Recommended wine for today’s entry: 2007 Andre Brunel Costes-du-Rhone Rouge from Rhone, France. An article in a recent Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel listed wines with great taste for under $15, and this one warrants a try. They describe it as having “the perfume and presence of grenache, the spine of cinsault, the depth of syrah.” And they suggest serving with, “Any red meat dish, of course, but also firm, aged cheeses or bean- or vegetable-based ragouts.” Sounds like just the thing to sip with Szechuan noodles leftovers, Day 4. Gotta love this empty-nest thing.
I got lucky last night.
Right now, men are thinking something sexual. Women, on the other hand, have a little more going on in their minds.
So, depending upon their life stage, they are thinking that either: I found a great twist on the cosmopolitan that is calorie-free and doesn’t slosh all over me after the second sip; or my children started to do their own laundry; or I found a swimsuit that didn’t make me look old and flabby; or I slept through the night without Ambien AND the cat didn’t silhouette herself against the window and flatten her ears so that she looks like a gargoyle, causing the dog to growl a guttural yet quizzical litany of sounds for upwards on an hour.
Well, actually, the last thing was true, but I awakened to something even luckier —
I got an email from Mr. Shaffie Bin Hassan.
It seems that, while we were sleeping, even the gargoyle kitty, this family was getting $500,000 richer. All because Exxon Mobil Online Award team pulled MY e-mail address from a list of 1,000.000, which is a proper number in I-don’t-know-what culture, and wow — all I have to do is give them a few tidbits of information and BLAM just like that, I’m rich.
Of course I’m excited, but, like lottery winners, I am going to seek a financial advisor’s input before I go claim the money. (Also, I’ll promise to build a new house for all my extended family and then be forced to renege after I see the after-tax tally.)
Please forgive me for gloating, but I can count my lucky experiences on one hand:
1) In fifth grade, I heard my name announced at the Wilder Elementary School Fall Festival. Scurrying to the stage, I reached up to claim my prize from the mean-as-shit principal who had yelled at me for rolling my eyes at her just days earlier. My prize? A sewing kit. Not just ANY sewing kit, though, this one was in a brown faux-wood plastic tackle box.
I wasn’t choosy — I mean, at that age, I wanted a LOT of things — STP stickers, Crazy Daisies, a new ball glove, boobs … but you tell me, what 10-year-old girl (who DID NOT go to school with Laura Ingalls) WOULD WANT A FREAKING SEWING KIT?
Seriously? I’d like to meet with the PTA’s VP of Getting Shitty Prizes.
Not so lucky.
2) Early in my career as a national sales representative, where I wore a suit and was highly paid and represented more than 200 of the top radio stations in the country and went to the hospital — twice — with panic attacks brought on by the stress of working with chauvinistic station managers, I won another contest. Because I was hapless and prone to crying, the office assistants, Susan and Julie, were always nice to me. So one day, as I burst into the office, they said, “it’s the cuckoo bird — quick, everyone dial xxx-xxxx.”
Because I blindly accept what anyone tells me, and yes, I would follow a herd of sheep off a cliff, of course I was the one who got though to … whomever it was I was calling. So I was really taken aback to find that I’d won $1,000. (Again, the pre-tax figure is much more alluring, and yes, I did give some of the winnings to Susan and Julie, though I still feel guilty I didn’t split it evenly.) But a few hundred dollars? Cha-ching! L-U-C-K-Y!!
Except the radio station I won it from made me say my whole name, really, really clearly, and they kept recording until I squealed like a 4-year-old on Christmas morning.
Lucky? You bet. Until the stations I represented in Dallas heard me, screeching about how much I loved KVIL as the soundbite aired over and over again … on their competition.
Not so lucky.
3) Then, on a trip to Las Vegas, I was the laughingstock of our group of eight friends. I couldn’t win to save my life. I’d memorized the “right moves” for any possible contingency in blackjack; I scouted out the winning slot machines and lurked in the shadows behind the people until I could take their seat; if I rolled the dice in craps, the entire table bet the Don’t Pass, essentially betting I was a loser. They were right.
Until I found Little Caeser’s. And this was before the pizza chain.
It was a storefront casino across the street and a few gutters away from Caesar’s Palace. It was lit by buzzing flourescent lights and the floor was stickier than a frat house. But they had $1 blackjack tables and the intimidation factor was nil — in fact, some of the dealers needed help adding their cards if there were more than 3 of them or if they got those ghastly tricky combos like 6+7. But here, here at Little Caesars, I was a big-time gambler. The cocktail waitresses loved me — for $1 tip each time, they kept the Dixie cups of warm Old Milwaukee coming.
And I won. Once my chips stacked up to $100, I cashed in for a crisp C-note. I carefully folded it so Ben Franklin’s face smiled outward, and tucked it into my ankle-high white sock (I know how to dress for a night in Vegas, baby). Then, gleeful, I skipped down the sidewalk to meet up with my husband (who was in a real casino) and show him that I – was – no – longer – the – Black – Hole.
Except while cavorting from too much warm beer, I hopped on my friend Karl’s back for a piggyback ride, we both fell through one of the manicured hedges at some snooty casino, setting the landscaping look back at least five years, and …
I lost my crisp C-note.
Not so lucky.
And I haven’t won anything — even from a scratch-off lottery ticket — in decades.
UNTIL NOW, thanks to Mr. Shaffie Bin Hassan drawing MY e-mail from 1,000.000 possibilities.