I Guess I Didn’t Miss Much

Last night I experienced two “firsts”, neither of which I care to repeat anytime in the next, oh, thirty years or so.

First I went with some of the moms in my neighborhood to play Basket Bingo at my son’s elementary school.  Yes, I’ll be applying for my AARP membership this week.

It sounded like it could be fun, and we all figured it was as good an excuse as any to get out of the house for an evening, but after 20 rounds of blotting little ink dots on a card, I felt like I had one foot in my grave.  Or at least in my bed.  It was about as exciting as watching paint dry.  And that’s being generous.

Of course, it didn’t help that no one at our table won anything the entire night.  No, wait, one of my friend won a raffle.  I think it was a dishcloth.  Woot.

The biggest disappointment of the night was when we finally got to round 19, and I actually got to say BINGO!!  And did I ever say BINGO!!!!  Not one of those little demure bingos that everyone in the room has to say, “Was that a Bingo?”

No ma’am.  There was no doubt that there was a bingo in the room when I said BINGO!!!!!

But so did someone else, so it came down to a random draw of cards.  She drew first, and she drew a nine.  All I had to do was beat a nine.  But I drew a three.  Oh well, as they say, easy come, easy go.  It was a good basket too, full of chocolate from a local chocolatier.

No one else from our group won either, so by the time it was all over at 10pm, we were a pretty subdued group.  Perhaps to console ourselves for not winning anything, or perhaps to compensate for the blow to our egos that it was to have entered the realm of Bingo, we decided to “go out for drinks”.

Now, when I “go out for drinks”, I go to a restaurant, get a table, order a few drinks, and sit around and gab with my friends until the wait staff kicks us out.  Evidently “going out for drinks” has a slightly different connotation to some.

My friends all decided where to go; I was just along for the ride.  Little did I know what I was getting myself into.  I soon found myself in a skeevy local-yokel bar.  Now this is a scene I missed out on during my more formative years.

You see, I’m somewhat of a goody-two-shoes.  When I was a college student and my peers were out partying their weekends away at the nearest house party, I was babysitting to earn money for retail therapy.  And when I was a young twenty-something and my peers were out partying their weekends away at the nearest bar, I was newly married, establishing my little home, and hanging out with the forty-something parents that made up the majority of the demographic at our church.

In fact, I can honestly say that I have never been in a place that serves drinks and no food.  And now I can tell any of you who might be in the same boat that you have missed NOTHING by skipping this scene.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say it was pretty depressing.  I have never seen more obviously drunk people in one place in my life.  I don’t know which was more frightening, the fact that these people choose to spend their evenings this way or that many of them had car keys in their pockets.

And they clearly all knew each other, because any time someone new would walk through the door, they were greeted by several of their local-yokel friends.  I can only imagine what a startling sight we must have been walking through that door — four middle-aged women with our Vera Bradley bags and our short, sassy mom haircuts.

As entertaining as it was to take in the sights as I sat in a corner sipping my cosmopolitan and chatting with the neighborhood moms over the din of outdated rock music, I do believe I got enough of the bar scene in one short evening to last me the rest of my life.  And Bingo too, for that matter.  So I’m zero for two.  I think I’ll stick with Bunco.