Playing the Game of Airfare Roulette

gambleIt’s been years since I’ve watched The Oscars and after tuning in last week I remembered why I decided not to care.

There’s thirty minutes of my life I wish I had back.

(Thank you DVR from sparing me from wasting any more time than that!)

I’d forgotten how The Oscars is just a show about a bunch of shows nobody heard of or bothered to go see even though they’re apparently exceptional moviemaking.

I had to keep Googling obscure movie titles and actors on my phone while I fast-forwarded through indulgent acceptance speeches, erroneous political platforms, and whiny monologues by host Chris Rock to find out who/what won awards. However, this activity offered some entertainment as I learned interesting trivia tidbits about Hollywood A-listers.

For example, Matt Damon is a professional gambler­­­, and I don’t mean choosing acting as a career or being a registered Democrat. Damon has actually competed in the World Series of Poker, which requires only slightly less athleticism than competing in the MLB World Series. I know because I once got sucked into the torrid world of gambling.

It was seventh grade and I was in the cast of the junior high musical. While the female lead tried to find the high notes of Hello Dolly, the rest of us passed the time in the wings playing poker with Skittles purchased from the vending machine. Good times, until we got shut down by the principal after an incriminating incident involving a massacred Hostess cherry pie and a mangled hanger jammed in the vending machine (we ran out of change and got desperate).

That experience was a wake-up call and I went clean for years.

Then on a newlywed spring break spree to Vegas to escape the Cache Valley cold, we were waiting in a cheap buffet line and decided to stick a couple coins in the nickel slots for kicks. Twenty bucks disappeared in under two minutes, but with it went the allure of chucking good money at dumb luck­, until recently.

My hubby and I have a business event to attend in sunny San Antonio which happens to fall over our kids spring break, and my sister recently moved there offering complimentary accommodations. It seemed a trifecta of good fortune was forming for a fun-filled family vacay with the perk of a business write-off, if I could just get a good deal on airfare.

I was a seventh grader all over again, staring wild-eyed through the glass of a vending machine holding a repurposed hanger.

I checked the rates daily, hourly, minutely on my laptop/phone, wherever I was, all hours of day and night. The rates went up, they went down, I waited and watched. I checked deals and entered promo codes… Just a few more days, I bet they’ll go down. Come on, Come on, wait for it…wait for it…snake eyes! Crap. Just a few more days, they’ll go back down or a deal will come up.

My husband watched me play the game in desperation and cried, “Book now! Book now! You’re waiting too long, just book it and walk away from the table!”

And I was raised so well by a mother who didn’t even allow face cards in the house.

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