I was once a Bingo prize. A man won me. It’s true. It was for charity. Why I agreed to this I’m not sure. I was young, beautiful and every man at the Bingo table was drooling over me. The man who won me was named Harold. He was a 58 year old man who lived at home with his mother. He was very nice and treated me like a lady.

Though, every once in awhile he would touch my knee just below the hem of my skirt. Harold won me for a date. He couldn’t decide where to take me. At first, he wanted to take me home to meet his mother. I nixed that idea.
I talked him into taking me to my favorite place. A casino. Harold had never been to a casino. The only gambling he had ever done was on Bingo night every Thursday. The next Thursday night we went to play blackjack rather than Bingo. I thought he would get a kick out of it.

He showed up in a beige tweed sports jacket and a red bow tie. He was very cute and sweet. Only he only brought five dollars with him. It’s all his mother would allow him to gamble. And he told me his mother told him he had to be home by ten.

I told Harold that the night was on me. We sat down at the blackjack table and I ordered a scotch neat. Harold ordered apple juice. At first I thought the night was going to be a waste. Playing blackjack with a moma’s boy didn’t seem very exciting.

We began by losing and Harold began to fret. He was worried that I would lose all my money. I told him that’s part of life. Then things began to turn around. We went on a lucky streak and by ten pm we were up five grand. Harold was very excited.

I reminded Harold of his curfew. That I had to get him home. But something inside him had changed. Was it all the apple juice? Was it the casino? Was it the winning streak?
Harold rebelled that night against his mother. We played blackjack until three in the morning. And we won big.
That night as I drove him home he confessed to me that the night was the most exciting evening of his life. Gambling has that effect on people. Especially when they win.

In front of his house I kissed him good night. That’s when he asked for my hand in marriage. His words not mine. I have that effect on men.
I often wonder what happened to Harold. I suspect he still lives at home with his mother. I sure hope not. But it is hard to change a man when he has lived his whole life with his mother.he second man I married, I’ll call him Johnny, loved the crap tables. Dice was his game and he lived and breathed it. He even slept with a pair of lucky dice under his pillow. Johnny would have tremendous lucky streaks where he couldn’t lose. It was incredible. At times it was like he could will a 2 or a 3 or a 12 be rolled. But he could never walk away. No matter how big his bank roll was he had to play until he lost it all. But that was Johnny.

The third man I married was a professional gambler. He made his living by it. And he had rules and systems he always followed. And he always won. Poker was his game and the one rule he always lived by was to walk away from the table before your luck did. It didn’t matter how hot he was or how much money he was up, he knew when it was time to walk away. And he always did. And like I said, he always won.

The first time I ever walked into a casino I fell in love. And even today, when I walk into a casino, I fall in love all over again.

Copyright Pamela Pompeii. All rights reserved.
Pamela Pompeii is a leader in a new breed of stylized journalism.


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