I’ve noticed, as I approach “mid-thirties” my friends have a habit of considering us “old”. I’m not old. Neither are they, but for some reason, that word keeps on creeping up in more conversations.
I’ve noticed that our habits are changing. We’re now more apt for an evening in than a night on the town. But, that could be due more to owning homes and being broke than age…I’m just sayin’.
Recently, my best buddy, Justin, turned 33. October 22 if you’re curious. At any rate, I text him that morning to say Happy Birthday and to try and establish contact. We’d been dancing around each other for days. I heard back from him that afternoon only to learn he was planless for the evening. I immediately invited him over to my house to hang with me and Lane. Our grand Saturday night plan was to assemble my new bookshelves in the basement. And, of course, I saw the benefit of having a man around for that.
Justin was on the fence…due to his raucous Friday night, but eventually succumbed to my charms and the lure of manual labor. He and Elena came over and we chatted and had a beer and put together one of three bookshelves.
Somehow, our conversation took an interesting turn and Justin said he’d love to go to the casino. I’ve never been a casino person (unless I’m going for a concert) but it was his birthday. So I said, “let’s go”. He waffled. Elena whimsically decreed she was up for anything. I ran upstairs to change (I was in sweats).
In a matter of minutes after this offhand mention, we were on our way. I made Justin drive because he has the nicest car (only marginally over Elena’s…and I drive a Cadillac!). Can I just mention it was 9pm and we were leaving the house? I might be aging just a bit, because I actually thought, “who goes out this late?” and it wasn’t all that long ago that would have been early for me to go out. Ah, good times.
We drove to Treasure Island, just because it was closest. We had a fun chat on the drive down and when we arrived we headed in to have some serious fun. We weren’t in the door but five minutes and Justin had won $20 at video poker. Then, Elena was hunting for a blackjack table and Justin said he was going to find a slot machine. No kidding, he was away from us for maybe 90 seconds, including walking time, and he came back with a winning voucher for $200! He dropped a $20 in a random machine and won that on the first pull! Wow, clearly birthday karma at its finest.
Then, he joined us at the blackjack table. I hadn’t wanted to play, but Elena was a little intimidated to sit down by herself. I get that, so I sat. I figured $40 on blackjack and we’ll see. I lost that in about 15 minutes. Clearly not my night. Elena was up and down, but holding steady overall. Justin turned his $40 into about $150 in about 20 minutes.
Finally, J cashed out, I was out of money and E was still having fun. We split up and went to do our things. I ended up meeting with Justin and we went to the bar to play some video poker, drink and talk. I lost some more. By this point, I was down about $80 and I really don’t have a spare $80 to lose, so I decided to quit. I was just hanging with them, talking and having fun. Justin was finally losing some money…it was after midnight by then…and Elena finally tapped out on blackjack. We started wandering aimlessly, while those two would randomly drop money into machines as we passed them. Sometimes winning, sometimes losing.
Then, finally, Justin found an open slot machine that he’d been looking for. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was one of those crazy ones with hundreds of lines. I hate those. But this one gave you opportunities for free spins and bonus games. I didn’t fully understand it but it looked like so much fun. I decided ‘what the hell’ and dropped my last $20 into the machine. I started winning and winning and winning. Did I mention this was a penny slot?
I’ll spare you the details, except to say the three of us ended up playing here for an hour and we were chanting at the machine trying to win more bonuses. Addicting. And, best of all, I walked out of there only $20 light! It was terrific. I won back most of my money. I could have probably kept going, but I am a “safe” gambler.
Elena lost quite a bit, she didn’t say, but I’d guess over a hundred. Justin, our birthday boy, ended up leaving $100 richer AND quite happy he randomly decided to spend his birthday with me and Lane. It was such an impromptu trip and ended up being a fantastically fun evening.
I did snap this photo as we were leaving, to commemorate our night, but we were laughing so hard it is a bit blurry:
However, we all look so happy in it that I love it anyway.
Happy Birthday Justin! I hope you had as much fun as I did.