Online Gambling: My Dirty Little Secret

Forget the lights of Las Vegas when you can gamble from the comfort your own home. With a single click of the mouse you can win, lose, or come even.

The thought of gambling online brings the vision of virtual slot machines or games such as 21. What about online auctions?

I was watching my local TV station and caught a story about online auctions. I checked into it and became totally attracted. It was a penny auction site. This basically means you can buy a bid package and bid on different items for a penny. The bid shows up online as a penny but you have actually paid more with your initial bid purchase.

I checked out the reviews, bought a bid pack and almost immediately won some gift cards for ridiculously low prices. Oh Boy! A Home Depot 25.00 gift card for a nickel! A Kohl's card for ten cents with a face value of 50 bucks! I wasn't gambling, I was committing highway robbery.

And then my dirty little secret started to really kick in. I ran out of bids and had to purchase more. No questions asked, I bought more. I told no one what I was doing.

I loved the excitement of the auction. I loved it even more when it said "Auction Ended" and I was the high bidder. I wanted more gift cards and I loved the sprinkler I bought for a penny (plus shipping).

I visited the site enough to recognize other bidders screen names. I hated each and every one of them. I especially despised the gamblers who had screen names like "WONTOUTBIDME" or "IHAVEMOREBIDS". I became envious and spiteful when I was down to 5 bids. I felt superior over "PLEASEINEEDTHIS" and "JOBLESS4YEARS" when I outbid them.

I judged "MOMOFFIVE" and "GRAMMY6" as slackers. I imagined what type of lives they led by their mere screen names alone. I bid through cups of coffee and sometimes a cocktail or two (never advisable). I rationalized it into neat little mind envelopes of cash I would have spent anyway.

I suddenly realized that I am not shark, nor even a smart shopper while gambling at an auction site.

I became ashamed that I would actually judge others based on a screen name at an auction site. I did not believe I even deserved the dog licking my hand.

I stopped my online gambling and felt more human and deserving of being smiled at for simple deeds I did for strangers. Things I always done are more enjoyable, such as holding doors in stores, or letting the other drivers turn first. No bidding for "I was here first!" when in a ten aisle or less lane and no cut off bidding to a slow grandmother with 5 kids crossing the street.

I feel fortunate; I was able to quench the evil online gambling bad twin. It did take three weeks but I will only gamble at an occasional horse race now.