Celebrity Cafe

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Heading To Reno -- No, Won't Be Gambling!

I’m heading to Reno next week to Romance Writers of America’s annual conference (7/27-7/31). It’s where 2,000 or more writers descend on a city for a week-long of workshops, seminars and parties, including a literacy autographing that generates hundreds of thousands of dollars toward that cause.

As far as I can remember, this is the first hotel/casino that the organization will use for its meeting. Once people hear that I’m going to Reno, first they say – it’s not like Vegas. Then they say, don’t spend all your money – wink, wink.

But I’m not a gambler. I’ve been to Atlantic City. I’ve been to Vegas. When I used to go to Atlantic City, I was in college and under the legal age of 21. I spent most of time dodging the security guards. Don’t know how they would spot me when I was trying to look 21 yrs. old – what does a 21 year old do that’s any different than a 20 year old. At the time, I was probably 18 or 19 yrs. old. Once, I did get caught. The security guard asked to see my ID, I showed it and he said that I’d have to leave. I told him that I just wanted to look. Very nice man, but I couldn’t stay. I realized that my mistake was standing still. I had stopped to watch Black Jack. After that, I kept roving. My boyfriend, now husband, was four years older than me, so he didn’t have a problem. We’d go with his roommates who were in his age group. Then we’d get kicked out because of me. Talk about peer pressure.

By the time I hit Vegas, I was in my thirties with two kids. The guards didn’t indulge me by asking for my ID. The bags under my eyes must have been a dead give away or the one piece bathing suit I wore among the thin young girls in their two piece skimpies. But I went to Vegas, again with the warnings about not spending any money. I kept imagining that I would walk through the casino and a spell would be cast on me. Then I would sit at a table and gamble away the life savings – that should take a quick hour. I told my husband that if a millionaire offered a million for me to go on his yacht, feel free, but the offer didn’t cover him going off with a female millionaire. We’d have to go broke before I rent him out.

I was so concerned about losing my head to gambling that I only had $20 in my pocket book at any given time. On the very last day of our stay, I played the slots. I lost lots, won few, until the $20 dwindled away. Once it was gone, I was finished. I walked away without feeling the need to go to the ATM or thinking that one more try was all I needed. I don’t know what it’s like to have a gambling addiction or how it’s triggered. I, personally, don’t like the feeling of taking money that I worked hard to earn and handing it over to someone else who is living larger than me in an activity disguised as an adult playground.

Since my conference expenses will take me easily into the $1K mark, I know that I’m not parting with a penny for the gambling experience. Sorry Reno!

Michelle - 41 Celebrity Circle
http://www.michellemonkou.com

18 Comments:

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