CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I had a relative with an unusual gift. She was lucky when she needed to be. When she had no other option. On those occasions when she found herself in the most dire of straits, she'd find something to gamble on -- a sporting event, punchboards, bingo, a raffle -- and would unfailingly win. The strangest part is, she would win either the exact amount, or darn near, what she needed. Not a penny more.
You would think that someone with such a gift would abuse it, but she skimped and saved and did without rather than gamble because she said she knew if she abused it, even a little, she would lose the gift altogether.
I liked that about her. Found her judiciousness admirable. And was reminded of her gift recently because of my own situation. What I'm about to share next might not, at first glance, seem to relate to my relative's gift, but bear with me a moment. I'll explain. You see, I have this problem with double-dog dares.
I can't refuse them.
That I have this problem doesn't really match who I am. I'm not now, nor have I ever been, one who enjoys taking risks. I'm quieter than your average person. Have spent much of my life being painfully shy. I'm a state worker, for Pete's sake. If there's a bigger sign of a security-seeker than that, I can't imagine what it would be.
But if someone in my circle throws a double-dog my direction, for some reason I can't fully explain, I get all bunched up inside and just have to do it.
Please note here the distinctly mentioned circle of darers. A stranger can't walk up and issue a two-canine challenge and cause me to feel compelled to comply. It's only those of a certain closeness.
And so it was that, several months into our relationship, Didier lightly proffered a dare, which I declined. He then upped it to double-dog status. Which resulted in my dancing with a group of strangers on a table in a German-themed restaurant to a Black Sabbath cover song that was being played on accordions by men wearing lederhosen.