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A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis

A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene Woodbury
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This darkly funny novel describes Wendy Sinclair’s spin-crazy life in Las Vegas after she impulsively decides to not return to Houston following a bizarre girls’ weekend in 2005. The confused, unhappy 45-year-old newlywed soon rents a ramshackle apartment in a building filled with misfits; wallows in a blur of spas, malls and buffets, and, ultimately, becomes a designer of cocktail waitress uniforms and an Ann-Margret impersonator in a casino show with Elvis.

She also hangs with some pretty colorful characters. Paula’s her bold, brassy glamazon BFF who’s looser than a Casino Royale slot. Maxine’s her saucy former-Tropicana-showgirl boss. Paige and Serena are two twenty-something blackjack dealers she shops, gambles, and clubs up a storm with. Major crushes on a hunky pilot and sexy former rock star are also part of the mix. The phone fights with Roger, Wendy’s workaholic husband waiting impatiently in Houston, are louder and more raucous than a hot craps table at Caesar’s! Does she go back to him, or does her midlife crisis become a midlife makeover?

SynergEbooks; August 2011
222 pages; ISBN 9780744314977
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis
Author: Irene Woodbury

Does anyone really know when they’re in the middle of a midlife crisis, or do they just convince themselves they really need that little red sports car in the garage, that gleaming new Harley in the driveway, that extreme facelift that makes you look like a jackal, or that disastrous fling with the next-door neighbor that makes road-kill of two marriages and scars a bunch of kids for life? Is having a midlife crisis like being a teenager all over again -- when everybody knows you’re in the throes of adolescence but you?

It was hard to answer these questions because I didn’t know how I felt about anything these days. Waking up in Vegas every morning made the ongoing chaos easier to take. After all, everyone is confused here. And nobody seems very concerned about it. Sin City has fewer shrinks per capita than almost any city in America. It’s the least introspective place in the world. In Compulsion Central, who cares about the past or the future? All that matters is Now. Your goal is to get away from your life, forget your problems, avoid the questions. Why waste time probing into the depths of your poor, tortured soul when you could be throwing the come-out roll at a hot craps table, vegetating in front of a loose slot, scarfing down five desserts at Le Village Buffet, clubbing till dawn, or shopping your brains out?

Boys and girls, repeat after me. Introspection is boring. Introspection is tedious. Introspection is frowned upon here.

But I didn’t have to delve very deeply within myself to know I felt lost without my job, my marriage was unraveling before my eyes, and I was this close to having an affair with a stud muffin pilot. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, maybe it is a midlife crisis?

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