This Baby Boomers Real Life

Bunko Ladies

Carol and I were the last to arrive at Bunko. I quickly go to the kitchen to get coffee. The hostess, Helen, catches me.

“Debi, I saw you walking the other day,” she says looking concerned. “I was going to invite you in for coffee, but you looked so pitiful. I was afraid you’d be embarrassed that I saw you.”

“Oh, I don’t get embarrassed.”

“Well, you were in bad shape,” she said, while imitating my walk and anguished face.

We begin to arrange the tables. Card table in kitchen, then out of kitchen, then folded against the wall. We decide to use only two tables to be close to each other.

Carol rings the bell. Bunko begins. Whoops and hollers – “BUNKO” “21” “1, 2, 3”

Between games, Candi calls a Bunko Meeting.

“We have things to discuss,” Candi shouts as Carol tap-tap-taps the bell calling the meeting to order.

“We will vote on these things with a show of hands.”

Monthly Prizes for Bunko Winners: Helen votes to discontinue. No one needs more junk. Carol agrees. No one cares about hands.

Hostess: Who has never hosted? Lou quickly says Debi. Unanimous hand approval, I host November.

Holiday dinner: Candi votes Vegas Bar & Grill and adds that the gift exchange will be a $10 limit. She ignores hands.

Cookie exchange: Becky votes 2 dozen per person. Hands are flying up.

Membership List: Secretary distributes phone numbers, addresses and emails.

Lou dismisses Helen and Carol’s Monthly Prizes for Bunko decision. “Winners need something or why would we want to win?” Mildred agrees. Everyone bring $1 to Bunko and winners get money.

Lou dismisses Candi’s holiday dinner suggestion: Vegas Bar & Grill is too expensive – Lou changes it to Stony Creek.

Lou dismisses Candi’s Gift Exchange decision: Waste of money, no one needs junk.

I dismiss Becky’s Cookie exchange idea: Too much trouble. Everyone STARES. I silently question my clout.

Marsha challenges Lou’s Gift Exchange dismissal: Bring a small gift and we can pass and steal from each other. It’s a fun game. Hands approve.

Lou disapproves Marsha’s Gift Exchange idea:  Too loud to play a game in a restaurant.

Lou confirms my nixing the Cookie Exchange – “Debi’s right, we’re too busy to be baking cookies.”

We take a short break after the meeting to get dessert. Lou sneaks over and whispers, “I’ll bring you fudge next month. It’s only for you. Don’t tell. I’m too busy to make it for everyone. When did we get a Bunko secretary?”

When we finish Bunko the winners rush to claim their “junk” prizes. We hug good night and no one can remember where we’re going for the holiday dinner, whether we’re having a gift or cookie exchange, who’s hosting in November and whether or not she’ll need to have gifts for the winners. I tell them not to worry. The secretary will tell us in the minutes.

“We have a secretary?” Lou asks.

FOLLOW UP: Two weeks later Helen calls to see who is having Bunko in November. I tell her it’s at my house. She agrees to let everyone know. She calls back a few days later to see if we are going to play for money or if I’m buying “winner” gifts. I tell her I’ll do either one. She’s going to call everyone, take a vote, and get back with me. Until we find a Bunko secretary, I think we should hold off on the meetings.


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