I’ve never considered myself lucky. I like to believe that the majority of good things that have happened to me in my life, whether they be amazing friendships, a wonderful opportunity, or a job I love, happened not just because of chance, but also because of hard work, determination or at the very least, reasons that were within my control.
Luck, to me, is subjective to chance. Finding money. Bumping into an old friend. Being in the right place at the right time.
Luck, to me, is having never caught even a foul ball at a baseball game and then catching two home run balls in one night. From back-to-back batters.
I imagine 20-year-old Cinncinnati Reds fan Caleb Lloyd also considers that luck, considering that’s exactly what happened to him on Monday night.
Now, I don’t discount that there was also a little skill involved -- after all, bare-handing a baseball isn’t an easy feat -- but no matter how much Lloyd learned in Little League, had he not been in the exact right place at the exact right time, none of it ever could have happened.
Even better? Apparently Caleb didn’t even want to go to the game because he was busy playing video games, but his friend “dragged” him there. Good thing (not lucky!) Caleb finally agreed because in the 4th inning he snagged two home run balls in a row from back-to-back batters. Tell me that isn't more memorable than saving the princess in World of Warcraft.
I mean, has anyone EVER caught a home run ball from the next at bat while still holding the ball from the previous home run in his hand? (There are two other instances of people catching two home run balls in one game, but one happened in a game with 18 innings and the other guy wasn’t still holding the ball from the previous home run, so whatever. Those totally aren’t as special.)
Anyway, all of this got me thinking: What exactly is “luck” and what do people considering to be the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to them? So I broke out my most intense journalist skills and, you know, asked Twitter and Facebook. Here are just a few of the responses:
(Oh, and I apologize in advance for how depraved some of my friends are, but, let’s be honest, would you expect anything different?)
“As corny as it sounds, my children. I had to have a hysterectomy right after my second. Both were "miracles" and I was lucky.” -@HeatherD13
"Winning a contest for two tickets to the Surfer Blood concert and the opportunity to play a song on stage with the band." -@PumaMat
"Found $160 in a parking lot when I had no money for groceries.” -@apt9000
"Won £1000 on a tv game show." -@MissFinden
"I moved to new York with a suitcase and $250. Within 2 weeks, I had a job AND a bed bug free mattress delivered to my door no charge." -@CocoDavies
“I haven't ever had an STD despite all the unsafe sex I've had.” –Anonymous
“I once fell down at a party but didn't spill a drop of my wine.” -@adholden
“I once guessed the right amount of jellybeans in a jar when I was 8 or so. For the grand prize, I got a gift certificate to Toys R Us and bought a basketball hoop. I thought I was magic.” –Erika A.
“Easily the luckiest thing that ever happened to me was when I found out that my fucking crazy/shitty/awful ex-girlfriend (whom I was heartbroken over from our recent breakup) was having an affair with her married co-worker (and father of 3). Sounds shitty, but finding out revealed what an awful human being she -was- IS and made me so thrilled that she was no longer my problem.” –Anonymous
“In college, I phoned a friend. He answered and I said word for word: ‘I'm alone with four drunk college girls who will only have sex with me if I bring a friend. Basically, I need to borrow your body for a little while.’ Not my luckiest, but his. My luckiest is thing is every moment that I don't get fired for being a liability.” -Anonymous
“I once stepped off a bus and found three five dollar bills on the ground. I looked to see who dropped it and saw half a dozen potential possibilities, so I kept the cash and bought sushi for lunch.” – Allan M.
“Sex with a woman in Heidelberg -- with no protection—while her husband was in the next room. Lucky I didn't get AIDS. Or get killed. Or both.” –Anonymous “P.s. I never asked her name.”
“I won about $2k in a football suicide pool picking the Giants when they beat the Pats in the Super Bowl. It all went straight to Gucci!” –Stacy S.
Oh, and there were all the people (read: two) who said meeting me. But I'm not including those because SARCASM IS HURTFUL.
As for mine? I guess I’d have to say it was the time in 4th grade when my best friend and I found a garbage bag full of tickets redeemable for prizes at a local arcade. We took as many as we could and then headed to Pier 39 to cash them in. I got every single stuffed animal I could, including the biggest bear on the top shelf. My brother (with whom I was forced to share my tickets, much to my dismay) traded his in for a double tape deck with high speed dubbing and a digital radio. I'm sorry, but this was in 1987, so if that's not the coolest arcade prize ever, I don't know what is.
Other than that, not much has happened to me in my life that I’d consider pure luck. I’ve found some money here and there, I’ve won a few raffles, and occasionally I’ve been in the right place at the right time. But for the most part: I’m just not one of those people who has totally random and amazing things happen to her.
Because just to be clear: “Getting lucky?” That’s not luck. That’s skill. And by skill, I mean alcohol and low self-esteem.
Anyway: What's the luckiest thing that's ever happened to you? Share your stories in the comments and make me jealous.