Last week I entered a Facebook contest. An organization that sells fair trade items from around the world asked for a description of a design cut from a metal drum. I immediately went to work crafting my entry in 50 words or less and submitted it. And so did one other person. So the big contest was between the two of us (I had no idea the competition would be so fierce). The organization posted that we should "share" the contest with our Facebook friends in order to get the votes (and, of course, to increase their own fans). I did as suggested and quickly mopped the floor with my worthy 50-words-or-less-about-metal-drum-art opponent. The prize awaits me 3,000 miles away, so I had to email my mother that I was the big, fat winner and could she please go and pick up whatever incredible prize I earned through the art of my skillful writing. Or...because my friends were nice enough to click "like" and thusly I won.
I actually started feeling sort of guilty. My entry was fair and clearly not judged on my ability to write a winning description of anything. I felt that the other entry was more poetic and less literal than mine. Then I thought maybe I should just point out that I don't live in town, but how about just giving the prize to the other entrant. But I didn't. BECAUSE I WON. Yes...with the help of my friends. And yes...because only two of us entered. Winning feels good, darn it. Who am I to begrudge myself of the West African paperweight or Indonesian potholder waiting for me?
I've won some great things in my life. A cruise to the Caribbean. A trip to London (okay, it was my husband, but I partook). These were thrilling wins. Jumping up & down, calling everyone I know and screaming wins. But I also find that I'm a touch overly excited when I "win" little things. And "win" is in "quotation marks" because these aren't even real wins. (And "quotation marks" is in "quotation marks" because that's what they are.) We "won" Irish Dance Lessons at a school auction last year, which really meant that we paid forty bucks for something for which no one outbid us. We'll see what a winner I feel like when I'm standing amongst a roomful of twelve-year-olds named Molly and Siobahn heaving myself in and out of jigs.
I'm super excited when I get a free gift-with-purchase. Hurray! I only had to buy Golden Flax Cereal to get the Golden Flax Cereal ruler! I remember years ago, my mother had ordered several items from one of those catalogs that sells awesomeness, like dishwashing gloves with long-fingernails painted on them. When the box was delivered, she had "won" a free gift! It was an ice tray that froze ice cubes into the shape of boobs. Yep...bosoms. As memory serves...it was a series of a woman's head with two giant knockers. Score! Way to win, Mom!
I'm not a bad loser. At all. I typically expect to lose. I'm not a bad winner either, I swear. I love seeing others win or succeed. Winning feels good no matter what side you're seeing it from (well, I suppose a lot of losers wouldn't say that). If I could, I would have everyone over to handle the Vietnamese letter opener that may be waiting for me for my big writing win. And we'll have cocktails with boob ice cubes. And then we'll all be winners.
Thanks to those who voted for me.
UPDATE: My winning Nicaraguan jar! Love it! Completely worth the guilt.