There is only one family that believes that a family that gambles together prays together – a family that has its reunion in Las Vegas! I neither have the face for poker nor do I have an idea how to play craps. I realized this on our flight home. There are many players who seem to lack a sense of humor when it comes to gambling. I encountered one such player once when playing black jack, and got the courage to double down on a pair of aces. Regrettably, the pair belonged to them. Such are the ones that think the distance from the front door of the casino to the nearest betting opportunity is a twelve-step program.

If there is one thing I learned in Vegas, yet, I learned how to be a good loser. Using my losses, I explained to my husband that they were proof that I am lucky at love. I used to view gambling as something we did in order to try to match other people’s lifestyles which seemed better than ours, but now I realize it is part and parcel of who we are. With as little effort as the throw of a dice, the spinning of a wheel or the turn of a card, we want to become rich all at once. This must explain why foreigners came to America, and why wagon trains headed west – in order to seek streets paved with gold.

Every aspect of life is pervaded by the desire to be a winner. In the absence of this deeply rooted aspiration, there would never be things worthy to be desired such as race tracks, poker parties, lotteries, office pools, water cooler bets… there wouldn’t even be political candidates. We get a kick from putting money in a soda machine and waiting to see if upon pressing the return button we get more change than expected. By putting money in a parking meter, it is similar to betting that we’ll run against time and be back before it expires. Even having the car washed becomes a gamble; we say it is not going to rain. We risk going through a red light, hoping that the policeman will have seen the light being a different hue of orange, such as very dark orange. Dodging our income taxes, and thus risking reducing the United States to the equivalent of a collector of bets in a casino.

Marriages are also not forgotten in that list. Couples continue to bet their lives by taking vows despite the fact that more than half of them end in divorce. Every day is a gamble, this truth of the matter we must accept. Anything can happen to you, from being hit by a car, to slipping on a banana peel or falling in a bathtub. A significant number of deaths occur around am, therefore avoid losing any more than you already have and get up. Even staying in bed is a gamble!


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