Thursday, March 26, 2015

Luck Be A Lady

I spent part of my twenties living near a college town, and I could be found on any weekend night in a bar.  There were several in a row down the main street, and my friend and I would pick one to go to after work, drink beer and talk, and meet people there.  We’d sit at the bar and listen to the jukebox. 

One of the songs that played often was “Luck Be A Lady,” the Frank Sinatra version.  It was a strange song to play in a college bar, but it was the mid-90s and we were in the middle of a Rat Pack resurrection. Swing and jazz were enjoying a resurgence – I had my own collection of cocktail lounge music CDs stuffed in every pocket of my car.  And in the bar, between Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and the ubiquitous Devil Went Down to Georgia, once in a while we’d all sing along to this old hit.

They call you Lady Luck
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very un-lady-like way
Of running out

I never had much luck at winning chances.  When I was small I won one thing at an elementary school fair – a huge ragdoll someone’s mom made.  I kept that doll for years, until I grew out of it and gave it away.  I never really played with it – the doll sat in the corner of my room on a chair.  Hindsight tells me I should have kept her; she was the only proof I’ve had that one time, I was lucky.

You’re on this date with me
The pickin's have been lush
And yet before the evening is over
You might give me the brush

When I was in college I took an animal racing class as an elective.  We learned how greyhound dogs were bred and kept, learned about the different types of horse racing, and – most importantly – we learned how to place bets at the track.  Our class took a field trip to the local horse track to practice our betting skills.  I didn’t go; I was a poor college student.  I couldn’t afford to lose any money, which was a sure thing for me.

You might forget your manners
You might refuse to stay
And so the best that I can do is pray
Luck be a Lady tonight

Lottery tickets, 50/50 raffles, March Madness brackets, the occasional night out at a casino – my money was wasted.  I’d buy scratch-off lottery tickets at the convenience store and pray that my luck would turn.  I learned that the occasional free ticket wasn’t even enough to get excited about.  I heard of people who keep records of the money they win over the years – their winnings totaled in the thousands.  I never won. 

Luck be a Lady tonight
Luck if you've ever been a lady to begin with
Luck be a Lady tonight
Luck let a gentleman see
Just how nice a dame you can be
I know the way you've treated other guys you've been with
Luck be a Lady with me

My barfly status changed when I got married, and I found that even my husband has better luck than I do.  He’s won much more than I ever have – electronics, cash, clothing.  I tell myself that I’m lucky that he shares his winnings with me.  Still, someone sharing their winnings isn’t the same as winning it yourself.  It’s still discouraging.

A lady never leaves her escort
It isn't fair, it isn't nice
A lady doesn't wander all over the room
And blow on some other guys dice

When the kids were little I’d be hopeful that my unlucky genes stopped with me and I’d give them each a dollar to stick into a scratch-off machine at the grocery store.  They never won.  I convinced myself that I was the bad juju that was keeping them from being instant zillionaires and I taught them to throw their heads back in a dramatic fashion and exclaim disappointment every time, as if they thought that every scratch-off would make them rich. 

Let’s keep this party polite
Never get out of my sight
Stick with me baby, I'm the guy that you came in with
Luck be a lady tonight

I consider myself as lucky in love and health and life, and everybody knows those things are more valuable than winning lottery tickets any day.  But still.  It would be nice to win from one of those scratch-offs, at least once.


Sing it, Frank.

*******

This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #3: Talk about a time you got lucky.

20 comments:

  1. I rarely win anything either. Maybe a couple of bucks here and there on a lotto ticket but, compared to what I have spent over the years, I'm not left feeling very lucky about the occasional $5. I only won something big once; about 18 years ago, I won a pair of David Bowie tickets off the radio. What a great show :)

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    1. David Bowie tickets are nothing to sneeze at! That's so awesome~!

      Aaaaand you just reminded me that I also won concert tickets once - to see Alanis Morrissette. I guess I don't consider that lucky, since it took skill to wait long enough to be that tenth caller. ;)

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  2. I never win anything, either. I occasionally play bunko, and I don't win at that, nor do I get last place, which gets their $5 back. I come in NEXT to last. See? Serious loser! But I also don't lose my money at casinos like other people do (those ones who tell you how much they win but never how much they lost to get that).
    By the way, where did you go to college? A class in how to place bets on the horses?! Now THAT'S a liberal arts college!

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    1. Ha! Univeristy of Arizona had an animal science major. Most of the people in my class were jockeys looking for an easy A on their way to a degree in the racing industry.

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  3. I NEVER win anything. I try to teach my 2 year not to believe in luck, We have a jar of coins and she picks one out every night and places it in her piggy bank.
    :)

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    1. What a great idea to start your kids on saving money! I love that!

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  4. I haven't won much of anything either - although I get phone calls from a captain named Steve saying I've won a cruise to the Bahamas if I press 3 after the horn blows. Oh and lifetime supply of Viagra in my email.....damn it.
    Every once in a while, when I'm doing laundry, I win a few loonies and toonies. That counts right?

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    1. Sure it counts! I also have the chance to win big through email, although I usually don't have the $4000 lying around to release the $100K I'm sure to make in return. Darn it all.

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  5. 1. I love that song, well, I love Frank so there's that. 2. I never win either. There was that one time I was dating a radio DJ and he let me "win" tickets to a concert he was giving away, but that's cheating so it doesn't count. Or maybe it's karma stopping me from winning anything fair. Maybe I'm not trying my luck in the right places. Or haven't found it yet. I haven't given up yet...

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    1. I'm with you, and think I'm always just a step ahead of or behind lady luck. Someday we'll run into each other...

      Love your concert tickets story - oh, to have friends in high places!

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  6. Dare I say I've won a few times? Not lately, though, not lately. That song is a classic, and we can all hum it now and again when we wish Luck would be a Lady and give us a break.

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    1. It's okay to say you've won a few times. My SIL is a big winner, and she keeps winning. I wish some of her good juju would rub off on me!

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  7. I'm not very lucky either. My mom and her husband tend to win quite a bit at casinos and when I go with them, she passes out the 20s - I play until I run out and then she hands me another. My husband and I live near casinos on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and when his parents come to visit, all they want to do is go to the casino...which is no fun for me because I just know I'm not going to win.

    Now...we will be picking up a lottery ticket tomorrow when we go to Louisiana, but that's just a fun thing. We never expect to win so it's just a fun exercise in dreaming for us. ;)

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    1. The worst is going to casino with someone who wins big. That has happened to me more than once.

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  8. I don't win either! In fact, the exact opposite...I'm the person that will be begging the teacher not to choose me for something and then OF COURSE THEY CHOOSE ME. My boy is way lucky! It's crazy to just see him go up and put a quarter in a machine and then it spits out gold for him. I'm glad my unlucky gene skipped him.

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    1. I guess if you have lucky kids then you can always teach them to share their good fortune with their poor, unlucky mother. :)

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  9. Awwee I never win anything either, I know the feeling. But you are right, we are lucky in the areas that have more value over earthly things.

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    1. Yes, yes. But the thrill of winning something! It would be so great. :) I'm sure the reason why I don't win has something to do with what might happen to me if I did win all the time.

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  10. I never win anything either! Sigh.

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