It may have been obvious to everyone but me, but I guess I was totally lying when I announced the other day that I didn’t believe in “magical thinking.”
I figured out that I was lying after I missed my friends’ New Year’s Day party with the collard greens and black-eyed peas. You know, for money and luck and all of that. I missed it because Fletch and I both were kind of wrecked, due to the fact that he was up and vocal about it at 3:30, 4:45, 5:15, 6:00, 6:10, 6:20, and 6:30. Having gone to bed at 2:00, we were up for good well before dawn. It’s like he wasn’t even trying to go back to sleep. Punk. Good thing he’s so floppy and sweet.
So I missed the party, and long about dark, thought I’d head over to Whole Foods and get some of their collard greens and black-eyed peas. For money and luck and all of that.
They were out of collard greens and black-eyed peas.
I am unflappable. K & W has collard greens and black-eyed peas! I thought. So I drove over there, and waited in line, and then found out that K & W was out of collard greens.
I don’t even like collard greens.
Sitting in the parking lot of K & W, I remembered that I do not believe in magical thinking, and therefore it would not matter if I did not have collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. I might still have a year filled with money and luck. But then I thought, imagine if I hadn’t had them on New Year’s Day, 2012. Think how badly the year might have gone then.
Fresh Market was my next attempt. I figured I’d get some fresh collards and black-eyed peas and cook them my own damn self. They didn’t have either.
Which is how I ended up at Harris Teeter, buying soul food in a can. Yes. I ate canned black-eyed peas and canned collards, and then of course I also added bacon for good measure. I can’t even begin to think about whether having your New Year’s Day food come from a can reflects anything about your 2013.
It gets worse. My horoscope today (sheerly for entertainment value! no magical thinking here!) says that there is some sort of huge cosmic alignment which indicates that I can have anything I want. Huge key word. “Anything.” Not “everything.” It was very specific about the fact that, in the next week, I have to pick the one thing that will make me the happiest, and ask everyone I know for help, because I am going to get it. This is the year that I announced that I am not limiting myself, not picking one goal, not confining myself to any particular set of expectations. Of course the the universe would instruct me to pick something immediately.
Eff that. I know how this game works. I want more wishes.
I need one for professional success, because I believe I am a matter of minutes away from being laid off, and I’m not sure I like this profession yet anyway. I need one for sacks full of money, because being an intern in my profession with terrible benefits is one way to guarantee that you live on a precipice of financial uncertainty, and I’m about to topple off this personal fiscal cliff. I need one for health, because my busted knee is not getting any less busted. I need one for romance, because I have never had more than ten consecutive minutes of success in that department, and good heavens, how long must I wait? And I need one for luck overall. Because there may be another astronomical Mega Millions jackpot someday.
I do not need wishes for friends, at least. I am rich in loved ones- family and friends and dawg- and that is no small thing. But all other things being equal, I’d also like the perfect job and overflowing money jar and solid knee and sweep-me-off-my-feet romance.
So last night, yes, I had New Year’s Day good-luck-and-wealth dinner from a can. Two cans, actually. I hedged my bets, though. I also made my own luck in the form of surprise cornbread, over which I drizzled maple syrup like you’re supposed to, and it makes everything within a five-mile radius taste special, important, and yes. Magical.
I highly recommend it. It’s perfect every time, and makes you feel like you could maybe accomplish everything you want to. Or, at least, any one thing.
I won’t make you commit this early in the year though. That would be ridiculous.