Magical Thinking Isn’t All Bad

Candy is dandy. And magical.

Bingo games I’ve ever won. Ever.: 0

Sweepstakes prizes I’ve won as an adult: at least 7

People who will tell you we have no control over our luck: 33.2 million

I’m not delusional. I’m just saying. The very same people who will say that we shouldn’t plan because God laughs, ha ha ha, will turn right around and knock on wood. We’re a very superstitious bunch for all of our evolving into Science and Technology Central.

Let me tell you a story. One day, maybe six months ago, I went out to get the mail. There was a box inside. Had I ordered checks? No. Contacts? No. In this day and age of email and nonsensical oil change coupons invading my mailbox, I have to admit to a little bit of excitement. A box? For me?

It was heavy. As I took it inside and cut it open, I found that I had won something. And here I was, thinking that I hadn’t even entered anything. Oh, silly, silly me.

My grandmother, always full of magical things, is an avid sweepstaker. As I was unloading the dishwasher, checking out bargains at the grocery store and starting to feel Groundhog Day-like, she was filling out address labels and mailing things and arranging for me to win something.

What was it? Second prize for Drawing 2 in the Wonka Rocks Your World Sweepstakes. The SweetTarts staring back at me were worth $23.40. I mean, come on, the day just got way better after that.

First of all, I had a whole drugstore-sized box of candy only for me. Second of all, I did not have to share. Wait, that’s the same thing.

When I was a kid I remember going to the fish camp (if you are not from the South and don’t know about fish camps, you must drive down and try some popcorn shrimp, hush puppies and sweet tea) and getting one of the empty cardboard candy boxes near the exit. While my grandfather paid for our meal, my sister and I got to peruse the kid-height multi-colored candy selection. Lineberger’s Fish Camp had every kind of candy you could imagine, and even a few you couldn’t. The smells of chocolate and pure sugar in the lobby battled with the fried batter/hot oil smell from the kitchen.

I used to imagine what it would be like to fill up that box with one of everything. My grandmother was pretty into candy, and she wasn’t too stingy. But I can’t say we ever got to fill it up.

Now, I had an entire box of SweetTarts. Naturally, I started eating them right away. They will only rot your teeth out if you never brush your teeth. And I do. So I stuffed one of those rolls o’ SweetTarts in my purse and headed out on the town (okay. To Target).  I put one roll in my car and one near the home phone. You never know when the nibbles will strike.

Maybe from there on out, the days were the same as ever. Maybe I still unloaded the dishwasher and went for runs and called people and checked the clearance racks at Target. But I was smiling a lot as I did it. People smiled back. I got good service. And the kingdom was peaceful.

Try magical thinking. Believe that you can control your own fate. Enter things. Smile at people. Wish them good things, like that maybe they’ll win a box of their favorite candy worth $23.40. Wouldn’t that make the world a better place?