Last night Rita and I went to play Bingo at The Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford. I had not been to a Bingo game since I was a child and my grandmother took a bunch of us to church bingo. I remember how intense the games were, and I always wanted a bingo inker. Well all of those dreams came true last night!
So, yes, Rita and I were considerably younger than the vast majority in attendance, though we were of the majority gender. When we made the plan to go, Rita asked me if I thought it would be really smoky, and I figured in our ever-increasingly smoke-free age that there would be no smoking. Alas, I was wrong, which was the major drawback to the event. But it was a riot! People are very serious about their game. We got a lot of bingo cards, and it was hard to keep up with the calling at first. Most people had at least double the cards we did. They had these systems of taping their cards together and this trash bag system. I tell ya, it is a whole subculture. And there are all of these crazy games that are pretty confusing — different configurations on the bingo card. But Rita and I, armed with our one inker each, stuck the evening out with great bravery! Even though husbands and friends derided us, we enjoyed the evening with the old ladies. We were also shocked at how many inkers each person had. Some people would line up ten bottles of ink. We could not figure out why the heck anyone would need that many bottles. It’s not like one would run out.
For those of you with your need to fulfill your bingo fix, here’s a helpful link of bingo halls in Connecticut and a national listing. Perhaps Rita and I will see you at the next game — hopefully a smoke-free game. I turn 35 on Saturday, so perhaps this is a stepping stone to middle age.