends would jump in before the husband could lol!

So I was completely wrong.  It's not the comfort of the atmosphere, the comfort of the pool table, or the closeness to home.  Not at all.  THE reason is because he and his wife are treated like family.  And that provides a sense of relief, support, and comfort for them.  Let's be honest.  He's already distracted and always on the look out to see if she's doing okay or needs anything.  But to be able to be in a setting where people help him by watching out for her, that allows him to be able to focus a little bit better knowing there are good, thoughtful people around that cherish her.


Babylon Brother said...

These are two truly wonderful people. Thanks for focusing on their loving relationship.

Philip Capelle said...

What an amazing story of love and caring, and so beautifully told. Bravo to you, Melinda, for sharing this with us, and to this couple, who are an inspiration to all.