Man, I love bingo. Seriously. Sometimes I crave finding a bingo hall, plopping down for the night with my neon color daubers and getting ready to win some dollars. Let me explain..
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve bingo.
-In my neighborhood all the kids played together, we were basically outside from late morning until our parents made us come in at dark. We played the usual freeze tag, dodge ball, monkey in the middle, kickball (where we would constantly hit cars and get yelled out), skateboarding down hills, etc. But some of us loved bingo and that was really because of me. At a local auction I found a old bingo set that was the kind enclosed in a wheel that you spun around. Add that to some bingo cards (the paper and the real kind – we had selection) and daubers, you have a intense bingo addiction that’s about to begin. So that afternoon when I brought it home I got all the kids together and told them we were going to play bingo. For weeks after that we took up an entire part of our sidewalk where I would be the bingo caller while the others hopelessly dabbed their B-4’s and O-72’s. I remember people would try to walk by on the sidewalk and they would have to hop through a bunch of 10 year olds who wouldn’t even look up but instead stared down at their card looking for possible ways of winning. It was a highlight of my life. Most of the times we wouldn’t even play for prizes, the prize was really just pride. Occasionally we made someone a “BINGO WINNER” banner that they could wear and very occasionally we would play for money (quarters) but it didn’t matter.
-On Saturday nights the place to be if you were over the age of 60 were the church bingo halls. These ladies were SERIOUS. They weren’t there to become friends or even smile at you, they were there to win the big dollars. I don’t remember the cash prize amounts, they’re probably smaller than what I think they were (everything seems large as a kid) but I used to think that if I was to win the end of night bingo game my life would be changed forever (I think I was about 10-14 during my intense bingo years). My sister would often go to these bingo events so I would go with her. The churches would be packed, 2 floors worth of bingo players. There was a speaker system set up, there was light up bingo boards, there was food being sold, and there was lots of silence. At each table you saw the ladies that ruled the hall, they came with every color dauber possible, they would randomly change their color depending on game # and mood. They had lots of hairy neon trolls to wish them good lucks, other dolls set up, I love Bingo shirts, they were the real deal. I was in awe of them hoped one day I could create a life like this. I’m still hoping for this. I remember I won occasionally, I think $20 or $30 which I probably blew on brownies and sugar highs and extra bingo cards.
So here I am, many years later, living in New York City and having the bingo urge again. Last night I posted on Facebook about bingo halls in NYC and if anyone would be interested, surprisingly many of my friends were excited about this. Are there secret bingo lovers all over, hiding their love of numbers and dots? So this leads me to this…
This is what I’m thinking, imagine a night of bingo. Bingo would happen at my home, I would send out bingo invitations, friends would RSVP. Everyone is required to bring 1 thing: a wrapped present that would be enjoyed by all. The place would be decorated like we were in a bingo palace (is that possible? I don’t know). There would be snacks, cupcakes with numbered balls on top, you know, everything. There would be tables set up with the bingo wheel in front. We would bring our bingo gear, receive our bingo cards and begin the night of fun. Each time someone wins, they get to pick one of the gift wrapped presents someone brought. It would be like friends giving friends gifts, just for fun and love, but with bingo added in. We would chat, dance when we win, throw popcorn into our mouths (or at each others heads when someone else wins). Has anyone had a bingo party before?
So this is where I stand. With dreams of bingo… I want to make this night a reality so I need to begin planning.
Or if you don’t live nearby and have no bingo friends you could always play online too.
Here’s to BINGO!