February is the shortest month of the year: rather ironic that this is the month that I knock out three items on the list this month.
The first was quite by accident; I got to work and was promptly pulled off the floor to go on an activity outing. The outing? Horseshoe Casino.
Gambling–or going to a casino had never actually occurred to me as so something to be put on the list…score one for a conservative Christian upbringing, I guess. Either way, it was something I’d never thought about until I was on a bus headed there. I dare say my impressions of the experience are rather influenced by the fact that while I was there I was still working and responsible for a resident. Going there by myself would probably have been quite different. For one thing, I’d have probably left a lot sooner.
Lights, smoke and more lights…just like the movies; that was my initial impression of the casino itself. I quickly added flashing lights, extravagant decor, lots of security and serious faces to the list. Apparently, gambling is not a laugh-out-loud kind of fun. I can now understand, from an intellectual standpoint, why it is so addicting. . .but not for me. I rather like to have something tangible to show for a splurge.
My residents did not show too much interest in the actual gambling (especially after they started losing) so I spent the majority of my time there wandering from deck to deck, watching people. A few things stood out as being different from the movies:
1) most normal people don’t like to have an audience when they are losing money,
2) the cups outside of the bar are cheap plastic, the exact same kind as we use in the nursing home and
3) slot machines are different in real life. I don’t know what that lever on the side is or used to be, but apparently you don’t pull it any more. The only results were of the human kind–and as they involved stares and mutters, I didn’t try that again.
Overall, I had a fairly enjoyable experience but I don’t think I will go back.
I disliked the certain smoke more than I was tempted by the uncertain riches.
New Thing #2: I got my ears pierced. Until now, I have been a firm and determined rebel: I wasn’t going to get my ears pierced until I was good and ready. I guess I’m still a rebel since I did wait until I actually wanted earrings. . .but now I am a rebel with holes in my ears.
First off, getting your ears pierced HURTS! Anyone who says otherwise is obviously not a wimp. To compound the wimp problem, I somehow managed to get two strands of hair twisted around the post through the hole. The hairs have been removed and the rest of them have been cut to prevent this from happening again.
So, right now I am wearing simple white gold studs—can’t wait for the rest of the six weeks to pass so I can try on the earrings that prompted this little adventure.
It’s been a week, and I am getting used to having something in my ear lobe.
Last but certainly not least: I went dancing!
The library was offering two free nights of dancing classes (part of their new public outreach program); so I said “what the hell?” and signed up.
Mom always says that I tend to feel things more strongly than most people. . .I don’t know whether she’s right, but the best word I can find to describe my experience is “exhilarating”.
It was, by no means, a “Dancing with the Stars” kind of event: we were all in sneakers and jeans, dancing (or attempting to dance) in the back room of the library–all carpet and no mirrors. There were also not nearly enough guys to go around and those that were there had very clearly been dragged in. On the first night with the salsa, the disproportionate ratio did not seem to matter as much as the second night, with the swing. That one, you could really tell. There was about five of us girls without a partner; we tried partnering up with each other…the end result usually being that both of us forgot who was supposed to be the guy. Also, with five of us, someone always ended up being the odd one out of the left-overs.
Even though the room and the male population of said room left something to be desired, I had an amazing time! The instructor turned out to be Chris, the librarian who until now has always been labeled “the one who looks out for Michael” in my head, and that was really all I knew about him. That said, on the first night I was greeted by Chris saying “Ah, Michael’s sister–sorry I don’t actually know your name.”
When I signed up, I had expected that at most, ten other people to show up–an expectation shared by the library. Imagine the shock as 30+ people piled into the small back room. Like I said, most of them were women…but still! If the point of The List was to get out, try new things and meet new people, I certainly accomplished that this month! Some of those people were even nice young men, which never hurts. The second night had fewer people, maybe 16-20, but that gave Chris more time with each if us.
Chris really could dance, too. I mean, I had fun dancing with anybody else (or even by myself), but I really looked forward to when it was my turn with Chris. He is good enough that I felt like I knew what I was doing, even though I knew, rationally, that he was doing most of the work.
Of the two dances I learned, I think the West Coast swing was my favorite. I think I could spin all day long…especially when I got enough momentum that it felt like the only thing keeping me from breaking orbit was my partner, reeling me back in.
And how’s this for a shocker: I didn’t completely suck at dancing! Surprising, considering how uncoordinated I can be.