The Life of Bon: Morals are hard when it comes to Wendover.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Morals are hard when it comes to Wendover.

Monday was a holiday.  I had the day off of school.  Greg had the day off of work and had no shows to perform.  We were as free as the wind!!!!

True to form, I started to feel the old familiar ants in my pants.  We needed to go somewhere!  We had to do something!  It was a day off of work together we must take advantage!  Greg suggested we sleep in until noon, cuddle in bed, do lunch and then watch movies all afternoon and evening.  I wouldn't stand for it.  Staying in the apartment all day?  Torture!  We must go somewhere, you fool!

Now, this feeling of absurd anxiousness is nothing new to me.  It happens every year around this time of year.  Christmas has long since worn off.  Any hopes of spring seem grossly premature, at best.  It's the January blues.  We are stuck in what seems to be an endless cycle of winter and inversion and scraping ice off of windshields.  (All you California and Florida peeps, now would be an appropriate time to not say anything.)

It didn't help that it seemed like everyone I knew had booked it out of the state.  My mom went to Costa Rica with her friends.  My best friend is on an Indonesian cruise.  My other friend is flaunting around the beaches of Maui.  Naturally, I started to feel bad for myself in a first world, you-have-everything-in-the-world-and-still-manage-to-feel-sorry-for-yourself kind of way.  I wasn't proud of this self pity, but it was there, nonetheless.

So I begged Greg to take me away.  The problem is we only had only one day:  Monday.  Greg had two shows on Saturday and we teach primary class on Sunday.  It didn't exactly leave us with a lot of time to go anywhere very far.  Let's see... Salt Lake?  Park City?  Sundance is going on practically in our backyard but it sounded cold and Greg hates crowds.  (Which to me is the equivalent of hating happiness.  How do you hate to be surrounded by people having fun?!?)

So we settled on a day trip to Wendover.

Let me tell you a little bit about Wendover, if you are unfamiliar to these parts.  Wendover is where all already depressed, miserable, and pathetic things go to die.  It is the Northern Utah/Nevada border and basically the only purpose it serves is for Utahns to go to get their gambling fix.  Other than that it is a hellhole of a town, with barely a fast food joint or two, a lone sheriff patrolling the empty highways, and a few dark, smoke-filled casinos.  You feel like you've been to Wendover now?

I can't tell you exactly why we settled on Wendover.  I guess I couldn't resist.  You see, I developed a bit of a gambling streak, and I blame that on the two most important men in my life- my dad and my husband.  My dad played poker in his youth so it runs in my genes.  When I married Greg he taught me the ways of blackjack and with my predisposition to love a little money on the table, there was no turning back.  (I say this somewhat in jest, I do love to play blackjack but at best play two or three times a year.  For all my aunts and cousins out there worried about me, I do not have a gambling problem.   I also would like to point out that I do not condone this behavior, nor am I especially proud of it.  I don't think it's a good thing that I throw a little money away in casinos. I also think, however, there are much worse things in the world than a few rounds of blackjack.)

My first ever blackjack experience.  This friend of a friend in Vegas gave me $100 to try blackjack.  I lost it in ten minutes.  He didn't seem to mind.

And so to Wendover it was! To celebrate our day off!  Not depressing at all!  Greg's friend, Daily, who is down for anything in the world came along to make us feel not so loser-ish.  (Also everyone in the world needs a friend who is down for absolutely anything in the world- even 9 am drives to deserted gambling towns.  It enhances your life in a way you can't imagine.)

Wendover turned out to be about exactly as I predicted.  Cold.  Empty.  Wildly depressing.  Greg and I always take a set amount of money when we play blackjack and don't allow ourselves to spend any more than that.  We are both extremely competitive- I think if we didn't do this we'd give away our first born son without even realizing what we were doing.

The three of us sat down at a table that looked like it had "good mojo" and got our blackjack on.  There are lots of awesome things about blackjack like the waitresses who bring you free cherry cokes, the friendly people who sit by you and cheer when you get a blackjack, and the totally false feeling that you might actually make money from playing a really fun game!  I know it's all a total trick, but I can't help it, I'm in love  with the trick.

We played about three hours before Greg and Daily were out of their predetermined amount of money.  They watched me play my last few hands and convinced me to put my last $10 on one hand.  The dealer got a blackjack and I was out and that's the way the cookie crumbles.

I just realized that this story is basically over and it really has no point.  It feels like I should be arriving to some big climax, like any good story does, but mine just kind of fizzled off with the $10 blackjack loss.  I suppose it should have a moral?  Don't waste your days off of school and work at the casinos?  Or how about don't take blackjack advice from two guys who got out before you?  Hmmm... morals are hard when it comes to Wendover.

One last note, though, before I sign off on possibly the weirdest and most random blog post I have ever written.  I sat down at a table for all of about four minutes with a crazy dealer.  She hit 20s and 21s every time and I lost five in a row in the blink of an eye so I hightailed it off of the table. (I'm totally superstitious about a table.  If I start losing on it I get off of it.  The problem comes when you lose on all the tables...)  But in the midst of her incredible hands she told me the weirdest story about a man who had come to Wendover and won $13,800 one day.  Every chance he got after that he was back in the casinos trying to win more money.  He lost all his winnings and then lost a lot more.  Spent all his money.  Was totally broke.  Winning the $13,800 was the worst thing that ever happened to him.  "And then he got a divorce!" she added- just to put that last nail in the coffin.

So there's your moral, kids.  If you win $13,800 in Wendover, call it good and don't ever go back.