I don’t understand how by merely uttering a phrase, you have just guaranteed it to happen. Like when you’re talking to coworkers, and you say, “I’ve been lucky this winter. I haven’t caught one cold.” You know what happens. You may as well stop on the way home from work and stock up on tissues, nasal decongestants and orange juice because by the time you wake up in the morning, you’re going to barking like a seal.
Or you innocently tell a friend that you can’t remember the last time you received a traffic ticket. You may as well start driving around with your license, registration and insurance card sitting on the passenger seat. It’ll make things go easier when you get pulled over on your way to the grocery store for that gallon of milk on the way home from work tomorrow.
How many times has someone said something like that and followed it up with, “Well I just jinxed myself,” because they know what’s going to happen. Whatever they just professed will almost certainly occur in the very near future.
I have no idea how it happens or why, but I have been screwed by the “I’ve been fortunate” proclamation so many times in my life that I obsessively try avoid ever acknowledging any dreadful reoccurring issues in casual conversation. I’ve done well for myself avoiding such pitfalls, until last night. At a family gathering, talk as it typically does with a crowd of that age, migrated towards health issues and conditions. The topic of acid re-flux came up and I let my guard down and said, “I’ve been lucky, it hasn’t given much trouble lately.” Guess what I was doing between the hours of 11:30 and 3:30 last night? That old familiar routine of lie down, feel acid rising into my throat, get out of bed, throw up, drink something to neutralize the acid, sit upright for fifteen minutes, repeat, and repeat and repeat until I expelled all the stomach acid and finally passed out from exhaustion for a couple of hours. I knew it as soon as the words came out of my mouth last night that shortly, I’d be suffering.
Some may explain it as a self-fulfilling prophecy. I put the thought of acid re-flux in my head and my stomach willingly obliged. Maybe, but considering it also happens when I say something like, “Our satellite dish never loses signal during storms,” and then there I sit watching the screen saver, “searching for signal” for the rest of the evening. Even I cannot believe my mind control is so powerful that it influences not just the weather, but satellite reception. If that were true, I’d be on the next flight to Vegas.
What’d really like to know is why when I say, “It’s been a long time since I won anything,” or ” since my back didn’t hurt,” that I’m not magically walking around pain-free and with a pocket full of cash?