Monday, July 29, 2013

How superstitious are you?

As a modern American, I deny being superstitious.

If I don't walk under ladders, well, who knows, there might be a bucket on top that might spill on me. I'll gladly walk under scaffolds, though, especially if it's raining, and isn't that pretty much the same thing?


But there are times when even I -- a modern, rational, skeptical American -- must confess to some seemingly superstitious beliefs.

Case in point: Have you ever had kids win a "goldfish" at a school carnival? It happened to me many times. The kid could win the fish in the first five minutes (they always are put in flimsy baggies) and, yet, somehow, the poor things will survive being shaken, dropped, tossed.... Bring the fish home and put it in an unused vase and it will flourish. It may even grow if you feed it with fish food left over from the last school carnival.

Eventually, though, after the kid becomes attached to the fish -- and these are fish the pet stores keep on hand mostly to feed to turtles more valuable fish -- there will come that moment when you will weaken. You will buy a tank. You will buy a filter. You will buy more food. It doesn't matter what you buy. As soon as you open your wallet, that fish will die.

You may dismiss this as foolish superstition, and I envy you your certitude. But I say this is not superstitious at all, but my actual real-life experience.

Yours too, if you ever let a kid go to a school carnival.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Another example: Some of you may remember I downsized my office when I moved from my Undisclosed Location early last year. The Teeny-Tiny Law Office is in the very same building, just 30 or 35 feet above my old stomping grounds.

In the course of trying to streamline my expenses, I also dropped the paid website that I'd bought for my firm from Martindale-Hubbell. I never got an actual lead from that site anyway (although once I heard from a high school classmate). Most of the stuff I got through that site was sent by people wearing tinfoil beanies. I can get cases equally as good as those proffered by Martindale-Hubbell by contacting the Nigerian generals' widows who still send me emails.

But my old suite number and the old M-H website were both on my business card. So I stopped carrying cards.

In the year and a half since I haven't had cards to give away... which isn't embarrassing, exactly, but some may think it a little... shabby.

I'm looking at my old business card now: Not only does it have the Martindale-Hubbell site on it, but it also has the West site I paid for for a little while -- and far too long. I can't remember when I dropped the West site; in my eagerness to believe, though, I think it must have been shortly after I got these cards printed.

In other words, just like the goldfish, I believe that, just as soon as I spend money on business cards, something will change.

Is that rational?

Perhaps not.

But I picked up new business cards today from the printer, fully realizing something may change tomorrow as a result.

Of course, I'm dumb enough to think that things will change for the better (my "logic" being... well, things can't get any worse, can they?)

Yes, we all know the answer to that one.

But I'm not listening!

No comments: