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It's always a little startling, to run into a coworker in a non-work… - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
It's always a little startling, to run into a coworker in a non-work setting. I was at 7-11, heading for the door when I saw her. She was in jeans and a t-shirt, clearly having been gone for awhile. I was still in my work clothes, having only just escaped. I saw her standing in line -- I cocked my head at her, and said her name followed by a question mark.

She looked over, and I saw her face go through the same startled recognition I'd just gone though. Then she grinned and said, "Hey! What are you doing here?" Her eyes fell on my hands, "Buying dinner?"

I smiled sheepishly, following her glance to my styrofoam hotdog container. "Yeah, basically, yes. Dinner... and desert!" I gestured dramatically, first with the hotdog in my left hand, then with the bottle of Nyquil in my right hand. "Still trying to shake this stupid cold, it just won't leave me alone."

Every now and then, I get an obnoxious craving for one of those awful 7-11 hotdogs. this evening it struck me as I was driving home. I have to put tons of stuff on it, all the stuff they offer -- chili, cheese, ketchup, mustard, and onions tonight. I can't believe I eat such things... fortunately a creation this nasty will keep the cravings away for months, even years!

"And what are YOU doing here tonight?" I asked her.

"Picking up my lottery ticket," she said, her sheepish smile mirroring my own. 7-11 is full of guilty pleasures, I guess. "I have to pretend I have a chance, you know."

"Well, I'll see you tomorrow." Then I joked, "Unless you win, of course!"

"Oh no I won't win, don't worry."

I wanted to ask, "Well then why are you bothering?" But I didn't. Instead I just laughed, waved, and headed out the door.

I have always said that the lottery is just a tax on people who are bad at math. I've never understood: why would people throw money away at something which is less likely than being struck by lightning?

But as I drove away, I reflected about this. "I have to pretend I have a chance," she said. Maybe it's all about playing imagination games. Maybe it's about hope, and giving yourself a chance to dream. Wishing on stars, believing in the impossible. Maybe a dollar a day is worth a little extra hope in your life.

(But I still think that saving that dollar a day will lead to more long-term fulfillment -- even if you're giving up that short-term chance to dabble in hope and miracles.)
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Comments
greyyguy From: greyyguy Date: August 31st, 2005 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree on the lottery being a tax on people bad at math. The problem is I'm good at math and I still play the lottery. Plus if I don't check the numbers for a little while, then I have a couple of days that (according to Schrodinger) I both am and am not a millionaire ;)
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jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: August 31st, 2005 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)

"I have to pretend I have a chance,"

That's how I feel about dating.
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: August 31st, 2005 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
you've never wished upon a star or made a wish on a lost eyelash? it's all the same. there's nothing wrong with dabbling in hope and miracles... sometimes it's all ya got, yannow?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 31st, 2005 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh sure, I wish on stars all the time, but those are free. I even throw coins in fountains sometimes, but only pennies, nickles, and dimes....

Spending a dollar a day on the lottery is $365 a year! I could do a weekend in New York, or Chicago. I could buy a new digital camera, or an ipod.

Or I could buy dinner and a movie for two. Gosh movies are expensive these days... heehee.

But I still believe in stars and hope and miracles. I just don't believe in the lottery. (:
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: August 31st, 2005 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
coins in fountains add up, too... i'm not being picky, honest! i don't play the lottery, but i know many people that do. if it makes them happy, by all means, it's their dollar(s) to spend (or waste). it's all in how you look at it (:
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 31st, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh definitely... to each their own!
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renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 31st, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
heh...fun joke, and a good point!

I have no problem with paying for entertainment, and I've tried casinos a few times also. They're a little scary though: I find myself easily sliding into the "i'm so close, just a little bit more" sort of mentality. I have to be very firm with myself about spending no more than I'd planned on, because the temptation is very real.

Anyway, maybe it's worth a tiny little dollar. But not a full-sized one! hee, just kidding. (:
ms_hecubus From: ms_hecubus Date: September 2nd, 2005 08:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the scratch off BINGO tickets. Even if I don't win, I got to play a game.
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