This week I had my closing. I now own some shares in the retirement community, which for all intents and purposes, is another name for my little house.

It was Tuesday at 9:45am, and the setting up for evening bingo was already in full swing.

The master of bingo ceremonies invited me. Every Tuesday. The first one is free admission for new residents. The other retirement communities have their bingo’s other nights. They all have them.

I thought about my personality vs. the bingo stories I hear. Snide looks at Carol because she won “Four Corners” two weeks in a row. Someone from out of town being stared down after sitting in someone’s “lucky seat”. SHAKE ‘EM UP!!!! screamed at a volunteer who called too many B9’s in one night.

I went to four regular bingo’s in my whole life. They were all in the 1970’s and 1980’s when, even though it was gambling, bingo was still considered a game. As in fun. The first time I got all the i’s and won $30. I was thrilled and bought myself a nice ring (doable in the ‘70’s). The second and third times were unmemorable but probably fun.

The fourth and last time was my favorite. A friend and I left a party and walked to a fire company’s weekly bingo. They were still using the cardboard boards back then, and we soon realized that we didn’t have any of those translucent disks to cover the numbers. So we ripped up pieces of the paper listing the schedule of games and used them. We played only one game. I won $150. After someone counted out 10, 20, 30….on my flat palm, we got up and left. Who is she? asked the angry faces.

But during all those games, I talked and kidded around with others and didn’t take any of it seriously.

I thanked the bingo guy at my retirement community, but said that I wouldn’t be a good bingo participant because I don’t take bingo seriously.

Then he told me where a good chunk the proceeds go.

He listed a few worthwhile charities. I said I didn’t realize that and was impressed. Then he told me some of the proceeds go the association. As in where my monthly maintenance fees go. As in bingo is causing me to pay only $270 a month including property taxes.

I still am not a good bingo candidate and would not be able to afford gambling even if I enjoyed it.

But I never realized that bingo would be a serious component to my being able to afford my own place.

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