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Wizards Asks: 2/15/2011

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In honor of Valentine's Day: Have you ever had a Magic romance?

Kelly Digges: It's my great fortune to be able to answer, "Yes, and still do." My wife Laura didn't play Magic when we met, but her brother did, and she and the rest of her family were avid players of traditional card games like Cribbage, Liverpool, and (my personal favorite) Oh Heck.

When we started dating, I was drafting weekly. Laura never complained about the time I spent at it, but she could plainly see my enthusiasm when I returned, and she was already well aware that (spoiler warning) I really like telling stories, so she'd usually ask me how the draft had gone.

She would then, in very sporting fashion, listen attentively while I explained the highlights in general terms. "Well, I had a card that works sort of like [this], but Alexis caught me off guard with a card that kind of does [this], so I was in trouble. But then ...."

Although she assures me that these translated stories were in fact interesting, the translation process itself was imprecise and more than a bit laborious. She realized before long that if she wanted to hear my Magic stories, it would be less work and more fun in the long run to just learn how to play Magic.

I taught her how to play (at her unsolicited request), and she took to it with a passion. She's a bit competitive by nature and a lightning-fast learner, and it was only about six months before she was beating me at least as often as not.

For us, Magic is something to do together over dinner, or a lazy Saturday breakfast, or hanging out with friends. Our usual fare is two-person Winston Draft (the almost infinitely superior seven-pack version, rather than the traditional six). We've Winston drafted on trains and planes, in diners and fancy restaurants—even, I am not ashamed to admit, on our honeymoon. Magic is a huge part of our life together; it's what we do when we're not doing anything else.

When we tied the knot last August, we opted not to do anything explicitly Magic-themed with the wedding. But we found the perfect location for our rehearsal dinner: The Shire Cafe in Arlington, WA, a fantastic local vegetarian restaurant that shares space and ownership with the Misty Mountains Pub, Rivendell Hair, Mordor Tattoo & Piercing, and the Mirkwood music venue / game store (!).

And thus we celebrated our impending nuptials with our wedding party and extended families in a room decorated with Magic murals and a Black Lotus-shaped votive candle holder while a Legacy tournament got underway a few feet away. The proprietors (who are covered in awesome Magic art tattoos) recognized my surname on the credit card and came over to chat, and the Legacy players visibly craned their necks and whispered to each other to confirm that, yes, that red-haired guy—one of our ushers—really was Tom LaPille.

I can't think of a better place for us to have celebrated the start of our life together than a place dedicated, in part, to one of the things that has made that life so much fun. The food was so excellent, and the atmosphere so pleasant, that during our brief stay in the area we came back twice—and Winston drafted over lunch, of course.


Have you ever had a Magic romance? Click the Discuss link below to tell us your story and then see what everybody else has to say!

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