So, I got up, put on makeup, wore the outfit I’d picked out, and drove to Bingo. It’s Parks and Recreation Day. They have good prizes. I missed Target last week. Gonna get a nice prize!
The woman who is going to call out the numbers, I’ve never seen before. She’s black and mouthy . . . yak, yak, won’t quit talking. She puts brochures on each table with a section for us to fill out with contact info. Yak, yak, yak . . . takes out her prizes. A couple of covers for beer bottles, she says, with coke and some other brand on the covers . . . I guess because we seniors have to disguise the fact that we’re drinking beer, if we’re drinking it. She also has bird geegaws that won’t stand up, but she says we can put them on our shelves at home . . . sit them on our shelves. I look at the dead looking birds laying on their sides on the gift table and think that’s depressing.
I look at her brochure which is telling me about how to plan my funeral and similar types of info.
She called numbers for Bingo until three of us win. (We play the same game until 3 people bingo and then she starts a new game.) Between games she tells us a horror story about a man who paid his insurance premiums, missed one, tried to get reinstated, got sick . . . went in the hospital and was diagnosed with cancer. The insurance refused to reinstate him . . . at least for 90 days. He went right from the hospital into hospice. . . If you have insurance, she says, let your relatives know so no premiums are missed . . . she wants us to fill out the forms so she can contact us about her insurance policies.
She starts another bingo set . . . we’re going to play 3 more games and then she’ll tell us a happy story . . . meanwhile between calling numbers, she tells us stuff I don’t really want to sit and hear while I’m trying to do my one fun thing this week . . . I’ve been sick and felt better . . . wanted to go to Bingo. Now she’s telling us to let our relatives know we have a life insurance policy. We don’t have to tell them how much or who the beneficiaries are, but they will pay it, if we can’t. No, we don’t have to tell them anything because she knows some relatives are mean and we don’t want everyone knowing our business, but it’s important that we keep our life insurance policies paid up . . .
I’m sitting there listening to how important it is for my relatives to get money when I die and I need to have insurance policies because I could go at any time, like that poor old person who went to the hospital after not paying his premium . . . he should have let a relative know . . . they would have paid it for him, she’s sure.
I already battle depression frequently. I have looked forward to this Bingo game all week. I’ve been sick, very sick for about a week and as days went by and I got better, I was delighted because if I wasn’t sick on Friday, I was going to Bingo! I counted down the days.
And now this. This depressing, worrying woman who has a roomful of old folks . . . most are older than I am, and none of them reached for her brochure, but shoved it to the middle of the table and sat expectantly waiting for Bingo to begin.
I looked at the prize table with the apparently dead bird figurines and the covers for my beer bottle . . . I don’t even drink beer, and if I did, I wouldn’t feel like I had to hide the fact . . . and wondered why I was sitting there getting more and more depressed. Mental health affects physical health. I was just getting over a week long illness.
As she called numbers, I put my coat on. I put my shoulder bag on my shoulder and between games, I stood up to leave. Everyone at my table looked shocked. “Are you leaving?” they asked. I wish I’d been quick enough to say “Not permanently”, which seems now an appropriate response to the question, but I nodded and said yes and walked out. I stopped by the front desk to ask where the regular folks were who usually came on Fridays and she said she didn’t know. I started out and came back. I told her I suffered with depression and all the woman was talking about was funerals, death, cancer, hospice, insurance . . . and I had to get out of there. Then I walked out.
It’s like telling a kid you’re going to give him a piece of candy and when you bring it to him, you tell him you decided he’d like a raw piece of broccoli instead. No thank you. I’ll come back home and watch TV.