Over the years I’ve known several people that have more than their share of bad luck; I suspect most of us have.
I use the term “bad luck”, but it really encompasses an entire range of situations, scenarios, and circumstances that – through no visible fault of their own – result in bad things happening to those acquaintances.
My wife and I have started to characterize them as “drama magnets.” It seems that everything could be going along swimmingly, and out of nowhere, some kind of drama finds them.
Sometimes it’s job related; a new position that’s less than ideal, a new situation that makes life harder, a co-worker that makes the workplace unbearable.
Sometimes it’s home related: a tree fell on one friend’s home.
Sometimes it’s family related: a family member in crisis, or worse, for which our acquaintance is the go-to person for help.
Sometimes it’s medical: conditions that won’t go away, doctors that don’t pay attention, insurance that won’t do what it promised.
The list could go on and on.
Here’s the rub: all of those things are normal and natural things that happen. Shit happens. I suspect that anyone reading that list will see some item to which they might respond “well, yeah, that’s happened to me.”
The difference? For a handful of people these things happen all the time. One after another. Sometimes one on top of another. Rather than a normal life with interspersed crisis, they live lives of seemingly constant crisis, with rare periods of normalcy.
You may be thinking “well, they’re doing something to bring this on themselves.” That’s what I keep wanting to think, but when I look at them, and to the extent that I understand them and their lives, I can see no coherent reason that bad stuff should happen to them any more than anyone else.
And yet — it does.
So far I’ve been able to come up with only two theories: statistics — someone needs to be at the far end of the bell curve, or magic — there’s some invisible power that attracts bad luck.
The later, of course, would be called a “drama magnet.”
It’s the best — or rather, least-worst — explanation we have to go on.