I am a truly gifted worrier. When I was working, people used to marvel at my seemingly endless capacity to fret. I used to tell them that I believed God gave us all talents and He expected us to develop them. My talent just happened to be worrying. Colleagues, annoyed by my incessant hand-wringing and brow-furrowing, often suggested that it was time I got another talent. Well, I think I may have finally found one.
Recently, the women’s group at my church held their annual bazaar. The bazaar is quite an undertaking. I’d say it is the social event of the season in Episcopal circles. Hours and hours go into planning and producing the bazaar. Virtually everyone in the parish has some connection with some part of the event.
The bazaar is also a significant rainmaker for the church. Although we refer to it as the “bazaar,” it is really a three-part event. There is the traditional bazaar facet of the project- selling crafts, homemade goodies, and used “stuff” that ultimately migrates from the donor’s garage to the purchaser’s garage. It is a good thing that other people’s junk is much more appealing than our own junk. Most churches would go broke if people didn’t donate their old stuff and other people didn’t buy it. The second facet of the bazaar is the turkey-themed lunch. That’s right, a week before Thanksgiving, we earn money for the church by selling turkey sandwiches. As improbable as that sounds, it seems to work. There was a lot of gobbling going on.
The third facet of the bazaar is the grand auction. People donate some higher end items- a week at a timeshare, a baseball signed by a famous player, an original watercolor painting of the church, a homemade dinner party, or something of that ilk. Volunteer auctioneers monitor the bidding and sell these items for, usually, much more than their intrinsic worth. It is good clean FUN… and it raises a lot of FUNDS.
This year, we had a 50-50 raffle at the grand auction intermission. Now, most 50-50 drawings I’ve seen are pretty simple. You buy a ticket for some amount of money, someone draws a ticket, and the lucky winner goes home with half the proceeds of the 50-50 pot. We gilded the lily a bit with our 50-50 event. Instead of buying a ticket, you bought a pair of plastic sunglasses. When the time came for the “drawing,” there were no tickets and, in point of fact, no drawing at all. Instead, the leader had us play a game of “Heads or Tails.” He asked us to stand and then to choose to place our sunglasses either on our heads or on our behinds. Then, he flipped a coin. If you had made the wrong choice as to where to place your sunglasses, you sat down and were out of the running.
We played several rounds of this game, with more and more people plopping their tails back into their seats each time a coin was flipped. I did remarkably well and became the object of unwanted attention. The attention was also unmerited since there was absolutely no skill whatsoever involved in making the correct choice as to where to anchor my sunglasses. I was kind of uncomfortable standing there with everyone looking at me to see if I would choose heads or tails. Given that I wasn’t that keen on anyone staring at my butt, I was tempted to always go with “heads.” Luckily, I did not give in to temptation. I just randomly chose heads or tails each time until only two people were left. The other guy chose heads and I accepted tails. I won.
I tried to bid on some items during the sale to give back at least a portion of my winnings, but I was outbid each time. There was something in the air- probably charity and goodwill- that was inducing people to pay over $30 a person for a spaghetti dinner. Since I wasn’t as good a bidder as I was a “heads or tails” chooser, I walked out of the auction $162.50 richer.
It looks like I have indeed discovered a new talent. I will have to work on developing it. Who knew that knowing your head from your ass could be so much more lucrative than worrying?
What’s your hidden talent? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a heady day!
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