I may have made a grave mistake.
One of my few remaining shameful secrets is that I joined my office lottery pool. It’s the only place I “do” lottery, and entirely because I don’t have to do anything at all. I give John money once a month, and I get a bunch of emails I completely ignore. I assume someone will tell me if we actually win anything, but I don’t ever think about because it is extremely distasteful and embarrassing to me.
Joining the lottery pool isn’t the mistake. Telling my mother I joined the lottery pool? THAT was a mistake. She calls me twice a week now to ask how our numbers did, and I haven’t got the foggiest idea – I don’t know or care what they are, whereas my mother memorizes every set of numbers she plays and knows within seconds of watching the draw if she won or not. And if I thought she talked a lot about her numbers before – oh god. I wonder if she thinks she finally got through to me; that we’re now kindred spirits united through our love of organized gambling. Each conversation we have is a Beautiful Mind-styled dissertation on number theory and patterns, with some awkward motherly advice twisted to relate to the joys of gambling thrown in to make me incredibly uncomfortable. There’s something so, so wrong when your mother tells you to always buy lotto tickets to the point where “if you don’t have enough money leftover for meat, you can always eat peanut butter”.
I regret my attempt to bond with my mother by telling her I joined the lottery pool. And it wasn’t really so much an effort to bond as it was to get her to shut up about the damn lottery pool. I don’t mind having Rain Man for a mother – it’s the only logical explanation; the woman runs different lottery pools with every person she knows and keeps them all straight in her head – but why couldn’t her weird super power be something even remotely useful and doesn’t cost her hundreds of dollars each week?