When you look back on your life, do you ever think, Why me? Of course you do. You’re human. It happens to the best of us at the most inopportune moments. Those flashes of “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?!?” and “Does this ever happen to anyone else?!?!” and of course, my favorite, “WHY GOD, WHY?!?!”
I’ve not only had a few, I’ve had more than I care to share out loud. But since this is the internet, and I know you guys won’t tell anyone, I’ll give you the inside scoop on what it feels like to be the one who things always happen to but not to anyone else.
Ready? I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat.
- You know the chain that hangs in the line inside a fast food restaurant that tells you not to enter there. It’s on the front part, next to the registers, and blocks you from entering right up front so you have to travel that itty bitty maze until you order. I sat on it once as a kid, swung once on it, and fell straight on my ass when the chain broke. I’ve never EVER heard that happening to anyone else.
- I was “asked to withdraw” (fancy way of saying I got kicked out of school) after doing drugs for the first time. In 8th grade. On the school trip to D.C. Granted, it was LSD, which is a bit extreme for a 13 year old to be doing, and I hadn’t even smoked weed before that. Quite a few of us share this story as 23 of us got kicked out, which again, I’ve never heard anyone other than this group share that type of story from their past.
- Within the first three years of owning my Mini, I replaced every single tire. Maybe that’s specific to Mini drivers, but as I don’t currently know any other Mini drivers, I’m the only one who’s dealt with those financial setbacks so quickly after buying a brand new car.
- I had reconstructive ankle surgery in 2011 after 14 major ankle sprains in my lifetime. I’m definitely the only person I know who had to have major reconstructive surgery on a body part that had ZERO scar tissue show up in any MRI I had. And I had 3.
I also have no luck when it comes to winning things. I’m not alone in that clearly (hello, lottery anyone?). But a few weeks ago, something was definitely in the air. Timmy felt it. I felt it. The tide was turning my friends, and for the first time in my life, I was hit with pure dumb luck.
I talked Timmy into going to the Annual Meeting for the YWCA of Tampa Bay. I had attended a lunch fundraiser for them a few months back where during a silent auction, I won two purses. Silent auctions are my jam. They are the only way I’ll participate in anything that seems like gambling because I can track if someone has outbid me. I will stalk the table and give menacing looks to anyone who even THINKS of bidding on one of my items.
I have issues.
Anyways, ever since that luncheon, I told myself I would get involved with their organization once I moved closer to St. Pete. Their mission of Empowering Women, Eliminating Racism — it’s a winner. I got a hotel for the night in downtown St. Pete and hounded Timmy about his schedule to try to get him to attend with me.
It was held at the St. Pete Yacht Club, which I go by all the time when I walk along the waterfront after work. I just wanted to know more about their work and find an opportunity to help them. After 30 Years, 1 Wish, I’ve felt more than ever that fundraising is amazing, but I really want to do more. Now that I’ll be in St. Pete around the end of next month (YES I FOUND AN APARTMENT), I can get more involved!
During the dinner, they told us about a raffle. A raffle for a free week’s stay in a private villa in Tuscany. Italy. A free week in Italy, people. That is the shiznit. I went to Italy when I studied abroad in London in 2004: Rome, Milan, and Florence. Our weekend there was so filled with memories, and most of them involved getting me fatter. It was awesome, and I’ve been dying to go back ever since.
Raffle tickets were only $25 per entry, so I filled out a ticket and Timmy filled out two. The dinner went on and I knew that we weren’t going to win. Wait, let me correct myself: I wasn’t going to win. I never win anything, why should this time be any different? But this time was different. I felt deep down in my gut that something was different this time, but my experience kept telling me, “Yeah freaking right.”
Timmy was so arrogant, he kept saying things like, “We’re so winning this. How can we not win this? I win things all the time.” And I just rolled my eyes because this is our normal mode of communication. Once they were ready to announce the winner, 5 more people stood up saying they wanted to enter the raffle. With the addition of 5 new entries, yeah right, like I stood any chance whatsoever.
Timmy went to the bathroom, and I pulled out my phone and started to check FB. When you know you’re not going to win, FB is a great distraction. They got up to the microphone and announced the winner.
And with that, I threw my hands up in the air and let out a loud, “WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!”
Awesomeness cannot begin to describe the feeling you get when you win something of that magnitude. It felt like karma was finally starting to pay me back. For all the hardships I’ve had to endure this past year, for all the struggling I’ve done to get this job and to keep it, for anything I’ve ever had done wrong to me, I felt it being lifted off because mother effer, I WAS GOING TO MOTHER EFFING ITALY!
I ran up to the front of the banquet room, shaking, ready to take pictures with the CEO and CFO and wine guy and whoever else was there, with a smile I couldn’t get off my face. Timmy came running back into the room, and once he saw me at the front, he knew. He knew from the beginning we were going to win. He felt it. That astute boy of mine.
No airfare was included, which is a bummer, but there is no complaining. We have a week’s free stay in a private villa in San Sano, a village of 50 people about 1 hour south of Florence. It’s in a 12th-century building that used to be a monastery, and there is only one person in the town that speaks English. So as I’m sure you figured out yourself, Timmy will clearly be talking to everyone there nonstop.
The couple who donated their villa apparently own a number of super successful drycleaning stores around the Tampa Bay area. When we met them at the dinner and thanked them for their generosity in donating such an amazing prize, they couldn’t stop talking about the town. About all the fun we’re going to have there. Of all the relaxing we’re going to be doing. Of all the food we’re going to be stuffing down our mouthholes. It’s going to be glorious.
So ladies and gentleman, let this be a lesson to you all. When your hand is open to give, it’s open to receive.
And receive we did.