Recently I saw a side of myself that I didn’t know existed. I’ve always considered myself a nice person and rarely get angry. I’ve never road rage and in disagreements, I fight fairly, no name-calling or low blows. This side of me never before appeared— that was until last weekend.
Last weekend I spent Saturday and Sunday in front of my computer on Ebay bidding on jewelry making supplies, crystals, and beads. It was the first time I used Ebay in my adult life and to my delight, I won the first few auctions. When I left the house Saturday afternoon, Ebay was the farthest thing from my mind. That was until later that night when my phone started to buzz in my back pocket. To my surprise, it was my Ebay app alerting me that I had been outbid on a bag of canary yellow beads. Oh no you don’t. I quickly went to “My Ebay” to rebid on the item. After my first attempt to win the beads back I was outbid, so I bid again and again and again until I was finally the highest bidder.
Finally the reigning champion of the auction once again, I realized that I’d been so consumed with trying to be the victor that I never stopped to think about whether or not I still wanted the beads. In the midst of my bidding, my heart was fluttering. I felt a rush. I was excitable and not in a good way. The feeling was on par with the feeling you get after narrowly avoiding a car accident. And to make things worse, I was now the highest bidder for an over priced bag of yellow beads. Did I have some sort of gambling problem?
I’d been to the casino many times. In this country they were everywhere, and Connecticut has some good ones. I don’t really like to gamble and usually say that I am going to the casino for the food but that’s not entirely true either because I am almost always on a diet. And I can’t say I go for the entertainment, the tickets are extremely pricy. I couldn’t get anyone to go with me last year to see Fleetwood Mac, as the worst seats cost around $125 a piece. I mainly go because my friends invite me. It’s something to do. I justify my contribution to the casino by telling myself that it is still less than I would’ve spent on a night out at a bar or restaurant or if I went away for the weekend. Like most patrons, on particularly bad visits, I try to order enough free drinks to compensate my losses or at least try to.
The phone began to buzz again. I was outbid on another item. Quickly I placed another bid but was out bid again. This is when something sinister began to take over — it was as if I was possessed by a Grinchlike presence that I did not know existed. I bid on the item again and kept bidding though I didn’t even want the item anymore. I was bidding on the item again and again with the sole intention of driving up the price for the person who dared to out bid me.
As the night went on, my phone buzzed in my pocket. I was outbid for another set of beads. I glared at my smartphone. I was pissed and in my mind this was war—bidding war. My heart beat faster. I was teetering on the edge of safety. One bid too many and I was stuck with an overpriced piece of junk that I did not even want. This reminded me of the playing the slots. When I was doing bad, I often said to myself, well, I’ll give it one more try and then bet again. After doing this God knows how many times on God knows how many trips to the casino, I eventually noticed a a pattern- that every time I found my self saying I’ll give it one more try, the end result was the same: I’d lose.
The next morning I was awoken by a buzzing on the phone. I’d been outbid on a set of crystals, half asleep, I bid on the item again. It wasn’t until I completely awoke that I’d realized what I’d done- that I’d bid on something in my sleep- thank God I did not win that auction.
I needed to stop bidding in my sleep. I needed to stop bidding on stuff I didn’t really want. I needed Ebay Anonymous.