My life

The gender of playing cards

One of my (mildly obsessive) hobbies is online Solitaire and related games FreeCell, Pyramid, Spider, and TriPeaks. Pyramid in particular has made me aware that I see the cards as having gender and even personality. This is not something I thought up consciously; I discovered it in the course of playing.

For Pyramid, you select two cards that add up to 13, and poof, they disappear. Ace and Queen, 2 and Jack, 3 and 10, etc. The King disappears on his own. The point is to clear the board, make all the cards go away.

The King is the jovial patriarch and the life of the party.

The Queen, of course, is female, and very imperious. The Ace that must go with her is male and very young, a child. I can’t quite tell if he’s her son, grandson, or servant, but he’s reluctant.

The Jack is a man about town, and the 2 is a younger male, possibly his nephew, learning from his uncle how to dress well and talk to the ladies.

10 is a father figure, 3 is his son. They have a good relationship and do dad-and-son stuff together.

9 is a female, bossy like the Queen. She intimidates the adolescent male 4, who must submit to her orders.

8 and 5 are young ladies and best friends, happy to hang out together.

7 is male, 6 is female. They are the Romeo and Juliet of playing cards. They rush into each other’s arms and vanish.