Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lucky Charms

I’ve been racking my brain, trying to think of one good St. Patrick’s day tidbit to write about, and I finally realized I’ve got nothing. No red hair. No Irish blood. No green rivers here in the desert. And like Lisa said, the only green thing I drink is green tea (which I do drink every day, by the way.) But when I think of St. Paddy’s Day (Thank you, Maureen for the spelling tip!), I think of the luck of the Irish, and one thing I do have experience with is lucky charms. See, I’m sort of obsessed with them.

My oldest lucky charm is not actually a charm but a sweatshirt. I got it on a trip that I took with my parents and sister to Montana back when I was in seventh grade. We were there in the summer, but it was really cold, snowing, and as we were sightseeing we had to buy sweatshirts to keep warm. I got an MSU one, and when the lady handed it to me, she told me that we were visiting the valley of good spirits, and that made the sweatshirt good luck.

Needless to say, I took her very literally. I would go on to wear the sweatshirt (which is not the most attractive sweatshirt ever, I might add), through every single music audition all throughout junior high and high school. And I had a lot of them – I played the clarinet competitively for four years.

And then I took the sweatshirt to college, and I wore it every time I had a big exam. I even wore it as a senior when I took my GRE’s! Though I haven’t worn it in probably about ten years, it’s still hanging in my closet, because it feels like it would only be inviting bad luck to get rid of it.

Another lucky charm I had were these gecko earrings my grandparents bought me once in Hawaii -- apparently, geckos are supposed to bring good luck. I used to wear them (along with the sweatshirt) to all those auditions. Until one day the gecko broke off the earring stud. After that, I put the gecko in the change compartment of my wallet, and I still have it in there.

And speaking of change compartment I also have a Sacajawea Dollar coin in there that my grandfather gave me. When he gave it to me, I was going through a streak of bad luck – my husband and I were moving across the country, and our car had just broken down, leaving us stranded in Pittsburgh of all places, just near my grandparents. After we survived the worst thunderstorm ever and a wild ride with a crazy tow truck driver, my grandfather picked us up and took us out to dinner. On the way into the restaurant, he saw the dollar coin on the sidewalk, and he picked it up and handed it to me. “This will bring you good luck,” he told me. And even though this was ten years ago, I still have it in my wallet.

It’s not that I believe that luck is everything –because I don’t. I did well in clarinet competitions because I practiced; I did well on the GRE’s because I studied A LOT, and though I feel incredibly lucky to be a published author, I also know I worked really, really hard for it. But I also believe that working hard, isn’t always enough, that sometimes you need that little extra something, that little beam of good fortune to get you where you want to go. So I know will always hang on to my good luck charms, and that I’ll also gladly accept new ones!

What about you? What brings you luck?


Maureen Lipinski said...

I'm the same with jewelry. I have "lucky" earrings (that I'm wearing right now!) and lately I've been wearing this necklace that I randomly "found" in my jewelry box. When I discovered it, my brain went, "This will bring you luck!"

And, yeah, publishing is so unpredictable that we could ALL use a little luck!

Jillian Cantor said...

Oh I totally forgot about my lucky necklace! And you're right -- I definitely do feel like I need the publishing luck!

Lisa Patton said...

When I first read your headline I thought you were talking about the cereal. I just bought a box yesterday. Guess what, I have a lucky sweatshirt, too! It's a CATS (the Broadway show) sweatshirt and I've had it since the mid 80's!

Jillian Cantor said...

Ha! Lisa, I was going to call the post "magically delicious" but I didn't think anyone else would think it was as funny as I did :-)

Lesley Livingston said...

Well, you guys all know I have a penchant for "Lucky Charms" (magically delicious and otherwise!)

Your entire post made me grin, Jillian!

Tracy Madison said...

Love your post, Jillian! I also have my "lucky shirt," "lucky coffee mug," "lucky necklace," etc.