I have stopped playing Contract Bridge. The reason is a bit complicated, so bear with me…
There is this woman in the Bridge Club who comes every now and then, and I didn’t like her very much from the beginning. However, she seemed to have taken quite some fancy to me for some reason or other… It turned out that she was very controlling and pushy towards me (to the point of stalking me) and she apparently saw me as some sort of new project of hers that required improvement. I tried to restrict contact and block her advances as much as possible, but things are not always running as smoothly. Since she had backed off in the end, however, I thought the problem was solved.
Unfortunately, I was wrong… The moment I left the Bridge Club, that woman started talking badly about me, even telling blatant lies about me to the other members, especially to the lady who runs the club, who appears to be a special friend of hers. In the end, she caused quite a stir, to the point where my closest friend from the club wanted to talk to me. I explained my view of the whole story to her and at least she believed me.
However, my friend advised me – since the damage was already done and there’s virtually nothing I can do about it – that it would be better if I would not return to the Bridge club, and that I should look elsewhere if I want to continue playing. This is a rather typical Japanese reaction in order to keep the peace for the rest of the members: expel the troublemaker (and from their point of view that’s me), stop talking about the subject matter, and pretend that nothing has happened.
The interesting thing about this is that I had expected something like this to happen. The very first time I had met that woman I had a very bad feeling about her – a feeling that I have had only a handful of times in my life, and I had never been wrong. I knew that this woman would start badmouthing me the moment I turned my back upon her and the club, and I knew that it was unlikely that I would be able to return once she had finished her dirty deed.
Oh well, let’s chalk this up to experience with respect to human nature; funny that I seem to get better at it the older I become. I’ll get over it; besides, there are many other places where to play Contract Bridge, I’ll just have to go looking for them.