Let the record show that Val is a thoughtful mom. Does she not send her non-resident child a card once per week? A card with six dollars enclosed, and a handful of scratch-off lottery tickets? That's not a rhetorical question, but I didn't hear any of you respond. Let me answer for you: "Yes. Yes, Val does."
It does not matter that the card is not exactly a Hallmark. So what if he gets a card every other week with a rainbow-colored, glittery Cat-i-corn on the front? That it comes from The Dollar Tree, or Dollar Store? You'd think one of those chains would have sued the other for the rights to the name by now, but I guess they're all about passing the savings on to the customers. No, the fact that the card is sometimes oversized, and not all that heartrending doesn't matter one whit to Genius. In fact, he even said I didn't have to send those big cards to him every week. He doesn't need to know that those big cards are 2/$1.00. I'm shocked that somebody hasn't opened a Half-Dollar Store around these parts. So for now, Genius can think that I spare no expense in keeping in touch with my firstborn.
I send him six dollars because that's what my mom sent him when she was her old self. Let it be her legacy. The scratchers are just a whim. He doesn't buy them for himself. You never know when somebody's going to win. Might as well be Genius. I send him a couple of one-dollar or two-dollar tickets. The fives that I play don't fit in his cards. As far as he knows.
Last week Genius was all excited because he won FIFTY DOLLARS! Yeah. He even called me right after calling me back to hang up on me because he was being a spoiled father's-son. But the minute he got my card and scratched his tickets, the attitude flew the coop like a space ship being flown by a college sophomore in his underwear. Secretly, I think he just wanted to rub it in that he had a big winner.
So today I picked up some low-cost tickets for his card, but found upon returning home that I had already stuffed some tickets in his card on the kitchen counter that was awaiting a personal note and a stamp. Well. No dilemma there. I set aside some for next week's mailing, and took two of the two-dollar tickets off the top to scratch for myself. I never play the two-dollar tickets. So much work for so little reward. Like those Survivor contestants catching snails and little bitty crabs for sustenance.
Ahem. I won twenty dollars. I am ashamed. That would have been a big win for Genius.
It could, after all, have purchased a St. Patrick's Day sweatshirt from the college bookstore.