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The Lucky Ones

Have you ever spent the better part of a week looking forward to a Saturday night out? Countless hours planning your outfit, buying new accessories, adding, deleting, revising your look. When the day finally arrives you put it all together, make last minute changes. Undo last minute changes. And lastly, receive the all-important thumbs-up from a loyal friend, or two.

Your heart pounds with anticipation as you finally arrive at a club. And then the waiting begins. Excitement slowly melts to anxiety as you survey the queue in front and behind you. So many people, all yearning for the same thing and knowing that only a few will be admitted, while most turned away. Self-preservation kicks in as you tell yourself not to get your hopes up. It doesn’t matter. There are other clubs. But hope is stronger than reason, and try as you might, when you near the door careful optimism stirs with the doubt. A little voice in your head whispers, this is it.

An unsavory sort of a man looks you over. Your thumping heart grows too large for your chest. With a subtle curl of his lip, a dismissive flick of his wrist says, “Nice try, but your look just doesn’t fit with this club.” Or, “We have to be very selective in who we let in and who we don’t. Unfortunately, your look doesn’t meet our standards.” He may even snicker and say, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Very rude.

No matter the wording, it is at this moment, before you’ve allowed all your dreams to be dashed, that you hesitate. He can’t be serious. But as his gaze falls to the next person in line, the injustice of it all wants to scream from the depths of your sole, “But this is my best dress, I spent hours on my hair, my makeup is perfect, what more do you want?” Then you look to your loyal friends for answers but all they can offer is a contrite smile and an empathetic shrug. Had they lied to you, treacherously saying what they thought you needed, no wanted, to hear?

As you walk away, glancing back over a crestfallen shoulder at the lucky few who were admitted, you wonder, what do they have that I don’t? They’re not better looking than me. They couldn’t possibly have worked harder to look their best. Maybe it’s because they know the right people, or possibly because they’ve been here before? But does that make them better, more deserving, more worthy? No, in fact you know it does not. You’re every bit as valuable as they. More even.

And then comes the most daunting question of all: How do I become one of “the lucky ones”?