My mom took a couple of days off of work earlier this week. I like to think it's because she just loves spending time with me but really, when you have worked for a company for over thirty years, the one good perk is a massive amount of collected vacation days. So she randomly chose to play approved hookie and hang out on Monday and Tuesday. My sister-in law, my niece and my mom and I all decied that since Monday is "moms-eat-free" day at our local mega pizza play land
, that we would all go and stuff ourselves on thin crust pizza, salad swimming in ranch dressing, free refills on Coca Cola and chocolate pudding. On the way up there my niece, who holds the car DJ title, picked a CD from her Barbie logo car case and ordered her mama to pop it in. And in no time flat the entire car was clapping along and singing out loud to to the B-I-N-G-O song because it is impossible, no matter what your age, to not do so. That song was imeediately followed by the Hickory Dickory Doc song, some song about numbers (all the way to twenty!) and Old MacDonald and his farm animals. Singing all of those old songs with my niece was such a fun thing, only enhanced but the plastic toilet full of goo that she won at the pizza place with which I taught her how to make farting sound with. I am nothing if not a good aunt!
But all of this singing about BINGO reminded me of one the things that my mom and I used to do all of the time when I was young. We played bingo..a lot! Fridays were at the Catholic church, Saturdays were the VFW hall, Monday nights were at the Elk's lodge and during the week, when my oldest brother was home to take care of us, my mom and my aunt would go to midnight bingo in Austin. For me, I loved the bottles of colored ink we got to use to mark all of the numbers and the fact that nachos and thick slices of coconuct cream pie satisfied the criteria for supper. For my mom, as I would later learn, bingo was a way to help sustain the household. When the numbers were right, she could win a few hundred dollars to make sure that we were all fed for the week until the next payday. So my mom and I decided that we should play a game or two, for nostalgia's sake and in the hopes of padding my ever-dwindling bank account. We drove into Austin and played a couple of rounds at a skating rink that transforms itself into a bingo hall during the day. We shared a plate of nachos and traded colored bottles of ink for each game. We didn't win anything, I didn't think that we would, but it felt just like it used to. And sometimes, that's more than enough.