The largest Powerball lottery jackpot in game history has been won this past Saturday night by a single ticket sold in the state of Florida…I had 1/2 thought about buying a ticket and then I was reminded of a situation that taught me a lot about winning and losing.
About 5 years ago, my ex’s friend John and his wife were making a w/e trip from Ohio to Asheville…mainly b/c they wanted to go to the Cherokee Casino. The original plan had been we were meeting them at Vincenzio’s in Asheville for dinner…then Friday I found out we were making a whole day of it and “how early did I want to leave” , I wanted to say 5pm, but I could tell my plans for my Saturday were going South quickly…..deciding to be a good sport, I got ready and we headed out around noon. I took provisions- bottled water and the latest issue of W magazine. My first horror of the day was seeing a picture of Cat Power and reading a quote by her in regards to Karl Lagerfeld. Now this just vehemently proves that there is no justice in the world. If you’ve never heard of her, you’re not missing much but I will give the girl credit for being able to create a media machine over much ado about nothing. A singer known for her epic-sized stage fright and quirky personality , she’s one of those personalities that I’ve never gotten what all of the fuss is about. How she turned up in the pages of W is beyond me …but the funny part was the quote –she was called “working class” by Lagerfeld and she found him funny…No Cat, the King of the House of Chanel is putting you in your place. I was miffed. After the 1,000’s and 1,000’s of dollars I have spent on clothes since I was 18, I deserve a 10 page spread in W……..the world is not fair.
So we arrived in Asheville and had to wait until John and his wife finished seeing Biltmore….my suggestion as you cant go to Asheville and not see the epitome of castles…John and his wife apparently rushed through their tour so John and Mike could “hang”. We met up at their hotel and it was decided we would all go to the casino….having never been to a casino before I had a momentary lapse of reason and eagerly agreed…..John was exactly like my ex described him– a cross between John Paul Jones and John Bonham with a heavy dash of court jester. The two of them exchanged war stories of all the bands and drummers they knew as I tried to navigate us through the mountains. Of course in 2 1/2 years I’d heard these stories on a continual loop so I just smiled at the proverbial sandbox they played in for over an hour.
We finally arrive, decide to valet and walk in to the Harrah’s Casino…..people, let me tell you there’s a whole other world out there especially for the 60 and older crowd. The place was packed and RJ Reynolds would have been proud as I am pretty sure I inhaled enough 2nd hand smoke to incur black lung. We walked around dazed and confused trying to find Keano machines…I just wanted the old fashioned slot machine where you match up three cherries and win a 1,000 dollars.
People were pumping their retirement money into the machines at a feverish pitch…and every now and then they would announce someone had won 4,000 dollars which would give me hope. John was kind enough to give me a 20 to play with and I blew through that on nickel slots in about 45 mins…..high roller I am not. or am I?
As we stood waiting for John and his wife at the front doors I surveyed the room and I thought what was the attraction? Was it the get rich quick chance just beyond your grasp? The Johnny Cash tribute show at 9pm? The free vacuumed packed, shaped like currency tee shirt?
I’m not sure…maybe all of these people were there because life’s gambles were in the form of flashing lights, dinging bells and green felt cloth covered tables. I didn’t see anyone who looked like they had ever been lucky in life so maybe they were there for one more chance.
I may have lost 20 bucks but I actually hit the jackpot that night. I may not be rich by industry standards and maybe life has thrown me some hard punches but I can at least say I have thrown the dice more than I can count on the table of life. In the arena of love, I’ve taken more gambles then perhaps I would like, but at least I’ve gotten myself and my heart out there….I’ve lost more than I have won if you look at the stats but at least I have played. I realized that all of the stress inducing jobs and careers may have taken their toll but at least I didn’t take the safe route…I took chances with companies, positions and bad bosses.
And when it comes to happiness, maybe some days are more of a crap shoot than others, but the joy I felt the first time I landed in London, saw my name in print in a magazine or drank a coffee in a Paris cafe with my best friend are moments of true glee that I’ll have forever.
And those are the things you can bet on…………..