For the longest time, the word “bunco” meant one thing to me: swindling. I’d learned it watching cop shows growing up. And being a clueless male, I’d never thought about anything else.
Then, last summer, I went to a book signing over at Books 4 Less in Buford, where four published authors answered questions about the publishing world as well as signed copies of their books. I picked up two books and had a blast.
One of the authors had a women’s lit book related to “bunco.” I again thought “swindling.” The woman said it was the latest craze. Kind of an excuse for women to get together. “Ok,” I said with a shrug. Still, it didn’t register.
Then, about a month or so ago, someone placed a flyer in our mailbox. One of our neighbors was organizing a bunco group and was trying to find 12 women, plus alternates, to participate
“What’s bunco?” my wife asked.
Armed with the limited knowledge I had from the book signing, acumen, which barely exceeds my knowledge of curling, I responded without hesitation. “A way for women to party with the girls, sort of like a Tupperware party, except nobody’s selling anything.”
“Not interested,” my wife said.
“Why not? Go. It’ll be a good chance to get to know a number of women in the neighborhood. Nothing wrong with that.”
“I don’t know.”
“You’ll have fun.”
My wife eventually respond in the affirmative to the party, but she wasn’t’ completely excited about it. She knew a few of the women that were going to be there already, either from school where she volunteers or from seeing them at local baseball games involving everybody’s kids. However, she was nervous. When the big night came, my wife steeled herself for it.
The boys and I were looking forward to our own male bonding that night, over a pizza and a superhero movie we’d all already seen. Maybe we’d get lucky and there’d be something on one of the movie channels that we could watch. Given her expression when she left, I figured my wife would be back to help tuck the boys in.
It was a Friday night and I’d let the boys stay up late as they wanted to see their Mom, but now they needed to go to bed. They both took a shower and got in their PJs.
“Dad, will you tell Mommy to come give me a hug when she gets home?” my younger son asked
“Sure,” I said, nodding. “She should be here any minute.”
Finally, around a quarter to 12:00, I heard the garage door open and a car pull in. My wife entered shortly thereafter, a smile on her face.
“I’m guessing you had fun?
“Yes,” she said. “It was great.”
She removed her shoes at the entry and came into the house. “By the way, we set up a schedule for the next 12 months. I’m on the schedule for late in the summer. You and the boys will have to vacate the house.
“Well, you can stay upstairs all night. It’s women only. Or we can finish our basement.”
I looked away briefly and thought for a second. “Ok. I’m sure we can find something to do. Glad you had a good time.”
“Me, too. Can’t wait for the next one. I almost won a prize for being the worst player, but I won the last round.”
I stared, uncertain how being bad was actually good. (William Hung notwithstanding). However, I was glad she’d gone to the party.
And the boys and I have a date for the Bobby Cox farewell tour.