Friday, July 12, 2013

The Lucky Eights

My mom has a theory that ages ending in "8" are extra lucky.

When I turned eight years old, I was allowed to get my ears pierced. My dad took me to a shop in the Ingleside Mall, and a terrifically nice woman, who was so gentle and sweet and seemed 40 to me, but was probably 20, pierced my ears. I spent a crazy amount of time perusing the stud options, because you have to keep those first ones in your ears for an ungodly six weeks or something, and I finally asked my dad if I could get these dark green sparklers instead of the standard silver balls. He said yes, of course (I think they were $6 extra).

That night, I got my American girl doll, and I got to go to dinner with just my parents, anywhere that I wanted. I chose the Somers Inn, which was the fanciest restaurant I could ever imagine going to. At dinner, the lighting was low and there were candles on the tables, and I sat across from both my parents, and we were practically alone (it actually wasn't a very good place), but I imagined they had a special room cleared because I was eight, and I was alone with them celebrating. Our car at the time had one of those middle seats in the front, and for obvious comfort reasons, my sister and I were never allowed to sit there. But that night, I got to.

That year I went to third grade, which in my little town at the time was a school only for third graders. That sounds so crazy, right? But it was amazing. We ruled the roost. I spent my recesses searching for four-leaf clovers on the edge of our third graders-only play ground with my friends, and I found dozens throughout the year. I've never, ever been able to find four leaf clovers like that again, but of course, I haven't been looking for them as much, either.

Shortly after I turned 18, I went on a pre-college camping trip through the school. It was terrifying to fly down to North Carolina on my own, but I had the luck of the eights: on that little trip, I met some of my very dearest friends. I started college, and went on my first winter term trip to Ireland, and successfully made my way in a completely new part of the country (and I can still turn on a fairly decent Southern accent at the drop of a hat - sometimes unintentionally). It was a lucky, wonderful year.

And now I'm just finishing up 28. One of the weird things about the eights, I think, is that their magic becomes more clear the further out you get. So while it does feel like I am closing a wonderful chapter - this year I've been working at job I adore, where I grew a lot, started graduate school, formed much closer friendships with people locally, and bought a house - I think I'll be able to see the real providence of 28 a bit later on. But for now, thank you for being so lovely, 28. I'll try to hold on to the lucky things that were set up here until I get to 38, at least.


  1. This is a quintessentially-Julie post. It completely embodies the way you see the world--filled with sentiment, magic and genuine appreciation. Happy, happy birthday, my sweet friend! Here's to all that 29 has to offer you!

  2. So beautifully written! Tears in my eyes!


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