Little gin just might improve your marriage

It's worth a try.

You were probably thinking, when you read the title of column this week, that I was writing about drinking gin. I’m not going to go there to-day. In-stead, this is about the card game called Gin Rummy.

OK, I’m no marriage counselor so I probably shouldn’t be going ar-ound giving advice to married couples, especially since I’m on my second marriage and so is my husband, but the idea of letting a little gin improve your marriage is really a good one, at least for Terry and me and I thought I’d share with you why it is.

You probably should know Terry is a workaholic because that’s one of the reasons I came up with this idea in the first place.

He’s never without his cell phone or IPAD and he looks at weekends as catch-up days to finish all the work he didn’t accomplish during the week because of overbooking.

It seems when each day comes to an end, his “to do” list is longer because for every task he crosses off, he adds a couple more jobs.

I realized early on in our marriage (which is on its 28th year) if I were going to get any attention from him, I’d have to get on his “to do” list or at least find a way to sneak into his daily routine.

That’s where the gin comes in. It’s such a fun, easy card game that doesn’t require a mind that can count cards in order to win. I think I introduced the cards on a weekend in an effort to get him into a playful mood. Workaholics don’t think about playing unless it’s on a list.

We were meant to play and be lighthearted and when it's absent, we can get dreary.

What happens when we play cards is magic? First of all there’s competition (we play four hands every day except Sunday, when we play six hands), and we keep a running score through the week with a winner on Sunday.

Second, while we’re playing, we tend to talk about lighthearted issues, such as what I did to him on April Fool's day. I’d put a 12-inch length of string in his scrambled eggs as a joke.

It was almost a joke on me because I honestly thought he was going to swallow it.

So on that particular morning this was the card-playing conversation.

“Gad I wasn’t sure your tongue was gonna find the string when you were eatin’ your eggs and I started to get scared you were gonna swallow it.”

“And if I had?”

“Well, it wouldn’t hurt you, I’d just have to think up another joke. Whad’ya think when your tongue found it?”

“Well I wasn’t thinking today was April Fool’s Day, but when I pulled it out of my mouth and you started giggling I knew you got me!”

Just a little aside, I don’t think guys like tricks played on them, so maybe if you’re having marital problems you might want to consider not making a fool out of your spouse just be-cause it’s a day to celebrate fools.

Back to gin.

Now that playing gin is a habit and it’s part of our morning routine, I get to look forward to having playful, quality time with my workaholic spouse every day.

Oh, and if, God forbid, our routine gets derailed and we don’t play in the morning, Terry insists we play before the day’s out so he’ll be able to cross it off his daily “to do” list so he can get a good night’s sleep.

Be sure to schedule play into your daily round. We were meant to play and be lighthearted and when it's absent, we can get dreary.

If you've been feeling down lately, see if you've been too busy to play. Now go play!

For more from Pam Young go to You’ll find many musings, videos of Pam in the kitchen preparing delicious meals, videos on how to get organized, lose weight and get your finances in order, all from a reformed SLOB’s point of view.