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.

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13 Responses

  1. OK, count me in on never being in a place that only serves drinks. Good to hear I haven’t missed out on much.
    But the Bingo…I love Bingo. I was so very sad when that Bingo game show was such a flop.

  2. I always felt like a loser in college because I pretty much hated those place. Everyone raved about the local bars, but I found them empty and “skeevy.” Love your word there. “Going out for drinks” to me means a local Tex-Mex place, a basket of chips and a margarita.

  3. Yikes!!!
    I had a very similar experience with some of the local moms of the new neighborhood I moved in to. I was never more glad to GET HOME and take a shower and try to forget the images I had seen that night!!

  4. Sounds like an evening from a country western song. Yeeech. Only thing worse than ending up in a dive? Ending up there on karaoke night when you and spouse rode with co-worker who thinks he’s Hank Williams, Jr. (shudder). Just to let you know, it could have been worse. Glad you got home safe.

  5. I used to be the 22-year-old at that bar, and at the time? Seemed like the most fun ever.

    I went back to my old bar a few years ago, to go to a POETRY reading. How times change.

  6. I’m with you in that I “missed out” on that whole scene in college (too busy working and studying) and in my 20’s (newly married and then along came baby). I’ve never been tempted to waltz into that scene. It sounds depressing.

  7. I’m very familiar with that scene unfortunately. I was married the first time at 24 and divorced at 27 so I hung out with friends for some time at places like you’re describing b/t my marriages. Not only does it get OLD and FAST, but you meet the craziest people. And it’s sad b/c that little dark hole in the wall is their entire life. I ran and never looked back!!!!! You missed zip!

  8. Oooh, I know what you mean. I went to a “club” once with a friend and when I saw a woman so drunk she was dancing by herself on the dance floor, it made me very sad, but also made me think, I never want to be that girl!

  9. Megan, LOL. I can sip a cosmo and listen to outdated rock in the comfort of my own home, thankyouverymuch! 🙂

    June, I seriously doubt your bar was this pathetic! 😉

  10. LOL! I went to a bar like that for a concert once. And I kept thinking, “Are these people in High School?” I felt the same weird insecure-will-you-please-notice-me-i-hate-my-life vibe as High School. I’d stick with bunco, too.

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