“I never win anything!” I whined when I wrote my name down and dropped it into the bowl for a drawing at a local hair and spa salon. They were having a wonderful wine-and-cheese party on the celebration of their twentieth anniversary. Can you imagine my squeal when they called that very night and told me that indeed, I HAD won the half-day of beauty and pampering? I am so excited.
The package is unreal: I’ll get a facial, a mani, a pedi and a wash, blow-dry and hair-styling. Lucky me. As I sat there that night recalling this exciting event to hub-Russ, he reminded me that actually, I was wrong; I had indeed won a few things in my life, including him. (But I don’t know if I would consider that a win – the jury is definitely still out. I think it’s more the other way around: he won me.)
At any rate, I don’t even pretend to have a memory anymore – but at the same time I doubt half of what Russell says is true. So I insisted, “Oh yeah, tell me for real exactly what I’ve ever won.”
He reminded me of the $50 I’d won at the grocery store when we first got married almost thirty-three years ago. Later on, I won a really nice home phone at a golf event. When I was working at GTE, I won a pizza party for our entire marketing staff from Calvin Hicks on the radio. (From that day on, I was dearly loved by everyone – just call me “Ms. Popular!” Gee, I wonder why!). I once put my business card in a bowl at a downtown, high-end restaurant and won a meal for two. And though I’m not a gambler and I’ve never bought a lottery ticket, I guess I’m a lot luckier than I thought.
On the contrary: I’ve given other people chances to win things. I’ve even given my readers a chance to win a book – or the entire trilogy – at book signings and other events. What I do is provide a humongous jar of Redbird Soft Peppermints, then I ask people to write down the number of candies inside the jar. Whoever gets closest to the actual number wins a book. I’m so fond of these mints that a story about them appears in my latest book, “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller.” Also, William “Billy” Baldwin gave me a very nice blurb referencing these same mints.
I’ve also been asked to agree to have lunch with a reader at a silent auction, “Lunch with an Author,” and that’s always fun. Of course, the reader is supposedly the winner there, but really, it’s just more fodder for a column, most times.
Russell has won tons of stuff on the radio, simply by calling in and meeting certain criteria. (I have absolutely no patience for this and I can’t stand busy signals.) He’s been the fifth listener to call in…, or the first person to identify a song…. or the only person to answer a movie trivia question. His winnings have included a tee-shirt, a meal at a local restaurant, a coffee mug and a free hearing test. Okay, I made up the last one because I couldn’t hear what he was saying in the other room. He was mumbling, actually. But I heard him loud and clear when he said, “a free hearing test,” so I typed it. This has been a running joke between us for a long time.
Actually, that’s the one thing we both need to win. If anybody really does ever hear of a free hearing test – or better still, a set of hearing aids – then please write me, text me, e-mail me or Facebook message me. But please don’t call me. I probably won’t be able to hear you.
Ann Ipock “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller” firstname.lastname@example.org www.annipock.com.
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