Jaron selects his card from Emily's Old Maid offering

Jaron dealt out the cards, straight-faced and with purpose. We each organized our cards, pulled out our lucky pairs and placed them with pride on the table in front of us. Then we got serious.  I turned to Jaron to pick a card from the spread in his hand – displayed like a peacock’s feathers excepted for one card pull high to look inviting.  Yeah … he had Old Maid.

I laughed internally at his naïve effort to get me to pull the “inviting” card. A competitor, I didn’t take the bait, even if he is only five years old. But soon he got smart, paying attention to where I usually pull cards and sneakily placed the dreaded card right where I least suspected it. I now had Old Maid.

A few turns later, he thoughtfully considered my hand, and fingered the carefully placed Old Maid card. I stared him straight in the eye to avoid showing any raised emotion from the chance to rid myself of the curse.  He pulled it.

“Errrrrrrrrrrrrr,” Jaron grunted as he shoved the card back into his rainbow spread.

I couldn’t contain my laughter any longer.

Rather than reveling in his naivety in strategy, I admired his innocence and sweet inability to bluff. The genuine inability to mislead and disguise was refreshing. And I have to admit that while it would seem like a disadvantage, he won almost every game – and I gave my full effort.

Walking away from the game table, considering my Old Maid defeat, I realized that the ability to deceive and hoodwink doesn’t always get you ahead in any “game” – socially or professionally. An honest and sincere approach will always enhance strategy, lead to admiration, and further long-term success.

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