Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Luck Be a Lady Tonight

It is true that I have been on a losing streak since last summer.  Casino Craps bosses would take the dice away after the number of snake eyes I can throw in a row and send me packing to their competition. It's bad for business to have a loser on the tables.

So what does a person do who has broken the mirror, while walking under a ladder, with a black cat in in her arms wearing an open umbrella hat?

She buys lottery tickets.

I admit to having bought them in the past.  I even ran the office lottery pool at work for a few years.  We had the windows on the big bus all clean and shiny so when we won, we could moon the executives as we left. 

Come to think of it, three of the biggies were in the pool as well.

While I was living with my folks, my dad would be the instigator.  He would have his tickets out, and ask me to check to see if he won.  When I told him to save the nitroglycerin-he wasn't a winner, he'd whisper so my mother wouldn't hear "Wanna go in on Friday's tickets?" Now, my mother hasn't missed a hiccup that he or any of us have whispered in over 50 years.  She instinctively knew about the day I skipped school in New York to watch my father's horse, Shining Lindy run in Cherry Hill.  My dad picked me up at the bus stop, we drove down, watched the horse run a money-losing fourth, he took me back to the bus and by the time I hit my apartment door, Sherlock was yelling through the phone from from New Jersey "I know that you missed school AND lost money! I hope you're happy."

So as mom squawked, "You're wasting your money!" we'd laugh and each throw in five bucks. Neither of us were very lucky with lotteries or the ponies, so we never had to worry about the photo opportunity at lottery headquarters.

Dad only liked to bet once a week, unless the pool was big. So on the other lottery day, I'd buy tickets on my own.  And plan how I'd spend it. Because winning the lottery is all about the spending.

Of course, I would give a share to each of my sons.  But give it outright, or put it in a trust?  I'd hire a financial planner for that.  Then give some to my family, in-laws, my BFF.  Set the nieces and nephews up with college funds. Because of my generous wedding gifts, I'd surely be at all the front tables instead of being stuck next to the men's room.

I'd hire a realtor for the right piece of property for a family compound that would rival the Kennedys, then hire a great builder to build me a cool house with adjoining wings for each of my sons,  and guest cottages for my friends. Hire the right NY stylist to get me in Architectural Digest so strangers would envy my success.

But wait-I can't be photographed for that until I look better.  So I'd hire a personal trainer and nutritionist.  Thor.  A buff, Fabio-looking man who will sniff disdainfully at my eating Fluff out of a jar, smile wistfully at my resolve and turn my body into a Victoria's Secret Angel wanna-be.

Then I'll need a plastic surgeon to get rid of those bags under my eyes, the sag around my jowls. Maybe a little off the middle...

And that's where I stop. 

Because I realize that I don't need a winning lottery ticket for what I have.  I already have my sons, daughters-in-law and granddaughters close enough-either in person or Skype to talk to when I want to say "I love you" and hear it in return.  I have a pretty neat house that's been put back together following Sandy.  I have the obligatory dysfunctional family nearby, and the best BFF one could ask for.  Bags and jowls aside, there are laugh lines around my eyes, and I can model for Ruben's oil paintings if not Victoria's Secret's catalogs.

Lou Gehrig's speech 74 years ago could have been written by me today.  You've been reading about the bad breaks I got last year. Yet today I consider myself a very lucky woman.  I've had more than my share of bad situations, but I have an awful lot to live for. 

I'm still going to buy lottery tickets though.  Because I would REALLY like to have that Thor.

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