Today we had an unexpected call. A friend of GM’s from Cleveland, OH called to say he was in Lafayette LA on a job and had the rest of the day free. Since GM and Cash hadn’t seen each other in years, I knew that he really wanted to go, even if it wasn’t a budgeted trip. Checking the bank account just brought further bad news…I’d forgotten about a transaction on the debit card, and we also needed to deposit cash in the account before we had a fee charged for an overdraft.
With half of our available funds tied up in an additional deposit and gasoline, we headed off to the casino, which is not a good place to be if you are cash strapped. Budgeted or not, hanging with friends is always a good time, and we did exactly that. We hung out in the casino for about 4 hours. I am not a gambler, although Cash is quite skilled at blackjack and GM had played some. I left the guys at the blackjack tables and wandered off to the penny slots where I soon lost my allotted gambling funds.
Cash was the first of GM’s friends from Cleveland for me to meet. We haven’t made a trip to Cleveland since we’ve been together, so obviously, I’d not met people from the Cleveland chapters of his life as of yet. I’ve heard many stories about them, and it was nice to finally have a face to stick on Cash when we spoke on the phone or via the internet.
I hope that GM enjoyed the afternoon/evening excursion too. I know that if it was me in his shoes and a friend from halfway across the continent was wanting to meet part way for an afternoon, there would be no way for me to be happy about NOT going! As important as we are to each other, our friends are also important parts of our lives, and deserve an investment of our time and attention, and occasionally our money too.
At the same time, I’m very glad that GM’s not a big gambler. I think the highlight of his week is buying a lottery ticket. Mississippi doesn’t have a lottery, so I know he misses it. It’s nice to know that we’ll never be destitute because we’ve gambled away our surviving money.
Drinking at the casinos is also another norm. We had met at the Silver Slipper Casino outside of Bay St. Louis, and they have the usual free cocktails for the gamblers. In addition, there i salso coffee and soft drinks available at several “refreshment stations” inside the casino. I’ve not drank much while gambling–I think I’ve had a couple of Irish coffees and a white russian or two. My impression was that they mix their drinks light on the alcohol, which I think is a great idea. Why be impaired if you are gambling?
I gather gambling can become an addiction that can destroy lives as quick as alcoholism can. I’m also thankful that neither of us shows signs of approaching alcoholism. I’m not sure how much GM drank while at the blackjack tables, but I only saw him drinking either coffee or water. Cash was sticking to those too–he had a much longer drive back to Lafayette than we did back to our little travel trailer.
Friends…they are like family members you get to choose. Good friends are the ones that are still around when the chips are down. The friends that stick with you in good times and bad are the only real friends you have. Your friends will always be there, even if you dress badly and move into a travel trailer!