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Meggan Connors to the blog!
She's here to discuss her loveable longing for luck and here's what she had to say...
Do You Believe in Luck?
Logically, I shouldn’t believe in luck.
I come from a family of scientists, none of whom believe in luck. But for all of that, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time breaking down my heritage and deciding which nationalities are lucky and which ones are unlucky.
For instance, I’ve decided the Dutch are, generally, lucky. Score one for me! At the other end of the spectrum, the Irish are either tremendously lucky or horribly unlucky. There is no in-between with the Irish. And the English? They’re the “meh” in the luck sandwich. Sometimes, they’re lucky, sometimes they’re not.
My brother has Dutch luck. I’ve never met anyone who is as lucky as he is. It’s like he has a guardian angel looking after him, a leprechaun in his back pocket, and Ganesh is sitting on his shoulder. My brother can wake up in a foreign country with no pants, no shoes, and not a cent to his name, and leave with a new set of clothes, a bus ticket home, two new friends, and $500 in his pocket.
Sure, that sounds absurd, but it actually happened. (Don’t ask about the no pants part. It’s a long story.)
This is the same brother who will tell you he doesn’t believe in luck. In his opinion, we make our own fate, and we make our own luck.
Hmph. The lucky always say that.
As for me, I have Irish luck. It’s either really good or really bad. For instance, if I’m at a college or professional sporting event, and there’s even the remotest possibility that the ball could hit me in the face, I’m pretty much guaranteed that it will. I remember once, I was at a basketball game, and I was seated in the 15th row from the floor. Great seats. I looked over at my mother and said,
“Ma, we have to move. The ball is going to hit me in the face.”
She told me to stop being melodramatic. Or, rather, that’s what she was in the process of saying when…the ball bounced over all the people standing in front of me and hit me in the face. On TV, too. It was super awesome, because what senior in high school doesn’t want to be hit in the face by a basketball on national TV, while sitting next to her mother? It was more spectacular because I knew I’d be starting college there the following Fall.
This has happened often enough that I’ve learned that nosebleed seats aren’t so bad.
What are the chances of that? My oh-so-lucky brother may not believe in the Fortune smiling down upon him, but I certainly do. Because those of us who suffer under the yoke of unluckiness from time to time recognize Fortune’s smile, even when it’s not bestowed upon us.
But my luck has also been really, really good. It’s come through for me when I’ve needed it. And trust me, it was luck, chance, fortune… whatever name you decide to give it, it was all about luck. Not skill, not some innate ability, not positioning myself so that I could recognize and seize opportunity when it struck. No, it was dumb luck, plain and simple.
A few years ago (okay, more than a few), when my husband and I were flat broke, he took me out to dinner to celebrate my graduation. I knew we didn’t have a whole lot of money, since we’d been eating Ramen for the last month, but I didn’t know we were flat broke—I’d been ensconced in my study, writing my thesis, for the last six months, all while working two jobs and going to school. I hadn’t slept more than four hours a night in those six months, and I was exhausted.
But I’d finished the darn thing, and I had a job lined up that I would start two days later. Husband wanted to reward me for all my hard work, so he took me out to a dinner we couldn’t afford (at a coffee shop in a casino), and while we were there, he told me he wasn’t even sure we had enough money to afford a meal and drinks, so he warned me to “eat cheap.”
And so I did.
At the end of a terrible meal, we had a single dollar left over.
Outside of the coffee shop was a slot machine. One of the high paying ones. Out here, it’s known as MegaBucks. The payouts are over a million dollars, if you’re lucky and have bet the maximum you’re allowed, which is three dollars.
I had a buck, and, on a lark (and knowing the odds—I’d been doing stats for six months, after all), I went ahead and put that single dollar into the MegaBucks machine. I turned to talk to husband, so I never saw the eagles line up.
I heard an alarm, though, and, for a moment, I was convinced the place was on fire. That is until I glanced at husband’s face and saw he’d gone pale.
No, I hadn’t hit MegaBucks. I hit the MegaMini, the one just below the massive win. If I’d played three dollars, I would have won something like $150,000. As it stood, I won $7,000.
For two kids who had resorted to eating Ramen noodles for weeks on end, that $7000 was more money than we’d see in months.
What was that but Fortune, smiling on us, when we really needed it? I haven’t won anything since (I suppose you have to play more often than I do in order to win, though), and I don’t expect to. After all, Fortune, like lightning, rarely strikes twice. Well, more to the point, she rarely strikes me twice.
So while I think we have the ability to shape our own destinies, I believe in luck. I keep thinking I can pull another one out, and I’ll win the lottery or something (again, there is that whole playing the lottery in order to win it thing, but those are just details, right?). But the way karma works with me, I’m actually more likely to be struck by lightning a few times.
And, from what I’ve been told, it’s not worth it. I heard this from a friend who’s been struck not one, not twice, but three times. Talk about unlucky. And he doesn’t even have a winning lottery ticket to show for it.
A Note from the Book Boost: Meggan, what a great post! I love this story and it sounds just like my life! I've been on the Ramen diet once or twice myself and I've never won anything on a slot machine--although I did win an Amazon Kindle once (back when they first came out)--that's my biggest prize yet and I'll take it! But you've got to come back and tell us more about your brother's missing pants. You can't just leave us hanging like that! And it is your lucky day--the Book Boost will offer up an e-copy of your book to one lucky winner today on your behalf.
When her father loses her in a poker game, Lexie Markland is sent to work in the household of Nicholas Wetherby for one year to pay off the debt. Innocent, but not naïve, she is savvy enough to know she must maintain her distance from this man, who frustrates her with his relentless teasing but whose kisses bring her to her knees. Because although she may be just another conquest to him, it’s not just her heart in jeopardy should she succumb to Nicholas’ considerable charms.
Since his brother's death almost a year before, nothing has held Nicholas’ attention for long—not women, not booze, not even an excellent hand at cards. Nothing, that is, until he meets the woman he won in a drunken night of poker. Intrigued by his prize and her chilly reserve, he makes it his mission to crack Lexie’s cool demeanor. But even as passion explodes between them, the question remains: will Nicholas be able to take the ultimate risk...and gamble on love?
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