A Tale of Greed, Roulette and Rhinestone Boots

Last night Hubs and I attended a charity event our neighbor was hosting. It was a Casino Night party, with dinner and tables for blackjack, roulette and poker. Each guest brought a new, unwrapped toy, to be given to one of two local organizations that distribute toys to children in need.

Upon arrival, we were given our admission ticket with our names on the back, to be handed in for a chance at the door prizes. That ticket entitled us to a certain dollar amount in poker chips. More chips could be had for additional donations of real money (which would also be given to those charities.)

luck-839037_1920
Via Pixabay (2012), CC0 Public Domain.

I’m not familiar with casino games, and I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my foot, so I didn’t spend too much time playing roulette–the only game I dared to try to play. I doled out my small pile of chips one or two at a time as long as I dared to stand up at the table. Our group wasn’t a high-betting bunch and the dealer was nice, so it was a good time, even as my pile of chips got smaller and smaller.

I returned to my table to sit and rest my sore foot and do some people-watching. I’d been told that the dress code for the event was “casual” but all the shoes I have that aren’t sneakers don’t support my foot enough right now, so I went shopping in the morning for a pair of boots to wear with leggings and a long sweater. I was feeling uncharacteristically stylish.

lisette-riding-boots

That feeling evaporated when I noticed the boots one of the other guests was wearing. They had rhinestone-studded spike heels and ribbons of rhinestone swirling up the leg of the boots. The pointed toe was not flat to the ground, and it made my feet hurt just to look at them. I tried to find a photo of those boots, but my knowledge of upscale shoe designers is limited to what’s in one scene from Legally Blonde:

pradas

After the tables closed for the night, guests cashed in their chips for prize tickets, which we could place in buckets labeled with the names of the prizes, which ranged from luggage sets to a designer handbag to giant TVs to vacuum cleaners.

I did not put any of my tickets in the buckets for either of the vacuum cleaners, for the record. (Priorities.)

Hubs had pooled his chips and mine and split the tickets in half between us, so I dumped tickets in buckets corresponding to prizes I wanted for myself (the Kate Spade tote, Williams-Sonoma gift basket, small kitchen appliances) or family members (a smaller TV, laptop, luggage).

While the event coordinators called out the winning numbers for the prizes, I allowed myself to imagine winning each of those items.

I let myself dream greedy daydreams.

I didn’t win any of the prizes, and wound up with a sour taste in my mouth. I don’t like that feeling. I didn’t need any of the prizes on the table. Sure, some of them would have been nice to have, but I have food and clothes and heat and electricity and a roof over my head. I don’t need a Cuisinart, Kate Spade bag, Tiffany bracelet or a big TV.

My greedy daydreams tried to steal the enjoyment of an evening out with my husband and friends. They sought to cancel out the nice dinner, the pie, the music and the laughter. They tempted me to forget the good stuff and focus on wanting things I don’t need, and feeling sad when I didn’t get them.

I don’t like what happens to me when I dream greedy daydreams. I worked to cancel them out by remembering the fun I had choosing two toys for Hubs and me to bring to the party, toys that helped fill two vans to overflowing with gifts for children who otherwise might do without. I remembered hearing the testimony of a college student who’s been running a community charity since the 7th grade, and her overwhelmed gratitude at seeing the toys her organization would get to give to the children of her city. I remembered the laughter of friends, the music, the dinner and, yes, the pie.

I kicked the greedy daydreams to the curb with my stylish-enough-for-me new boots.

Take that, greedy daydreams.

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