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Hip Sobriety School, Day 7

"I see the magic in this moment."

Magic just happens to be one of my very favorite themes. The stories go back to my daughters' high school days when finding THE dress for an upcoming dance was a retail nightmare. Let's face it. You've said Yes to some kid you hardly know, so did your two best friends, the guys involved are socially inept, and all of you will have nerves crawling out of your skin. At the very least, you need the confidence of being in love with every inch of that dress. Katie was heading out on such an excursion when out of the blue, I covered her in Golden Magic Dust to find a drop-dead gorgeous dress. As in, I raised my hands above her head and made sprinkling motions with my fingers like I was showering her in glitter. I have no idea why I even did such a thing. Let's just call it inspiration as opposed to the many other things that spring to mind. And I probably would have forgotten all about it had she not burst through the door later saying, "Mom! It worked! I found the perfect dress and I didn't even have to look very long. It was just THERE!"

It took a few more shopping trips for us to tumble onto the true Holy Grailness of the sprinkling ritual, but it soon became clear: Why in the hell are we wasting this on clothes? That's when Golden Magic Dust became a given for everything that mattered, from travel safety, pre-test jitters, and scholarship awards to acing an interview and finding the perfect apartment. I took to sprinkling the friends of my kids, people I worked with, our own friends and family—and the occasional stranger. If a need was expressed in conversation, Golden Magic Dust would be forthcoming for that intention. As my friend Beth said: "The weirdest part is watching complete strangers buy into this and stand up a little straighter to get those sprinkles." She was right, eyes tend to brighten at the very mention of magic. Everyone is game. Everyone seems to sense the potential for supernatural intervention, for ease, for protection—for something good or serendipitous or magical to show up.

My husband had retired from a long, illustrious career as a design engineer by the time we married but he still attended the Consumer Electronics Show. After three or four years of seeing him off with the usual glitter shower for travel ease and safety, I pulled him back for a second round: "This is for running into someone you used to know or work with, someone you're really happy to see." (That had never happened before because I had asked. Women care about these things. Men, not so much.) Back at the airport for the return ride home, Bill didn't say a word about any old acquaintances. By the time he was unpacking, I couldn't help myself. I had to know.

ME: Did you see anyone you know?

BILL: Yes! I did! (followed by all the blah-blah-blah details)

ME: Do you remember being sprinkled for that before you left?

BILL: Actually, that's the first thing that hit me the moment I laid eyes on him.

So often the Magic Dust is just "out there" doing its quiet work with little or no visible difference or fanfare, but on some occasions it comes through in spades. My favorite story is sprinkling my husband's sister Vivian on her way back to Chicago. Viv is a tiny, timid, disabled, and extremely nervous traveler who worries her way across the country. So out of the blue I gave her a double shot: "We can do more than safe easy travels. I'm covering you in Golden Magic Dust for an amazing experience, a surprise, something fun and special." I thought it might create a little diversion, a welcome distraction along the way. But the moment she hit O'Hare, she was calling to tell me that she sat right beside—Mike Ditka! You might be thinking the same thing I was: Who in the hell is that? But Viv's level of euphoric disbelief and over-the-moon excitement made it clear that for her, a close encounter with this guy would equate to an Elton John or George Clooney in my universe.

Just last week the Golden Magic Dust conversation staged a revival when our family friend Laura told me about her relocation experience in Atlanta. A co-worker asked if she had smudged the apartment before moving in, and Laura said, "No, but we were sprinkled before we came, does that count?" Of course, that odd answer led to an expose on what sprinkling is and does, which for Laura and Ryan, covered everything from a safe and easy move to incredible breakthroughs on landing a long sought-after job and pregnancy success. Her friend only had one question: "Where does this sprinkling lady live—here, I hope?"

My daughter Katie swears that Laura has some kind of Golden Magic Dust enhancer because the whole thing seems to work on such atomic-levels whenever she is involved. "I remember two years ago when you sprinkled Laura for harmony at work because some woman was making her life a living hell, and the very next day the bitch was gone. They fired her!"

Oh my, I had forgotten about that. We always want to use our powers for good but harmony is harmony and magic is magic!

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