A Little Bit o’ Luck
Listening to: Pulp, “Like a Friend”
So I’ve always had this weird theory about luck.
I’ve thought for a long time that everyone has a certain amount. Some people–everyone knows someone like this–can win $50 from every $2 scratch-off lottery ticket they buy. They can randomly approach a slot machine, put in $10, and walk away with $200 a few minutes later. They have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
Other people don’t bother buying lottery tickets, because they’ve learned that all that scratching will be in vain. They walk into a casino* knowing that they’ll be losing money, but that’s okay because it’s a fun time with friends. They seem to always be a few miles away from the right place, and a few minutes away from the right time.
I’ve always belonged in the latter category. I have, in my life won the following things in chance-type games: a stuffed animal from a claw machine, and three books. No, really. That’s it.
So I’ve always figured that I have a certain amount of luck, and it’s just saving itself up for something big. This is my way of making myself feel better when everyone around me seems to have the luck of the Irish, and I have no such thing–even though I actually am Irish (like 1/8, but still).
I went with my mom, brother, and sister to a Special Olympics basket party fundraiser this past weekend. 163 baskets, for which I had around twenty tickets. Also, the other usual stuff, like 50/50 tickets, door prizes, and something I really wanted: a chance at a lottery wreath or a money tree. I was very impressed with the turnout–there wasn’t a free seat in the whole place, and the final prize for the 50/50 exceeded $600.
As they called out the winning number for each basket, I enjoyed watching my sister work with the other athletes to deliver baskets to the winners. Every time she went down that center aisle, she’d get this little grin, like, “Look what I’m doing!” She laughed and joked with the other athletes. She had, in short, a spectacular time.
I reminded my mom several times that I’m not lucky, I wouldn’t win anything, and I was fine with that because A.) I’m really used to it and B.) it’s for a great cause.
And then my number got called for a basket. It was a cute little gardening set, morning glory seeds, gardening gloves, and garden decorations, and I also spotted a tiny planter with forget-me-not seeds. Perfect for the moment, because it gives me yet another reason to look forward to spring–and gives me something to plant in the meantime.
So, about a hundred baskets later, my mom, sister, and brother have still won nothing. They call out the number for the last basket–and it’s mine. A rather large basket with teas, coffee, mugs, and some nice photo frames.**
Two baskets. I gave the coffee basket to my mom, as I’ve been on a tea-buying kick lately and really just don’t have room for any more.
I went about the rest of my evening, visiting some friends and going to a coffee shop to write. Finally, I go home, and open up my gardening basket to see what little treasures were hidden from view.
I find a bag of potting soil at the very bottom, which will come in handy not only for the forget-me-nots planter, but also for the other tiny planters I hadn’t seen: sunflowers and lucky clovers.
I’m not a terribly superstitious person–although I did privately christen the black cat that roams my mom’s neighborhood and always crosses my path on really rotten days “Bad Luck” (his real name, per his tag, is “Coaltrane”, har har).
But sometimes life just throws something at you, and you kind of have to wonder, you know?
So I’m off to plant my lucky clover. But I still won’t buy any lottery tickets. Some things never change.
*The only casinos I’ve visited have been either on reservations or in PA, and these had only slot machines (the one on the reservation had a few table games, if I remember right, but not many).
**This especially threw me off because, just a moment before, I’d remarked that I could really use a cup of coffee. Oh, Universe, you’re so silly!