A Disturbing Pattern?

I have never been a particularly ambitious person.  I had no plans to run for public office, become a celebrity of any sort, or make enough money to live in a huge mansion.  Although I did hope to make a modest living writing children’s books, I never aspired to being on the New York Times Bestseller’s list.   My main goal in life has always been a very modest one:  to simply try to leave the world a slightly better place than I found it.  Seriously, that’s it.  But even so, I’m starting to think that maybe I set the bar just a little bit too high.

DSC01258If I were really the sort of person who brought in a ray of sunshine each time she entered the room, how do I explain all the times when my mere presence has had what can only be called a distinctly negative effect?  There’s the little things, like how whatever line I join at the checkout counter immediately becomes the slowest moving line, each and every time.  Sometimes the person in front of me hands the cashier a huge wad of coupons and argues endlessly when told that half of them are expired, while other times we all wait for a stock boy to do a price check on an item shelved on the other side of the store.  But one way or another, when I get in a line, it stops moving.

And yes, I know lots of people claim they have the same experience with check-out lines, but I have so many more examples.  I had to have my senior pictures retaken because the photographer discovered that his camera broke during my photo session.  Other people joke about having their face break a camera, but mine actually did it.

This past year alone, five of my favorite restaurants have gone out of business.  And even if a restaurant that I love does manage to stay open, they always discontinue whatever dish I like the best.  Remember Panera’s potato-cream cheese soup?  It was so delicious that it was worth every calorie, and it was my absolute favorite.  So of course they took it off the menu.

The last three times I joined a church, the minister resigned shortly afterwards.  When my husband and I decided to invest a little money with a broker, the stock market immediately dropped like a rock.  We have lived in the same house for the past twenty years, and like to think that we are good neighbors.  But then how do I explain that the house on our left has turned over six times since we moved in, and we have actually lost count of how many different families have lived in the house behind us?

But the biggest example is my writing career.  The only children’s book I ever published was sold through a book packager who expressed interest in seeing more of my work.  And then promptly went out of business.  A small public relations firm closed right after I completed my first assignment for them.  Several editors have lost their positions shortly after asking me for revisions with the goal of eventual publication, and three separate publishing houses that liked my work also went out of business before I could close a sale.  I’m sort of the “Typhoid Mary” of the publishing world.

I tell you, it’s enough to give a person a complex!  Sometimes I feel the exact opposite of the king in the story, “The Midas Touch.”  Remember that story?  Where everything the king touched turned to gold?  Only in my case, it often turns to–well, let’s just say not gold.  So, if you are one of the small group of people who reads my posts, I suggest you enjoy them while you can.  Because past experience suggests that it’s only a matter of time before WordPress pulls the plug.

52 thoughts on “A Disturbing Pattern?

    • Thank you, Cindy! Honestly, this was written a bit “tongue in cheek.” I have plenty of instances where I can think of myself as some sort of jinx, but also plenty of others where I have been very lucky. And I like to think that I have helped some people and animals along the way, but I know I could and should do so much more. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ok, and now count all the good things in your life and that have happened to you! 🙂 I know you are just writing a story here, but these sound like minor things Ann when compared to things that can really go wrong in someone’s life! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So, by rights, the second I found your blog, mine should have somehow mysteriously self-combusted, yes? Well, it’s very hot in the UK right now but the blog’s a good cool temperature. And so are you. I love your blog and so do many other people, so whatever other oddities are in your life I think you can safely exclude this from them. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A series of coincidences maybe? Life can be so weird sometimes. When it comes to lines I’m the opposite of you. I always get into either a short line or no line at all and then within moments it’s a mile long behind me. It’s gotten so that I actually tell people don’t worry, I never have to wait. Like I said, weird. As for your blog, WordPress isn’t going anywhere and neither are you! Your so-called handful of readers generates more comments and lively discussion than blogs with thousands of followers! And have you thought of trying for a children’s book again? There’s always self-publishing if worse comes to worse 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, I have thought about self-publishing, because it is so much easier (and cheaper) than it used to be. The problem is, I don’t know how to market it to children, because the age group I like to write for is “middle grade” (think 3rd through 6th) and they aren’t quite old enough to order their own books online, but are probably too old to have their parents do it for them. I’m sure there’s a way, though, so I need to research it.
      Honestly, I’m okay that the whole selling children’s books thing didn’t work out. I have just gone in a different direction, and the older I get, the more I realize that being flexible is important. I just like to write, and this blog allows me to do that.
      And if I ever see you in a store, I am SO getting in line behind you! Thanks for the encouraging words!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Lol…I don’t mean to laugh, Ann but I think there’s times you just have to laugh at the crazy stuff that goes on around you. Very funny post. That being said, and with all due respect, if I ever have surgery I don’t think it will be a good idea to either precede or follow you into the operating room..:)
    What I think you should do next, is write a post on the positive influences you’ve had on the lives of other or how what little act of kindness has touched someone else’s life because I know, without question , that you have done these things. We all remember the things that have gone wrong in our lives but don’t give much thought or just take for granted those things that have helped shape our lives in a positive way.
    I know you wanted to be a children’s writer, and ive thought about the same things but maybe you should write comedy because your last two posts have been a hoot.😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is perfectly okay to laugh, because I really did intend this to be humorous, although I think it may have come off as more self pitying! Of course, everything I described really did happen, and for a while I really did think that maybe I was some sort of jinx to the publishing world (why editors didn’t run screaming when they saw one of my manuscripts in their in-box, I’ll never know). But now I write this blog, and get to experiment with different writing styles while I do it, and that is fun. And maybe I will try more humor. I sometimes think that the tougher life gets, the more important it is to learn to just laugh at the absurdity of it all, you know?
      And lastly, thank you so much for your kind words. In all seriousness, I do try to help when I can, where I can, and it’s very hard to just how effective that is. But all we can do is keep on trying! (And let our friends know when it would be a good idea NOT to schedule their important surgeries…don’t worry, I’ll notify you!) Thanks, George!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jodi! If I am a shining star, then you are a NOVA! (Aren’t those the super stars, with the really bright lights that light the way for the rest of us? Hope so, because that is what I meant!)

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  5. Thanks for the smiles today Ann, you know it’s easy to look back and think about all the slow moving queues, moving neighbors and restaurants going bust but that was all going to happen anyway! 🙂 You just happened to be there when the world was changing. Seriously, everything happens for a reason and I’m a big believer that all our circumstances lead us to where we are today. And today, you’re making us all think and laugh and ponder through your writing. And I’m so happy to have met you through this blog. Keep writing and keep smiling. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Miriam! And it may sound odd, but sometimes I really do think there was a reason why I never was successful in writing children’s books in the nineties, which was the heyday of that field. Because so many successful authors watched their careers die afterwards, and I don’t know if I would have handled that well. But now I am happy with my blog, and I am also ready to look into other kinds of writing. And I think maybe I wouldn’t have been so ready to pursue alternatives if my “plan A” had worked out.
      So glad I met you, too! I had no idea blogging would bring me such wonderful friends, but sure glad it did!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, me too. That’s how I feel. And maybe you’re right about your path and where it’s lead you to. I look back at my own life and choices and realise that I’m where I’m meant to be, even though there are many days when I question what I should and could be doing. Life’s all about growing, different turns and decisions and where it takes us …oh wow, I think you’ve inspired me, I feel a new post coming on!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Most of us are ordinary. I don’t think enough is said about the majority of people that work, raise a family and live a decent life. The ordinary will never be on Oprah (if she still had a show). As far as long checkout lines, it just gives me time to read the covers of the gossip magazines.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree…it is the ordinary people who are just living their lives the best they can who are the true foundation of any society. As for the magazines, sometimes I’ve even taken one off the shelf and read and article or two while I wait!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can see how you might feel singled out (maybe targeted is a better word!) But, take heart…I’ll bet if you add up all the successes & blessings in your life, they’ll far outweigh the negatives. Read my most recent post about Mindful Living and the “non-toothache.” Hopefully, it’ll take the sting out of the losses and one thing is sure….we’ve all had them! Hang in there! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. [Grin…] For some reason, I was reminded of the old “Gloom, despair, and agony on me” sketches on “Hee Haw”, an old country music comedy show my folks used to watch. Woe is me, with a punch line.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Be of good cheer. We all have these coincidences in our lives.

    Although we’re all really screwed if WordPress goes belly-up.

    And I’m firmly convinced the fast line is an illusion, perhaps perpetuated by market fairies. (Perhaps we could blame the stock market on dragons.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is hilarious! 😂
    I highly doubt all these occurrences are due to your presence but I have a feeling you won’t believe me lest I present evidence which puts me I quite a predicament 😁

    But, on the other side of the coin, if you are convinced you have a ‘special power of doom’ perhaps you can put it to good use. How about volunteering to work on Donald Trump’s campaign? Your presence and special powers can make him disappear once and for all !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. When stores and restaurants that I frequent go out of business I feel sad, but I assume that it’s because my personal tastes differ from those of the majority of other people – and that that is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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