On Tuesday, I had lunch with my favorite gambling aunt. We've been out of touch for about a month, and it was good to catch up. Nothing elaborate, this lunch. Just a personal pan pizza for each of us. And she had fries. Yeah. I know. That's as bad as those people who drink milk with their steak. Anyhoo...we decided that it was about time for another casino run. We set the date for today.
Nothing gets Val's blood pumpin' like the thought of an excursion to the casino! Not even her precious daily elixir. I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve! In fact, when I left lunch on Tuesday, I was thinking, "At this time in two days, I'll be at the casino!" I was walking on air. I even planned our meals around this big event, telling Hick at least three or four times, "Now you know that on Thursday, I'm going to the casino with Auntie. So I won't want to be standing in the kitchen making supper when I get back. I might get home around the same time as you do. I can bring some food from town." Hick decided that he wanted a Beef Taco Salad from Hardee's. I know. Like the Pizza Hut fries and the Bonanza Steakhouse milk, my man likes his taco salad to come from a hamburger chain.
All day Wednesday, I was thinking, "In 24 hours, I'll be in the casino!" That night in front of the TV, I thought, "All I have to do is go to sleep now, and when I wake up, it will be time to go to the casino!" I even had my lunch planned out. I was buying for Auntie, too. We would go to Burger Brothers. Where I would get a burger, of course, and she would probably get the Italian Sausage like last time. Because why would she get a burger at Burger Brothers...
I sent my sister the ex-mayor's wife a text inviting her to go with us, even though I knew it was short notice and she babysits Babe, her toddler granddaughter. I didn't hear back, so I figured she must be camping and out of phone reception.
I planned my exercise routine. (STOP LAUGHING!) I knew that I would do a lot of walking at the casino, so the trash dumpster could wait until Friday to be brought back down to the garage. I would take an extra ibuprofen as we left town. That should kick in while walking around the casino. I picked out what clothes I would wear, with the right depth pockets for my money and ID. It doesn't pay to take a purse to the casino. I decided that I could get by without my glasses.
Then I got an odd sensation. A sort of anxiety about the trip. What if something happened? Like how would The Pony get his monthly allowance from his 10-days-missing letter that I had enclosed it in? Would Hick know how to make a mobile deposit? Could Hick figure out which bills needed paying? Would Genius or The Pony know my passwords to update or shut down my blog? I never feel like this before a casino trip. I choked that feeling right back down and told myself this was just like Christmas Eve! Gambling tomorrow! At the casino!
I went to sleep with dreams of reels spinning in my head.
This morning, Hick woke me at 6:00 as instructed, just before he left for work. Rain poured down. Lightning flashed. "Huh. I thought that rain was supposed to be out of the area by now. It should end by the time we leave Backroads at 9:00. I'm sure."
I got up and took my medicine. Laid out my wads of gambling cash to stuff in my pockets. Got out my driver's license for ID for when I won a big jackpot. Put my two insurance cards with it, in case the big win gave me a fainting spell and I cracked my skull. Added my slot card on its stretchy blue telephone-cord-like thingy that reminds me to take it out of the machine. Set out a Walmart-brand Pepcid, an ibuprofen, an acetaminophen, an aspirin (you never know when the knees might start to protest), and three individually wrapped Lifesavers Wintergreen Mints.
I fired up my Shiba and checked out the innernets. Watched a Four Weddings rerun on TLC. By that time, and hour had passed, so I could take the rest of my medicine and have a bowl of oatmeal. And that's what I was doing, in fact, eating oatmeal, ready to get in the shower and leave for town, when my phone buzzed at 7:15. I glanced at it. Oh, a text from my sister the ex-mayor's wife. NO! It was a text from Auntie (their names are similar). "I can't make it today. Taking [a family member] to the [health facility]. I'm sorry. Let's go another time."
Well. Here was Val, all dolled up in her prom dress, watching out the living room window for her date to arrive with the corsage. Except he never came.
VAL WAS STOOD UP BY HER CASINO DATE!
What could I do? I sent back a message that it was okay. Even though I hadn't had my dreams crushed this flat since the last time Auntie stood me up for a casino trip, that year she caught the flu.
Okay. I got over it. We weren't meant to go today. Who knows what catastrophe we might have avoided by staying home? Maybe there was a reason for that anxiety last night.
But I really wish I hadn't gotten up at 6:00 a.m. Them's workin'-people hours!
Let the record show that Val has never been stood up for prom. That prom was canceled, both her junior and senior years, due to a lack of interest. C'mon, people! It was the SEVENTIES, for cryin' out loud.