Six times when you can’t rely on your lucky pants

There are times when luck might see you through, and times when it really won’t, writes Anita Chaudhuri


Six times when you can’t rely on your lucky pants

1. If you’ve been asked to make a speech. Whether it’s a wedding, leaving do or keynote address to 250 high-flyers, speaking in public is infamous for being ranked number two as the thing we fear most, after death. OK, so, you can stand up and face the crowd armed with nothing more than your lucky pants if you want, but unless you have the charisma (and speaking skills) of Oprah Winfrey, if you don’t write and rehearse every last word to perfection, you will run the risk of succumbing to nerves in the moment and sounding like a gibbering wreck. Which makes that number two ranking look on the low side…

2. If you think he’s seeing someone else. When it comes to love, chance plays a big part, particularly at the meet-cute stage – who hasn’t told a version of ‘And-just-think-if-I-hadn’t-gone-to-see-Bad-Tequila-Experience-that-night-we-might-never-have-met’? But once you’re in it for the long haul, it’s honest communication in the moment that’s going to keep things on track, not chance. And if things go wrong, even more so. Believing in luck now is hazardous because it will simply delay you from taking the painful but vital next steps – be they confronting him/calling Relate/figuring out his iPhone password while he sleeps.

3. If you’ve received a scary demand from the Inland Revenue. You could try relying on luck, of course. Buying a dozen scratch cards or spending a glamorous evening playing roulette at The Golden Nugget is sure to lift your spirits. But next morning, promise me you’ll sit down and write the good people at HMRC either a cheque or a letter explaining that you’ve spent all your money on shoes but you commit to paying what you owe in full by the end of the week/month/next eclipse of Saturn.

4. If you find a lump, bump, wheeze or cough and it’s still there after a week. This is the time to consign your charm bracelets and AstrologyZone app to oblivion and get on the phone to your GP. No arguments. For sure, it’s better to be lucky than right. But you’re not going to find out which one you are until you get checked out. Pronto.

5. If you’re cooking dinner for six people. It’s not that a belief in luck is superfluous when it comes to unleashing your inner Nigella. Who knows, perhaps adding salt instead of sugar to your gingerbread could be a lucky accident – a flavour phenomenon to rival salted caramel. But when it comes to cooking for other people, and particularly people you hope to remain on speaking terms with, crossing your fingers isn’t going to do much to transform rock-hard roasties. Far better to practise that menu until you’ve got it perfect and, on the day, rely on military-style planning. Or, failing that, your nearest takeaway.

6. If you’ve got a job interview. Sometimes you can wing it at work – coming up with creative excuses for why you’re an hour late, schmoozing clients, or asking for a pay rise. But when it comes to the dreaded job interview, forget it. No matter how enlightened the employer, it’s highly unlikely they’ve enlisted Lady Luck to be on your interview panel. There’s no substitute here for getting fluent with the highs, lows, and downright lies of your own CV. It goes without saying that you will also have meticulously researched the company, its clients and the name of your interviewer’s first-born son. But wear your lucky dress, just in case…