Some are luckier than others

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 13, 2004

When I was 7 years old, I won a calculator in Sunday School.

That was the last thing I have ever won in my life and thus, it stands out in my mind, at least partially.

I don’t remember why they were giving away a calculator, though I do know it was one of those things where they draw your name and give you a prize. I guess you could say it was a door prize for coming to Sunday School, which I guess could also be interpreted as a bribe, something that’s fine when you’re 7.

For whatever reason, they were giving it away, and somehow I won it. I loved that calculator, mainly because it was shaped like an owl and had one green eye and one red eye.

It even had a game and if you got the answer right, the green eye would light up. If the answer was wrong, the red eye would shine.

It was a 1970s version of the video game.

That calculator, and the fact that it was the first and last thing I’ve ever won, was on my mind Sunday when I drove home from an event in Huntsville.

The event was a bridal show (Yes, I broke down and went to a bridal show. Scary, I know.) and included in the festivities were literally hundreds of giveaways. If I’m completely honest, they were the main reason I went.

OK. If I’m completely and totally honest it was the giveaways and the prospect of free cake, but that’s a whole different story.

Someone who had been to the show before had won three of the doorprizes, and I thought certainly I would walk away with at least one. I sat through the entire fashion show (there’s only so many different ways you can make a white dress look) in hopes that I indeed would be present to win.

The announcer approached the microphone and said each person present should reach under their seat and if they find a card with a number, they were the winner of a door prize from the assigned booth.

I reached.

I reached again.

I tilted the chair back and took a look.

No card.

No door prize.

All around me, there were people jumping up and down and celebrating because they had won this basket or this prize.

I had nothing. I gathered my collection of free brochures (the one thing I did take from the show) and grabbed a piece of chocolate cake and headed for the door. I was a bridal show loser.

Oh well. I’m sure I can find my old owl calculator somewhere. With a new set of batteries, I may get those eyes blazing again.

Leada DeVaney is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer and the Madison County Record. She is the former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter