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How much is too much
Bingo Buddies don’t agree

Dear Aunt Bingo,
We’d like your opinion on a topic my friends and I toss around from time to time—namely, how much Bingo is too much Bingo?
Trish and Amy are two of my friends and at the most they play Bingo once a week. When those of us who play more often try and get them to join us, they say once a week is enough for them and that they have their jobs and family responsibilities and can’t/won’t give more time to Bingo. (I should add that both of them—Amy in particular—is a little “judgy” about the others of us who go more often, and is usually the one who likes to bring up this topic the most often. Sorry, Amy!)
The majority of us, which is six people, play Bingo at least twice a week with an occasional third time if there is a special game happening somewhere and we can spare the time. We think this is not excessive and many times will go less often or skip a week if some other activity or family responsibility presents itself. To be honest, though, I don’t like skipping if I can help it because I love my Bingo!
Two more friends—Stacy and Lynn—are avid players and go three to five times a week (and maybe more). They are both retired and their kids are grown so they have the time. But I tend to swing over to Trish’s and Amy’s side on going to that much Bingo. It seems like a little too much time and money being invested in a game.
But on the bright side, I never worry about having a Bingo buddy to play with. I can always phone Stacy or Lynn for company because it’s a safe bet that on any given evening one or both of them will be out there somewhere playing Bingo, and will usually drive over and pick me up!
The most recent time this conversation came up, I told everybody that I was going to write to you and get your opinion. How much Bingo is too much Bingo? What do you think?
—Two Time Tammy, California, via email

Dear Two Time Tammy,
This is a popular topic among Bingo buddies, quite often because a spouse has griped about it and it gets us Bingo players thinking.
In my opinion, frequency is not really the issue. As you and your friends demonstrate, once a week is fine for busy people with lots of other things going on; twice a week is great for folks who are a bit less busy and love the game so much that playing once a week just isn’t enough; while people with the glorious freedom of retirement and grown kids have every right to fill their golden years with as much Bingo as they can stand.
The only qualifiers I will offer, therefore, have to do with cost and compulsion.
Bingo is far from the most costly entertainment out there, but there is a cost. If once a week makes you happy, then enjoy. If five nights of Bingo a week fit within your budget, go for it.
But if there is a recurring choice between Bingo or the mortgage, Bingo or heat, Bingo or the credit card bill, then girl … you are playing too much Bingo.
Secondly, be sure you recognize the difference between wanting to play Bingo and NEEDING to play.
Bingo is gambling, and gambling can be compulsive and addictive. If you or someone you know is heading toward financial trouble or plays because you/they crave the physical rush that comes with chasing that next Bingo win—these could be warning signs of addiction.
There is a very good article on this topic on the Gambling Addiction Blog. To learn more about the signs of gambling addiction and how to get help, visit gambling.addictionblog.org/bingo-addiction-can-you-become-addicted-to-bingo. —Aunt Bingo

Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.

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