Any time you try to play Russian roulette with girlfriends, especially two girlfriends at once, especially especially two girlfriends who don’t like each other, you have to expect at some time or other, a gun is going to go off. This happened to me during a card game. And it was fatal.
Now, I should warn you, the innuendo in this story is R to X rated. But the truth is neither of these two young ladies became my wife (although my wife is actually more like Ysandra than she is like Abby… a fact I probably should not reveal because I promised never to write a post like this about her). I never consummated anything with either young lady, though in the course of five years of this double-trouble relationship thing, I had way more opportunities than I am comfortable with. And I really don’t know if Ysandra would be upset or happy to know that she was not the first young lady I ever saw naked.
The trouble began when I said yes to Abby’s plan to have a card party at my place. It didn’t seem like such a terrible idea at the outset. Card parties were a thing on autumn or winter nights in the Midwest, and both Abby and I had family experiences with card parties. Abby diligently invited others to attend. She offered a tepid, half-hearted invitation to Ysandra… out of a sense of duty, I suppose. She also invited Mother Mendoza to play cards with us. Now, Endira Mendoza was the older sister of the 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Evangeline Delgado, and she had been a Catholic nun before taking a job in Cotulla to teach 7th grade Science. Everyone called her “Mother” or “Mama” because she loved all her students like they were her own children. And she disciplined them that way too. “I am fed up with this nonsense!” was the phrase that her students dreaded because the use of the paddle was not banned in Texas schools in those days. What could go wrong with a party that included everyone’s “Mama”?
Well, I didn’t know everything about the situation before I committed to the party. Mother Mendoza looked upon Abby as the wild and carefree little sister that she always wanted and never had. And Abby could do no wrong in her eyes. So, apparently, she was actually in on the plot.
Ysandra never actually said no to the card party. She just didn’t show up. She and I had talked about the possibility of buying a house together and living together. But she insisted she had been married and divorced for the last time in her life. She had no intention of going through that again whether she ultimately decided whether she loved me or not. And, while I had done her bidding and gotten in contact with the American Naturist Association in Tampa, Florida, and discovered there was a club near San Antonio, I had never actually done the naked tent-camping thing that we had discussed.
So there were only three of us at the card party. We had the requisite soft drinks and snacks. We had a small table to use and plenty of chairs. And I had a pack of playing cards that I had bought at the local grocery store. But, oh no… My cards were not to be considered. Abby had been to a novelty store in San Antonio, and she had purchased some very special cards.
“We have to use these,” she said. “I bought them just for you and for this card party. Endira was with me.”
I should have realized what was going on as she pulled things out of the brown paper bag she brought with her. They were pornographic playing cards. Each and every one had a picture on it that would turn me bright purplish-red.
“We are going to play strip poker!” Abby announced.
I immediately looked to Mother Mendoza for the expected, “I am fed up with…” but it never came. Endira just sat there with an embarrassed grin on her Catholic nun face. Remember, Abby could do no wrong in her eyes. And besides, I later learned that Abby had won her over with the temptation of getting to see me at least partially naked. Loneliness can work strange magic even on the most virtuous of maidens.
“Urm… ah… I can’t possibly do that…” I mumbled, unable to contain my shame, and my knees visibly shaking. “Can’t we play gin rummy or trump or one of the other card games we talked about? I may have some UNO cards.”
“No. We have to use the playing cards I bought, and there will be prizes if I win the gin rummy game.”
“Well, okay… I guess…”
So we played a hand of the most embarrassing game of gin rummy of my life. I could barely stand to hold my cards in my hand, let alone look at them long enough to plan a winning strategy.
“Rummy!” she cried eventually, laying down a run of 2, 3, 4, and 5 of hearts matched with three Jacks.
“Oh, uh… another hand then?” I timidly said trying to avoid… you know.
“Oh, now, wait a minute, Mike. You promised me my prize.”
“Um, I may have some pie in the refrigerator.”
“No. My choice. I bought you something. You are going to model it for us.”
I could not speak. She reached in her brown paper bag and pulled out a male g-string. I am not going to tell you what happened next because I may have fainted. Suffice it to say that everything in this story is true… except I changed the names. Any lies that are part of this story are lies of omission. There are certain things I can’t tell you even thirty years later.
Ysandra forced me to reveal every little detail about the card party on a later date, and she got one of the best laughs of her life over it… at my expense.
I eventually said goodbye to both of these young ladies. Between the two of them, although I later realized that I didn’t love either one of them, they managed to ease up my self-imposed sexual repression to the point that I would be able to marry when the next real opportunity came along. Abby moved on to a job in San Antonio where she became something of a hero-type teacher when she ran down and karate-chopped a purse snatcher trying to steal school-event money from her after an organized bake sale. Her fiance was with her when she stopped by my apartment to tell me about moving to South Carolina. He witnessed her giving me a hug and a kiss to say goodbye. I understand the two of them had two beautiful little blond-haired daughters, and were both still teaching the last time I had word. Ysandra decided she was never going to change me enough to suit her. And we parted ways about a year after Abby left. I actually bought a year’s membership in a nudist club, but I never had to use it before she left me. I wanted to part as friends, but she emphasized that she wanted me to be happy, and she was sure if I ever found a wife, that she would not appreciate Ysandra as a close female friend. The last I knew she was still single, still living in Cotulla, and still getting her way about everything there at the center of the universe.
Life is like that. You juggle two girlfriends at once, you are bound to drop them both. But it turns out for the better in the end.