Valentine’s Day B-I-N-G-O

Valentine’s Day Bingo

B-I-N-G-O HeartOne of my favorite things about playing BINGO is the sound the dauber makes as it brushes and stamps the bingo card. It’s part smoosh/part squish and all heart attack. It is especially glorious when the numbers being daubed are creating the pattern needed to win. And, as the patterns take shape and each player gets even closer to shouting the word that every person in the hall wants to shout aloud – “Bingo!” The patterns are always different—Blackout, Crazy Kite, 4-Card Stamp Collection, Layer Cake, Lucky Number Seven, etc.—but the goal is always the same. In the midst of sweaty palms, sloshing daubers, and lucky menagerie laid out before each player, one can cut the tension with a knife. If you think this scene is taken as seriously as an SAT Test, then you would be correct; and the players are just as serious about their weekly mecca of flying balls and pull tabs… …even on Valentine’s Day.

One would think that the bingo hall would be deserted, or at least somewhat vacant, on the day of romance, love, and candy hearts. However, you’ll find that a bingo-fanatic never misses their weekly gamble-fest. We play on holidays, work nights, weekends, birthdays (hell, sometimes we get a free pack on our birthdays!), and all other types of occasions. We play during vacations, and through rain, sleet, and snow…and earthquake, tornado, and hurricane. We play if we’re sick, we play of our spouse is sick, we even play if we have little money (or no money). In fact, the only time we don’t play is if we are in the hospital, dismembered, or dead. Wait, I have heard of people who have unplugged their IVs and walked out of the hospital only to return after they have had a night of total losses. I also believe that even if dismembered, a bingo-fanatic will find away to play—they’ll probably ask you to stick their dauber in between their toes. So, scratch that… The only way any bingo-fanatic would miss a bingo game would be if they were dead. And, if you die, we’ll go to your funeral that morning and daub one for you at bingo that night!

So, with my honey at work and my dad out o town on business, my mother and I decided to spend Valentine’s Day with my aunt at the local Elks Lodge for our weekly Thursday night bingo. I am a huge believer in celebrating holidays and occasions to their fullest, so spending a Valentine’s day in a bingo hall as opposed to in the arms of the one I love was no my idea of a happy holiday. However, since I have been practicing The Secret, I took it as a sign from the universe that I should go play bingo despite my hesitations. It turns out that the universe was pointing me in the right direction.

The night started out with the usual Lightning game and Early Bird Bingo but it was not too long after, during B-N-O bingo, that I found myself “on” (bingo players use the term “on” when they are only one number away from winning). I got close, but it was not in the cards…just yet. Once again, I found myself “on” during the Five Around the Corner game, but this time the stars were aligned! I shouted “Bingo!” so loud out of sheer excitement! It turned out to be a glorious holiday after all. And, even had I not won, I had tons of fun and so it was all worth it.

The next day, at Friday night bingo (yes, there is more than one night of bingo per week—one could attend bingo every night of the week, if they wanted), the Valentine’s Day theme continued with the caller’s choice game—Valentine Heart. It was such a cute game to have, especially following Hugs and Kisses Day! Sure, I did not win it, but I did win the Double Postage Stamps game! And, as I stared at the daubed Valentine Heart on my tossed away losing bingo sheet, I thought what a wonderful holiday it had turned out to be. I will definitely be there on my birthday!

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