Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I LOVE a Night at the Casino

Last year on New Year's Eve I discovered the secret to a perfect way to celebrate.  Go to a casino near you.  My husband and I dropped our son off at a party, and knowing we had to pick him up later, we decided to go out for dinner.  I turned to him and said, "Let's go to a casino and try to win our supper." 

Who knew.  We walked into the greatest party ever.  Folks were in their jammies wearing crowns on their heads.  Other were in their finest.  Live music was playing on three different stages.  The line to the buffet ran two lengths of the hallway.  Darn.  "All the crab legs you can eat."  I'm in. 

Free drinks were being passed along to those of us at the slot machines and gambling tables.  I was surrounded by happy people.  No whining allowed. My secret love is the slot machine.  Love the sounds, the colors, the whirl of the images, the anticipation.  I admit that I'm addicted, but I know my limit.  I have no choice.  I'm the one who brings in a certain amount and when it's gone, it's over.  The image of the poor schmuck at the ATM taking money out haunts me.  "Gee, this is the only time money spits out of a machine for me."

We won that night.  Enough to eat all the crab legs I could.  Too bad they ran out by the time I made it to the front of the line.  The hostess looked at my face, and felt so bad, she let us eat for free.  That meant we had more money to play with.  So we skipped dessert and went back.  Won again, and left before I left a loser. 

I'm looking forward to my new annual tradition of gambling in the New Year.  I'm actually giddy, which could be a bad thing.  Any Christmas money that came my way, went into my, "New Year's Eve," fund.  Trust me.  It's not enough to mourn the loss of my son's college fund.  Gas to drive him to college...maybe.

There's a lot to be grateful for this year.  Grateful to have been present for those special times.  Lot of times I wished I was behind bars, and not be around to witness the not so good times as well.  My oldest daughter moved into a new apartment yesterday afternoon.  My son and I spent a supremely cold day moving furniture.  She was living with my mom and keeping her company while mom recovered from bypass surgery.  Mom was happy to see my daughter leave, which really means she's going to be fine now.  She's strong again.  She's ready to start bowling.  Feeling lonely takes more strength to get over.  In time.  We skipped strapping the mattress to my truck.  I looked at my daughter, and told her to stop at the mattress shop.  My treat.  They deliver same day.  I'm grateful to help her move on.  I'm grateful to have been there. 

Yesterday, my husband handed in his resignation at work.  A new opportunity has come along, and he's taking it because, "This could be my last hurrah."  The new company gave him a generous allowance for a new car.  He doesn't have to drive his dad's old car anymore.  The one with a dent from last Thanksgiving when I was so excited to go shopping with my son late at night that I backed up right into the side door of his car.  AND my husband witnessed the whole thing.  Oye.  What a night.  To help him celebrate his new job, my son wants us to buy his dad a new leather briefcase.  Perfect gift for his birthday which is around the corner.

On the way home from moving his sister, my son announced that he needs a new prescription for contacts.  "I can't see s--- anymore."  Thank you. 

Just as I started to worry about all the money I was spending, I stopped to realize how lucky we are.  Grateful to spend money towards my daughter's new life.  Grateful to spend money towards my husband's new move.  Grateful that my son is growing.  And...don't think I'm crazy....but thanks to Blago, I'm grateful that this month I can say, "I'm debt free." 

I was always determined to be in a better financial place by the time he's out of prison.  I didn't want to look back and think he saved more by cleaning toilets than I saved.  I met my primary goal this month.  No more credit bills or car payments.  Granted, the bathroom has to be repaired and the house needs repairs that I avoided in order to meet my goal, but I'm entering that phase next.  

Happy New Year.  And if you get depressed or feel alone tonight, imagine what it must feel like to be sitting in a cell looking at the pictures of your family on a wall.  That image HAS to motivate you to join me at the casino!!