There are very few things my mother enjoyed more than shopping (oh, where did I get that from??) and bingo (didn’t get that gene at all).
We would shop. Sometimes we didn’t buy much or just a small something for me but there was always lunch at a luncheonette. Those were counters in stores that served hot dogs, barbecue, a few casserole entrees along with sodas, ice cream and milkshakes. Lime Rickey’s were a favorite of mine.
For a child that’s wonderful food. We didn’t eat like that at home so it was like lobster to me.
Back then there weren’t fast food chains or pizza parlors so you ate at home except for special occasions. Then you ate fancy and you better not spill anything especially on your patent leather shoes.
The luncheonette ladies were chatty and over time you got to know them. They called me honey or sweetie and weren’t averse to making my scoop extra big. They also had the best gossip!
My mother would take me to bingo. It was in our church basement on a Sunday night. The best thing was the hot dogs. (I know this sounds like a theme but processed foods were rarely available.)
My mother was one of the more normal bingo players. Many of them were cutthroat. You couldn’t talk loudly during the game or you would get yelled at. Very hard for child. I usually had coloring books or something to read but that was never as fun as watching the ladies.
Everyone was dressed up. It was Sunday which was dress up day. You didn’t go anywhere unless you had on stockings, slips, and girdles. Oh yes and lipstick – not necessarily inside the lip lines either.
Did I mention this was before air conditioning?
The routine back then was to get your hair done once a week at the local hairdresser and lacquer it with hairspray. Overnight you either used a hairnet or toilet paper to keep it in place.
I remember the bingo lady smells – hairspray, perfume (could it be Evening in Paris?), grease from the kitchen along with some old-fashioned sweat.
My mother couldn’t be bothered with the weekly hair appointment but she used hairspray for those wayward ends and just a splash of lipstick.
There was one player that made Mama June look like Twiggy. She didn’t have many teeth and was convinced that sitting on her “specials” board would bring her luck. Sheesh. I’m sure her netherlands were sweaty! It was hot in there. I wouldn’t touch that thing with a 10 foot pole.
Once you got past that she was a nice lady. She always called me “girly” and gave me a nickel for a candy bar. (Nickel candy bars! Guess that dates me!)
Truthfully I don’t miss bingo but I sure miss shopping with my Mom.