It’s a bit of a joke among my friends that there is not much I WON’T do if the price is right. I mean, sure, I have a moral compass that is still (mostly) in tact but short of illegal activities, I’m always looking for a way to fatten my wallet (read earn shopping money).
A few weeks ago I was at a local hangout with a friend, singing karaoke. After a bang-up rendition (if do say so myself) of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, the DJ says to me, “I do karaoke at a different spot on Mondays and they offer a fifty dollar prize for the winner. You should join us because you would win for sure.”
Money in exchange for doing something that I love and would do for free??? SIGN ME UP!
Last night was the big debut. The “spot” was a lodge in our sister city, Odessa, so of course I headed over a bit early and stopped by Burlington Coat Factory to drool over the purse and shoe selection.
Allow me to interject an “Amy Factoid” here. I am not a gambler. Not by a longshot. The one and only time I went to Vegas, I set aside twenty bucks with which to play video poker and even that made me nervous. It’s not often that I bet on anything or anyone BUT…last night was different.
For the first time in a while, I decided to bet on myself.
I was so confident that I would win the contest, that I spent the fifty dollar prize before I ever reached the lodge. Bold move, right?
With my new Burlington purse and shoes in tow, I found my way to the location of the contest, The Eagle Lodge.
As I pulled into the parking lot, my eyes widened and my stomach sank a little. This did NOT look like the kind of establishment that I would frequent. My sentiments were echoed when my friend joined later and said, “This is so not a good neighborhood.”
But I was hell-bent on winning that prize, so I locked my car (twice…as if that makes a difference) and walked inside.
I was greeted by the owner and bartender and a LOT of cigarette smoke. A cursory glance around the room revealed several pool tables, a few older gentlemen watching the football game and a table of biker-types. I cautiously chose my seat and waited for karaoke to start.
As I waited, the bartender and owner struck up a conversation with me, asking where I was from, etc. (I guess it was obvious that I was out of my element?) Pretty soon, other patrons joined in on the conversation and you know what? These people that I had (obviously) been judging were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Isn’t that usually the way it works?
I found out about all the philanthropic work they do as a lodge and the different events they have, especially for kids in the community. I also found out that this was a great, albeit small, crowd to sing for. They were not stingy with the applause and praise.
In short, these people were awesome.
When it was finally time to pick the contest song, I relied on Gloria to get me through. And I was assured that even if I didn’t win, I would survive. (I might have to take my purse and shoes back though.)
Turns out I’m a better gambler than I thought. The night was a total win! I walked away with fifty dollars, a new purse and pair of shoes, and a few new friends.
More importantly, I walked away reminded of two important life lessons.
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover and don’t be afraid to bet on yourself once in a while!