Flying Free

Flying Free

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Many years ago, my mother would go to the nearest charitable organization about once a week and play bingo.  I thought the allure of playing bingo was the prospect of winning large amounts of money which is what brought the players back week after week; and for some that probably is, in fact, just the case.  As I look back on why my mother played bingo, I'm not sure that was her motivation.  She never complained about not winning money and when she won, she used to call it a "bonus."  I've been thinking about my mother a lot as of late and for some reason I started thinking about her bingo practices.  What was the allure of bingo for her?  

Last Saturday I called my brother and asked him if he'd like to go to bingo with me.  He chuckled at first and made the reference to mom and her bingo days.  After reminiscing, he said he'd like to go but he was in the middle of painting and he couldn't go that day so we made a date to go on Thursday.  I was excited and I gleefully told my daughters who in turn playfully ridiculed me about playing bingo.  "What are you Mom, like 80 years old?"  

Thursday arrived and my brother picked me up a little early so we could buy the necessary equipment and hopefully find out what we were doing.  It had been over 30 years since either of us had gone with our mother (at her request) to play bingo.  While waiting for the games to start, we studied our cards and tried to figure out the complicated game of bingo.  The woman sitting next to us must have been able to tell that we were new to the intricate dynamics of playing bingo so she graced us with her knowledge happily.  She was so happy to enlighten us with her bingo knowledge that neither my brother nor I felt it necessary to tell her that we had played bingo before; besides, we did need a good refresher course.

My brother and I must have looked like little children playing in a sandbox for the first time because another woman who was sitting near asked us if this was the first time we have played bingo.  After some light conversation with her she finally said, "It's good clean fun."  I agreed.

The games finally started.  I watched my cards, I watched my brother's cards; he watched his cards, he watched my cards and the ladies on either side of us who were playing multiple cards themselves watched our cards too.  We didn't win.  We didn't come close to winning.  So, why do I want to go back?

I learned that my mother was right, winning money would have been a bonus.  I want to go back because bingo allowed my mind to stay in the now without cares or worries of the past or the future.  Hmm, is bingo a form of meditation to me?  Was it a form of meditation to my mother?  I wonder.........

1 comment:

  1. I tried to follow you with the button on the top but I see it didn't work. I'll try Google Friend Connect and see if that works.

    My mom and I go to bingo, but we are going to stop I think because we spend too much money there. We love it and have so much fun. But my mom always wants to buy tons of everything and we split the winnings so then I feel I have to keep up with her... Yes, we are weird!

    Anyhoo, it is fun if you can keep the money down and half the money goes to charities, which is lovely. It is nice you found something fun to do.