Because I’ve always been fairly lucky, I’ve also always been fairly superstitious.
Superstition is luck’s wicked step-sister. And she can be such an ironic little bitch sometimes.
In high school, I kept a piece of wood on my keychain for knocking on if the need arose. But in my older and wiser age, I’ve taken to just never saying things that would require a knock on wood. It’s safer, right?
When I wrote that post about the lottery, I didn’t mention that on the day I bought my ticket, the topic of lottery dreams came up in a status meeting at work. I mentioned that I had dreamt I’d won, and my coworkers urged me to play. Someone else asked us if we’d heard about that lady who’s won the lottery, like, five times. We were all amazed. And then another coworker said, yeah, but for every person who wins the lottery five times, there’s always another person who gets struck by lightning five times. It was just a matter of karma.
And I left the meeting feeling a bit unsettled, because if we’re taking karma here, I definitely belong in the struck-by-lightning group instead of the won-the-lottery group.
A storm had just rolled in when I was leaving work on Friday. As soon as I exited the elevator, I saw a bright bolt of lightning strike very near the parking lot, followed immediately by a loud clap of thunder. I was holding my car keys and my steel water bottle. I ran shamelessly to my car.
Superstition is the reason I didn’t write about playing the lottery until after I’d already lost.
A couple of weeks ago, I was having a chat with a friend of Boyfriend’s. I’m not sure how the topic came up, but we began talking about jinxing, specifically in the case of traffic tickets. I said, “I won’t even tell you how long it’s been since I’ve gotten a ticket.” He agreed that, yep, a surefire way to get a ticket is to divulge the amount of time that’s lapsed since your last one.
Later that night, I began to wonder if my saying “how long it’s been” suggests that it has been a while since my last ticket, which would constitute a jinx. But I put the thought away.
And then the next day I got a speeding ticket.
I accepted my ticket gracefully; I was due. I thanked the cop when he told me to drive safely, albeit $225 poorer.
I also began revealing that I haven’t received a ticket since November of 2003, for failing to operate my vehicle in a safe manner when I totaled my car. I haven’t received a speeding ticket since April of 2003. I figured I’ve been exceptionally lucky, really, to not have a ticket in all those years, given I drive like a banshee and speed like a Cullen. If I can’t be a vampire in real life, you better believe I’m going to drive like one.
Last night before I left Austin for Dallas, I told everyone who told me to drive safely that I really was going to mean it from now on when I say I will: I don’t intend to speed. Ever. Or at least until the sting of that $225 isn’t so acute.
And I did drive the speed limit. The whole way. And not even the real speed limit. I drove the night speed limit. As cars whizzed by on either side of me going 80 miles per hour, I stubbornly kept my cruise control on 65. I was not going to get another ticket, dammit.
I thought I was home free when I exited the highway in Dallas, a mere two miles from my apartment. And then I saw lights in my rearview mirror. I had failed to come to a complete stop at that inexplicable stop sign that should be a yield sign on the exit ramp.
When I handed the cop my license and registration, I burst into tears. I apologized. I begged.
I still got a ticket.
My older brother says traffic tickets come in threes. And you know what? I’m just going to go ahead and plan on it. Publicly.