Mostly bad ones.
Like when I left college and I find myself in the expansive (by 1978 standards) Stardust Sports Book. I am drunk (big surprise there) and making an ass out of myself while flirting with this (50k boob job) cocktail waitress. If her eyes rolled any further back in her head from my haplessly trite routine, they would disappear forever. But I was Charles Romance.
So, somehow it took a couple years for me to receive this letter with grant money that I had left on the table when I left school. So out of the blue I get a check for $6,000. Let’s see, I’m 23, single, in Las Vegas, and I have 6k to waste. Not the best recipe for success. So Mr. Romance is drowning in complimentary cocktails and tipping like I am Howard Hughes, who owned several casinos at that time in history.
So what would be the right decision to make with that money? To pay back my Dad who was financing my schooling? No. Made way too much sense and it was the absolute right thing to do. To put it in a small savings account and let sit for 50 years when it would really be worth something? Of course not. How many people do that? Buy a ring and get married? (I said the right decision). Or did I listen to the little red Hadite on my shoulder with his tail and pitchfork and take 6 points as the 11th-ranked Irish played the despised 5th-ranked USC Trojans? Yep. For some reason, the gods were smiling on me as I went on a winning streak like nothing I ever experienced since. George of the Desert. Notre Dame won the game 49-19.
I don’t remember the rest (wonder why) but I awoke in my own condo with a stack of cash and chips on my dresser. When I counted it, I was surprised to count out a total of 17 thousand, so I must have had a great time. Anytime you win a lot of cash in the casinos, your value system for money goes out the window. It might as well be Monopoly play money for all the respect it gets. I thought nothing of spending every cent I had, win, or lose.
Before my Dad passed, I am thankful to God that I was able to reconnect and soothe old wounds. On one of our golf rounds I told him of the grant money incident. He didn’t find it nearly as funny as I did. He smiled that politician’s smile that showed acknowledgement, but very little else. Several years later, I received a seven-thousand dollar bonus check from my employer. I sent my Pop six and deposited one thousand into our account. He never mentioned it, nor did I. We just went about business as usual. He never would have asked me for it, but I never took anything from my Dad that I did not pay back in full. Stubborn that way.