You Gotta Know When to Hold ‘em, Know When to Fold ‘em, and Know When to Stand in a Corner and Rock Until Your Mother Finds You

My mom, in addition to having an online pogo.com addiction, is an avid gambler.  It’s not her fault.  First of all, she’s Irish.  She’s prone to drinking and gambling, anyway.  But also, I swear the woman has the attention span of a gnat, and if she’s not actively doing something all the time, she gets bored out of her mind and either annoys my dad, takes a nap, or goes gambling.  Or she redecorates the house, which is a blog post unto itself.

This time she decided to go to a casino.  From where I live, you have to drive anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours to get to a casino.  My mom goes about 5-6 times a month.  She also has crazy friends who encourage her to do this.  They will call on a random Tuesday afternoon and say “We’re leaving in 5 minutes, want to come?” and of course, my mom says yes.

So the other day, she was bored.  I happened to be home because AJ had plans with his dad.  My mom asked if I wanted to go to a casino with her and she would give me $100 and it would be Oh So Much Fun and we could bond and all this.  We both know that if we spend more than 15 minutes in the same room, we’re likely to try to kill each other.  But I couldn’t say no to this obvious attempt to bond with me, so off I went.

My mom could drive for 15 hours in a row and not get bored.  I get bored after 15-30 seconds.  Not literally, though.  Really, my drive time patience is about 20 minutes, and I can’t handle it after that.  So my mom is happily driving and I’m slowly going insane in the passenger seat, fueled by the ginormous iced vanilla latte I was drinking when I knew I shouldn’t drink it.  Coffee doesn’t make me alert or awake, it makes me completely nervous and spazzy.  Not a good choice for a long car ride.

We both lived, and made it to the casino.  My mom hands me some cash, says “These machines will only hit the jackpot when the jackpot is above $3,000, so we have to come back, because it’s close.”  Then we went our separate ways.  I found penny machines that featured animals doing funny things, and went through $100 in about 25 minutes.  I wandered around looking for my mom and couldn’t find her.  I also failed to realize that in the state the casino is in, you can smoke inside.  I’m not used to that anymore, so I am pretty sure I caught lung cancer while I was there.

After wandering for about 30 minutes, I got nervous, because I hate it when I can’t find someone and I feel that they should know I’m looking for them and make an effort to be found.  Plus, there was the coffee, so I was heading straight for a full out panic attack.  That’s when I saw the buffet.  I thought, hey, I really like eating.  My mom knows I like eating.  If I go there, not only can I eat, but my mom will find me because she knows that I will be where the food is.  So I go to the buffet, text AJ to make sure that I can, in fact, eat as much of whatever I want while I’m there, and I get my mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and some other form of potato and sit down.

15 minutes later, my mom had not found me, and I wanted more food.  Specifically, I wanted the Glorious Island of Desserts.  I was allowed to take as many of those as I wanted, too.  But I didn’t know what I was supposed to do – leave my stuff at my table and go get desserts?  Wait for my mom and have her watch my stuff while I go get desserts?  Wait for someone to tell me what to do next?  All of this uncertainty added to the panic, and I sat at my table and rocked for another half an hour.  No one found me and no one told me what to do.

Then I hear over the intercom, “Darcy Lindner smoshmooshfoopdippitydoo”.  All I recognized was my name, I had no idea what they said.  So I froze in terror.  If I leave to go ask someone at some sort of desk what they just said, I may not get my desserts.  If I don’t leave, I may never find my mom.  I sat frozen for another 15 minutes.  I finally grabbed my purse, got up and ran to the big main atrium lobby thing, and I stood there and rocked in a very open space for another 20 minutes.  FINALLY, my mom comes out of the abyss of smoky slot machines and we reunited.

I expressed my concern over not getting dessert, so we went back to the buffet and my mom got food and I told the waitress what happened and that I really, really wanted dessert(s), and she said “Go ahead honey, you’re fine”.  That was all it freaking took.  I could have walked in 8 times and just taken all the desserts I wanted.

After my dessert consumption, my mom deemed it time to go to the “Triple Diamond” machines, because the jackpot was over $3,000.  We had to actually hover behind people who were already at the machines, that’s how crazy people were about these things.  We both got machines and my mom gave me another $80 and we were then going to win the jackpot.  It took THREE HOURS to go through all our money, because we kept winning more.  I was sitting next to a lady who was drinking, and very funny, and she smelled good because she was wearing Clinique Happy.  So she talked to me and I responded sometimes, and then my chair made a really loud noise.  I said “Crap, I think I’m breaking the chair” and she said “Honey, don’t, because I’m not picking your ass up off the floor” and then she smacked my arm and laughed.  I laughed, too, because it was funny.  She turned out to be an avid arm smacker, and then her family would come over and she would say “I keep hitting this girl!”.  Then, a guy 3 seats to my left won the stupid jackpot, all my time was wasted, I was bored and bleary eyed from staring at this machine, and I had lung cancer.  Thankfully, it was time to leave.

That was my adventure at a casino.  The end.