While I was walking the dog this morning I found a penny on the pavement (note to my far flung friends: a pavement is what you should be calling your sidewalk!).
When I was a kid, my nan always used to say ‘see a penny, pick it up, all the day it’ll bring you luck’. Some years ago now (gosh, probably 11 years now I come to think of it – my, how time flies, it’s terrifying!), when we were doing the rounds of University applications with my daughters, one of them had an interview at Bristol Uni. We had to stay overnight and had some time to kill in the morning, so had a wander around town.
During our wanderings I found a penny on the pavement and quoted the ditty. After some discussion over who should pick it up, it was decided that although she was the one who needed the luck for her interview, since it was me who saw it first, I would be the only likely beneficiary of said ‘luck’
‘But’ she said and quoted ‘if you put it in your shoe, more good luck will come to you’
‘what about ‘if you give it to a friend, your good luck will never end’ I countered.
‘I’m your daughter though, I don’t count as a friend (?? ? I dispute this strongly!)
Suffice it to say, we debated the point for some time before I picked the darn thing up and ended up having it rattle about in my shoe for the rest of the day. (actually, for a good part of the day it was in her shoe on my foot, because she’d forgotten to bring anything but her manky old trainers to attend the interview in, so we had to swap. Though, please understand, I would only put my delicate, perfect feet in those manky things under exceptional circumstances). I figured that I so badly wanted her to get the result she wanted, that my good luck would automatically transfer to her.
Well, wouldn’t you know it. She didn’t get offered a place in Bristol, so it didn’t work.
Or did it?
In the end, she was offered a place at Cardiff, which she loved. If she had ended up in Bristol, she would never have met her lovely boyfriend, or bought their perfect little house. She may never have experienced some of the great things she’s done since moving there. Indeed, it could be argued that the ‘good luck’ was in not getting the place at Bristol.
You see, I figure that luck is one of those things that we experience in different ways depending on our state of mind. In fact, on the whole, I believe it’s the little, seemingly insignificant things that ultimately make us the lucky ones.
Just like the one and only time I won a raffle prize.
It was an ‘own brand value’ tin of rice pudding.
Yeah, how lucky am I??
Whilst I was bemoaning the fact that it was not a bottle of champagne, or a yacht, to cheer me up, my other daughter ventured
‘Well I like rice pudding’ she was probably about twelve at the time.
‘It’s yours’ I said
‘I don’t want it, I was just saying…’
‘nope, it’s yours now’
And it sat in our cupboard for years, waiting for her to eat it. It became a standing joke in our family.
‘Helen, do you want rice pudding for afters?’
Eventually, I told her that if she didn’t eat it I’d sneak it into her bag when she left for university (there were still several years to go) and that she’d be glad of it then. Though she pooh-poohed my threat, I did indeed sneak it into her bag when she left home, and eventually she sheepishly confessed she’d eaten it’s seven year old contents, and brought me back the washed out tin to keep as a souvenir.
Ok, our family is weird, but I still have the tin (see above!), and it still makes me chuckle that we kept that particular in-joke up for so long. I’m not sure a bottle of champagne (or a yacht) would have given us so many laughs. So yes, I was indeed, very lucky to have won it. I’m also lucky to have a daughter that still loves me despite my endless teasing.
Now, can someone tell me how long I have to keep this penny in my shoe? Do I have to keep the shoe on all day? Does the luck stop as soon as I take my shoe off? Will it still work if I quickly transfer it to my slipper?
Oh, and by the way… It’d still be nice to win a bottle of champagne…or a yacht! 🙂
Great post! Oh, so many quirky family exchanges like this are what makes magic out of the mundane. Thanks for reminding me!
Makes some fun memories too! x
What a wise penny that was! I love how often seemingly bad results (being turned down by Bristol) can turn in to better outcomes. I’m a little too practical to believe in luck, but I think that a positive outlook helps to turn lemons into lemonade. Your rice pudding story is priceless!
Hehee… I knew she’d succumb in the end…. 😄