Last night, I played the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. It’s my favorite because you win money plus, if you land on “Spin”, you get to spin the wheel and win whatever number of quarters that the wheel lands on (from 25 to 2000!).
It only costs $1.25 to play, so I put up $20 and decided to play a few times. Two tries later, I had doubled my money. I was going to “cash out”, but I wanted the chance to “spin” and win more money. I kept playing and playing. Losing and losing.
I never did get the chance to spin. Instead, I watched in horror as I lost the money I gained AND the money I started out with.
I lost it all.
I sat there shell-shocked at the loss of “twenty WHOLE dollars!” (as I kept repeating to my friend). I kicked myself for letting the deadly sin of Greed get the best of me and not cashing out when I doubled my money in the beginning.
Then I began to think…this is how love is.The potential to win more, to meet a better guy, to be more in love is so great, that even when we’ve won, we’re willing to throw it all away in hopes of winning more.
Love is a gamble and (unfortunately) along with the potential to win, sometimes, there is nothing more to win and we end up losing it all.
In my case of the slot machine, I had another $20 to play. (I ended up getting the chance to spin and I won 750 quarters!) But what if there isn’t another chance to play? Or will there always be another chance? Is it even possible to throw away my chance at love?
I’m not sure.
I’m a fan of the hold-out. This is why I’ve been between-boyfriends for a while. I refuse to “cash out” on my singleness and enter into a relationship unless I really like the guy and he really likes me. (It seems meeting a guy I like who likes me is Mission Impossible III, but I digress.)
I ask myself now while thinking about love, the same thing I asked myself last night when playing the slots: At what point am I content with my win? Should I keep playing?
I think so.
I don’t want to be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. I want to be in l-o-v-e. I want to win. Anything less than head-over-heels is losing. I’m willing to take a chance to win.
In the past, I’ve held on to my “winnings” (dating guys I wasn’t that into) knowing I could have won more, but not wanting to risk being alone for a long period of time. I’ve also thrown my “winnings” away in hopes of winning more and was left with nothing. I’ve disregarded the “out of order” sign and given my all to a broken machine in hopes that the sign was wrong. I’ve even considered leaving the game alone altogether and not playing at all for a while.
But at this point in my life, I realize the risk of losing and being left with nothing isn’t a big enough risk for me not to play. In this slot machine of love, I have plenty more feelings, time, and heart to put into it. I’m hoping against hope that I’ll hit the jackpot next time.
And I’ll keep playing until I do…