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Wheel of Misfortune

Luck is a cruel mistress

For someone who is pretty much the antithesis of a gambler, Fortuna has played a major role in my life of late.

I am not overstating my risk aversion. I'm so conservative when it comes to taking chances that I get preventive medical and dental checkups twice a year, I always have an umbrella with me and I easily have four years' worth of toilet paper stocked at any given time. (The latter is a survival instinct borne of dating a former boyfriend who showed so little forethought in bathroom tissue supply that he and his roommates were relegated to using pages from an old phone book in desperation. Understandably, I began packing my own whenever I visited.)

I have spent entire weekends in Las Vegas and Atlantic City without even considering parting with my hard-earned money unless I receive goods or services in exchange. The one occasion years ago that I did try gambling, I made a $5 bet at the roulette table which disappeared faster than my college roommate’s pants at a fraternity party.

Someone needs to explain to me why this is fun.

So it is totally frustrating that in the past two months, many things in my life were left to chance. And worse, none of them ended up in my favor.

It began with the White House Easter egg hunt. I entered us in the lottery the moment it opened and soon had visions of chatting up Michelle and her arms on the lawn of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Alas, due to 9 billion other people having the same idea, it was not to be. Next, I entered the HGTV dream home sweepstakes. Again, major FAIL. But the worst, by far, was convincing myself that our daughter was going to be in the miniscule percentage of those accepted into an arts magnet school in Fairfax County. Still not holding a winning hand.

And following all of these disappointments were the 1-2-3 punch of getting no love in the Peeps diorama contests this year; and embarrassing myself in the NCAA brackets.

So I figured I’d go for broke (if you will) and bought a lottery ticket when the jackpot surpassed $600 million last week. And, as you know by now, I was not the winner. As a matter of fact, I was so far from winning that I didn't manage to match even a single number.

There is one thing I did manage to win this year, and that was an entry in last Sunday's Cherry Blossom 10-miler race lottery. And I completely capitalized on this win by doing very little preparation or training. However, I figured a grueling 10-mile run might be just the thing to get my mind off the streak of recent bad luck. And it did. It completely shifted my focus on being a big loser to being a big loser with really sore calves and quads.

What are the odds?

Kathleen Canedo April 04, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Full disclosure: In the past 24 hours since I submitted this column, the LIRR found my iPhone and a wonderful person gave me two tickets to the White House Easter egg rolll. Guess I'm buying a lottery ticket tonight.
Alex Craige April 04, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I would buy two with that luck! Glad to hear about your phone its like loosing a limb!
Kathleen Canedo April 04, 2012 at 05:11 PM
No kidding, Alex. I almost cannot believe it. And I'm very lucky to have friend who live there who are nice enough to go pick it up and ship it to me.

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