Tag Archives: fun

more proof that i’m actually a senior citizen

my bingo card at the sons of italy club. this is when i was playing only one card at at time. i already had my money out for more.

in the body of a 31-year-old.  

case in point: saturday afternoon. we were at the annual feast of st. anthony festival in little italy (my yearly excuse to eat eggplant parmesan out of a  paper container on foot), and just behind the bocce ball tournament there it was. the sign i’d been waiting for my whole over-18 life: 25 cent bingo.  

“BABE!” i said to holly, with more excitement than anyone should ever have over a game many of us played in first grade. “LET’S PLAY BINGO AT THE SONS OF ITALY. IT’S ONLY 25 CENTS A CARD!”  

that was the kicker. 25 cents. i pictured myself at a table with four to six cards in front of me, surrounded by piles of those little transparent red bingo chips i used to always find on the synagogue multipurpose room floor as a kid. i pictured myself shouting BINGO! amidst a sea of set senior hairdos and winning the whole damn pot and then buying another serving of eggplant parmesan and then an italian ice (the one in the lemon!) for dessert.  

“really?” said holly, surprised. “you really want to?”  

“YES REALLY.” i told her. “i’ve always wanted to play bingo!”  

she happily obliged, and we made our way past the bustling bocce ball courts and festival crowds and walked into the famed sons of italy lodge. it smelled a little like a basement and a little like a church. i loved it immediately and couldn’t stop smiling.  

there were round tables with lots of senior citizens sitting and talking (pros!) and ladies with those old-timey cloth money holders waitresses sometimes still tie around their waists going from table to table collecting money. there was as cute bar in the back, and a big light-up bingo board on the wall. it was like a real-life scratch-off lottery ticket (i love scratch-offs). i had finally found my crowd. i could barely contain myself.  

we bought one card each. then two. then worked our way up to four. this was a lot for me to keep track of, as the heat had sort of melted my brain (i’m notoriously flaky when it hits 90 degrees) and my blood pressure was already pretty high, i’m sure, from the excitement of it all. i should mention that there were no transparent red bingo chips. instead, they were these neat red slidey things. i was disappointed for about a nanosecond, realizing quickly that picking up chips and placing them on the correct coordinates would only slow me down, and thus felt grateful for the technology.  

i swear, every time we were remotely close to winning, some other person would shout “BINGO!” i was trying to be a good sport about it, but considering we had already spent like five bucks on about a million cards, i usually wound up calling each winner (never a senior, oddly; always some loud newbie visitor from the festival) a name or two in my head. (whaddaya want from me? i was high on lemonade and eggplant parm plus probably dehydrated  so cut me some slack.)  

the winning pots ranged from $10.50 to $13, so it’s not like we were missing out on anything major, money-wise. i just wanted to experience the sheer thrill of shouting BINGO! in the sons of italy lodge. still, just like scratch-offs, it’s the thrill of the chase. plus now i know the mystery that is senior bingo (oh you know where i’ll be hangin out in about 50 years!), and i treated myself to another eggplant parm anyway.  

playing four cards at once. i know. i'm a shark.

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unlawfully wedded

on saturday afternoon we got a phone call. holly picked up, and judging by her side of the conversation, it sounded like a survey. i was surprised when a) she didn’t hang up and even more when b) she handed me the phone.

“here,” she said with a shrug. “they want to talk to the second-oldest person in the household.”

intrigued, i got on the phone. turns out it was a maryland department of health & mental hygiene survey (i’ve always wondered about the term “mental hygeine,” (iJs) but anyway) about smoking and tobacco use. so i’m like, ok, this sounds totally legit and as a journalist, i’m down with helping out with statistical info. the survey lasted a while. maybe 10 or 15 minutes. at the end, she asked about my marital status. there were the usual choices, and i was like, in my most polite voice (yes, i can be polite) b/c this nice survey lady has nothing to do with the laws in maryland,

“well, i’m married. i mean, i just had a wedding a month ago. but in the eyes of the state, i’m not married. so yeah, i guess you’ll have to put me down as ‘single.'”

she was like, “oh.”

she put me down as unmarried but living w/someone or something.

honestly, it kinda stung. no, it definitely stung. it was a slap in the face from this state that i live in and that i bleed taxes to. like i said, i wasn’t mad at the nice survey lady, i was just irritated. that after a $XX-thousand-dollar wedding with a rabbi and 150 guests and a handmade wedding dress that i literally bled for (hey, those pins are sharp! ok, i’m being dramatic, but still) and family drama and wonderful best people (i.e. wedding attendents), i’m still considered “single” in the eyes of the state.

it didn’t get me down. i mean, my feathers were ruffled for a couple minutes but i got over it quickly. it just really irks me that i can’t get holly on my health insurance while she’s looking for a new job and we have to hire a lawyer to draw up power of attorney paperwork, etc. b/c G-d forbid anything happens to either one of us, we have no legal rights: can’t visit each other in the hospital, can’t make decisions for each other–nothing.

a couple weeks after the wedding, i joked to holly that we were “unlawfully wedded” and, truly, we are. i’m one of those ppl who jokes around about stuff to feel better, and joking around about our legal “marital status” makes it sting a little less, but it still sucks.

sorry to get all debbie downer on ya on a monday morning. other than that, we had a fabulous weekend.

friday night, we hung out w/some of our favorite boys (including two of my best ppl and closest friends andrew and john) for justin’s photography opening at tangysweet (GREAT YOGURT OMG). saturday night we went to prob. one of the best holiday parties *ever* at this venue called the elm–which is actually someone’s *house*–in baltimore’s hampden neighborhood. august and julie made this kickass winter wonderland backdrop for photos and we were all taking these funny prom-like pics in front of it. of course, the later it got, the sillier the pictures got. (see below!)

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yesterday we bought all this fresh *pizza dough* at our fav little italian deli/grocery (more on that another day; omg. best. italian. place. ever.), went to the mawl to get a pizza stone with one of our wedding giftcards and holly proceeded to make some of the best pizza (w/homemade sauce, YES i married a fabulous cook) i’ve ever sunk my teeth into. this was all for our little ravens (baltimore) vs. steelers (pittsburgh, PEE-AY) get together last night (i will not publicly trash talk but let’s just say we were happy w/the outcome). in between all of that, my bookclub was treated to complimentary tix (thanks, renee!) to see “caroline or change” at baltimore’s centerstage, which was awesome. we took an informal survey and it turns out that, yup, we all cried. hey, us bmore bookclubbers may get loud sometimes (ok, all the time) but we’re big ol softies inside…