Do you have a lucky charm? The number seven, a horseshoe or even a pencil that got you through god knows how many exams? Some do, some don’t and some people don’t believe in luck. Luck is defined as success “especially through chance or good fortune.” It’s also associated with four-leaf clovers which I for once hunted for endlessly as a child. To my delight, I found multiple. Even though I searched them out, I didn’t believe in luck and I still don’t, but I do use the phrase ‘lucky’ to describe aspects of my life. When March comes around we’re reminded of luck through depictions of shamrocks and the idea of leprechauns. St. Patrick’s Day brings more than ideas of lucky charms, it also brings about family. Whether your relatives, or your friends, or perhaps your significant other is your family those who have someone are the ‘lucky’ ones.
We as humans are social creatures. There are those who fall into asocial and antisocial behaviors, but social interaction is smack dab in the middle of our hierarchy of needs (love and belonging). This love and belonging come from having relationships like those family members mentioned previously. This is one of the aspects I find myself lucky in, or rather blessed, but for the sake of this article I say ‘lucky.’ Although I went through a period of disconnect from my blood relatives, my church family and my friends because of my sexuality I now have two families. My wife had a wedge driven between herself and her family because of our relationship as well but by some miracle, (or one might say luck) things have made a seemingly impossible turn around over seven years where our traditional and religious parents accepted us to the best of their ability. They’ve also accepted the other girl as one of their own.
Because I have two families, even one, I am lucky. I have friends who were abused by their family, friends who are afraid to make a new family after bad experiences with blood relations and the list goes on. You may ask, why are we talking about this on St. Patrick's Day and not Christmas? Because loneliness doesn’t wait for a specific holiday to haunt you. Even a lesser holiday will remind those who are alone just how alone they are. St. Patty’s is a day for some to drink and be merry, but for others, you gather up your family for the traditional city parade. One might wake up this St. Patrick's Day and realize they have no one to make green eggs and ham with for breakfast, they have no one to spray their hair green and wear an obscene amount of accessories to run around the square. That’s when luck and loneliness come together, and this person might think, “Just my luck.”
So, I ask, are you lucky? Do you have someone to spend your time with if you so chose for the holidays? Do you have one or a dozen people that you consider family? If you do I’m incredibly happy for you, but I guarantee there are those that aren’t so lucky. I challenge you in whatever you do for this celebration if you know someone who doesn’t have a ‘family’ to spend time with, be that for them. You don’t have to be a mother, sister, father or brother, you can be the distant cousin that throws parties and drags you out for a good time, the important thing is just that you be there. Whether it’s a blood relative or chosen family made up of friends and romantic partners, they’re what we need to fulfill that slot for love and belonging, a need that is poked and prodded during any holiday.