luck and the lady
The problem, as I see it anyway, is that a good story has a clear moral. You tell it or you read it and you take something away from it. The more powerful the point, the better the story.
I guess sometimes life doesn’t make a good story.
Such was the case of Wanda.
Wanda was recovering from a rough night at the blackjack tables. She’d taken such a beating the previous evening that even the promise of room service wasn’t helping. The reason she was in Las Vegas to begin was that she was recovering from a rough life at the metaphorical crap table that is love. Such was her moping that she actually turned to watching self-help videos on the internet in her hotel room. She watched one that gave her tips on blackjack and then she watched one that gave her tips on the opposite sex.
Armed with this advice she took a deep breath, threw her shoulders back and headed back down to the casino floor.
Here is where a good story would leave you with a nugget of wisdom. A quick retelling of what transpired in those next hours leading you to a profound insight. Perhaps even help you with your own gambling or relationship problems.
Let me explain.
You see, the video giving her council on men suggested something that she thought was perfect. Wanda had always had contended with a laundry list of insecurities. Specifically, she’d always struggled with rejection and the impressive woman in the video suggested that she spend an evening asking fifty men if they would like her phone number. It made perfect sense. Keep asking until she no longer felt the sting associated with being rebuffed.
She would walk around the casino and sit down next to any man playing on his own. Play a few hands, make small talk and then ask him if he wanted her number. Either way, once she got her answer she would stand up and move on to the next man.
The video giving her council on blackjack talked in detail on what hands to stay, what hands to hit and what hands to double down. Keeping track of the face cards was the key. She would now be much wiser in managing her risk.
It’s at this point that you must be thinking to yourself that this story has all the ingredients to deliver a clear moral. The analogies of inter-personal relationships and risk are obvious. Both emotion and financial management are in play and both seem to be in a place where nuggets of wisdom seem inevitable.
And so it would have been if not for Wanda.
Damn Wanda. Damn her to hell.
You see, after a few hours she noticed something. Something that royally screws up the nugget distribution. Simply put, after a few hours and a few dozen interactions she noticed that she always won hands where the man rejected her and always lost the hands where the man was interested. Always.
What the fuck are we to make of that?
The more attractive she found the man that rejected her, the more money she won. Super handsome or witty? Blackjack! With the men that seemed attracted to her, the dealer would draw to twenty one every time.
At a certain point in the evening she had to ask herself why she was in Vegas to begin with.
That was the big question.
Wrestle with it awhile, as she did, and you’ll find that sometimes life does indeed make a good story.
The next day she flew home, back to a state where gambling wasn’t legal.
Oh wait… now I get it now.
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