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Coming Out

I came out of the closet to two of my co-workers today. We were chatting about general work delirium. I've been going back and forth between several files all day, and after a while it can be pretty mind numbing. Yvonne, a secretary/filing clerk mentioned, "So, when are you going to Atlantic City?" suggesting that I need a break. "Next Wednesday!" I'm damn excited.

Monica, a secretary/translator overheard and perked up. "You are going to Atlantic City? What are you doing there?" Here we go. "Um, gamble. Well, not really gamble. I play poker." "Oh. Are you careful? I know a friend whose son won $200,000 one night and then lost it all." I gave my usual line, but modified it. My usual line will be in parantheses, "Well, my interest in gambling (my addictive personality) is kept in check by my anal retentiveness." I then took some opportunities to lightly explain how poker isn't against the house, so I actually win fairly steadily. "Not that much. I made about $400 last time." I failed to mention the $350 in losses at table games.

It's an interesting thing, coming out. I try not to discuss poker in the office. Just today my boss and I were in a meeting with another partner when my boss said, "You only bluff in poker so many times." I wanted to chime in, "unless the other players are timid fish!" but instead I put on my best poker face and tried to show no interest at all in his analogy. When we had the conversation about taking time off for my vacation, he asked whereto, because I may have to cancel my trip last minute if a trial doesn't settle before then (as it turns out, I'm now in the clear). I couldn't lie. At least not convincingly and over the long run. "Just AC with some friends." That assuaged his concerns about the ability to cancel my trip. I'm just glad he didn't pry further.

But my question is, why do I feel so shy about discussing my hobby (interest/love/part-time job that pays crap/ambition)? It's plainly because poker is a vice. It's like announcing that I'll be going on vacation to Ireland so I can drink till I puke blood, or that I am going to Amsterdam to smoke mary jane until my lungs give out. It's also because I don't want to open my floodgates and profess my pokery love to people who just won't understand. I'll tell you one thing: if people do find out about my poker hobby I won't mind, BUT they will never find out about this here blog. I'm too smart for that.

Do you have similar experiences? Thank god I'm a married man. I'd hate to meet a chick and then have to explain that I enjoy spending hours daily gambling. Do you keep your "hobby" on the down low at the office or among some religious friends (I don't have any of those either!)?

It's an odd thing, because I think the poker aspect of my personality has a lot to offer this office and the world at large. It shows my aggressive, competitive nature. It shows some form of ambition and committment. It shows intelligence and skill. This all assumes that I am a winning player (I am, but I play low stakes) and am competent overall about the game. Bottom line is that I feel proud of my poker playing. I just don't think everyone will see it the same way.

Until then, I'll keep it in the much as possible.

posted by Jordan @ 4:34 PM,


At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My coworkers know I'm a degenerate. They've been to bars, strip clubs, and casinos with me. Nothing to hide.

At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My office does know about my poker habit, but they don't understand it. Like yesterday, when I come in my boss asks (friendly like) "So how much did you loose on the weekend, gambling man?". I didn't have the heart to tell her I actually won like $4, it just seemed pathetic.

My wife obviously knows about it, but she doesn't understand it either. All of my friends know about my habit, but that is because I have tried to corrupt them too. It hasn't happened fully just yet, but the seeds have been planted. MWahhhh!

And do they know about the blog? At work, no. At home and with my friends - they are aware that I have an online journal, but none of them would be able to tell you the address. If they really wanted to find it I'm sure they could in 5 minutes.

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luckily, I work at a company that allows us to host weekly tournaments. Some weeks there are poker tournies going on 3 different days. So not only do we play alot here, we talk alot about poker and it even seeps into meetings, etc.

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My gf knows, but is concerned about my addictive nature, that I'll blow my entire bank account. She and I took my parents out for dinner for my Dad's birthday, and it came up then. My parents were sketchy on the concept, even when I told them I was only playing the play money tables (back then I was). It was weird, telling them that I was playing poker online. Their reactions actually made me feel dirty. Naughty. Mmmm...very naughty. Whoops! Sorry about that...won't happen again! Seriously, most of my friends play poker and know about my blog, so not much of a problem there. None of my coworkers know I play poker, so I'm not sure about how they would take it. I'll just stay in the closet and avoid any weird conflicts.

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My office mates know that I play. Hell, I won my iPod in the blogger tourney! I had to brag about that one! My friends and family know that I play as well. Even my pastor knows, although I'm not sure he knows I play online. He is aware that we have home games every once in a while. No one at my office knows about my blog, though, and neither does my family. My wife knows about it, and some of my friends do, but that's about it. I don't really have a problem with people knowing about it.

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"BUT they will never find out about this here blog."

Now, click here.

And, umm, that's why I removed my blog from the search engines. And that's also why I'm not elligible for almost all banner advertising. The good and the bad, blah.

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kept the blog totally secret for about a month, aside from wifey Kim (then, fiance Kim). One it started being somewhat successful (content wise, not necessarily hit wise) I was willing to let a few people know about it. Now its a source of pride. But still, most people just don't understand.

You make a very good point DP. But there is one fallible point to your Google search...First, they must know to search for me by my first name online with the word Manhattan. I'm not saying its impossible. I'm just saying it isn't bloody likely. Hell, I might accidentally leave this window open one day and someone might walk in while I'm in the john. But I'll do my best not to out myself.

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't mean to get you paranoid, and it's probably not likely that anyone would search that.


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