Well, it has finally happened

A member of a lottery family whom I’d talked about on my website wrote to me asking what the heck a lottery family was and why was I saying such things about her family. She was disturbed and offended by the phrase. Looking back, I can see why she misunderstood my intentions — after all, “lottery” generally means something good, and the things that had happened to her family were terrible. I replied explaining the term and linking to the original entry where I’d come up it nearly three years ago. It is uniquely my own; I shouldn’t expect other people who aren’t regular readers of my blog to get it.

Do y’all think I should link to that entry whenever I write “lottery family” to avoid any confusion and people taking offense? Would this actually help to avoid that?

18 thoughts on “Well, it has finally happened

  1. Melissa March 23, 2012 / 5:32 am

    I think it could be helpful in a couple of ways – helpful to you, because you might end up having to explain your definition less often, as I think the original post explains it thoroughly. It may also be helpful for the “lottery family” members who read the post, inasmuch as they can see that they are not alone, which can be immensely comforting for people going through any kind of crisis, let alone multiple crises of a rare nature.

    • Meaghan March 23, 2012 / 6:27 am

      Right now, alas, the lottery-est of all lottery families I can think of is Susan Powell’s family. 😦 Though I suppose you could argue that her disappearance and the horrific events of last month are really just one long extended event. But I, a stranger, am still reeling over what happened, so I can’t imagine how her parents and family and friends feel.

      • Melissa March 23, 2012 / 7:02 am

        I have been following that tragedy from down here – “down under”. So sad. And you are right – I think they might just be the lottery-est family yet 

  2. Saffy March 23, 2012 / 8:08 am

    yes, link to that entry, it’s a good idea. Rather than having to explain!
    How about the Stayher family? Steven Stayner is kidnapped and held by a child abductor for years (“I know my first name is steven”) and then returns years later, only to die in a motorcycle accident. His brother Carey murdered four women yosemite park and is now on death row.

    • Meaghan March 23, 2012 / 8:19 am

      I suppose most of the Stayners would count as a lottery family in my eyes — certainly they suffered a lot — but Cary doesn’t get any sympathy from me

      Steven’s son has the same name as him. I wonder how many people (outside northern California) recognize his name and ask if he’s related. I looked up his relatives on Facebook awhile back and found out his daughter, Ashley, who’s within like two months of my own age, joined the Air Force.

      • Saffy March 23, 2012 / 9:25 am

        well you have to feel sorry for the family..it’s like one of those things where one tragedy seemed to lead to another. Cary sounded like such a sad, troubled young man, one only can wonder how he ended up doing such horrifying things. We’ll never know if it had anything to do with the family tragedy.

      • Margie March 23, 2012 / 6:49 pm

        And to make matters worse, Timothy White, the boy Steven Stayner rescued, died at only 35 yrs. old from a pulmonary embolism.

  3. Princess Shantae March 23, 2012 / 8:37 am

    When you talk about lottery families its usually pretty clear what you are talking about. Linking to the original might help you CYA, but I don’t think you really *have* to.
    How about Amber Swartz? SHe wasn’t even born yet when he dad was shot and killed in the line of duty. There’s a guy on death row for that, and he’ll die of old age. THen Amber is hearing impaired, and she goes missing, and that crazy Binder guy gloms onto her mother and she has to put up with his creepy little games, …

    • Meaghan March 23, 2012 / 8:42 am

      I read on some website about Amber that they theorized she was hearing-impaired BECAUSE of her dad being killed — the idea that her mom was so stressed in the second half of her pregnancy that Amber’s development was adversely affected. Certainly that’s possible; I’m a big supporter of the “stress in pregnancy causing all sorts of problems you can’t even imagine” theory. Amber also got hit by a car and had severe migraines afterward that. I started getting migraines at the age of seven (they stopped when I was around fourteen) and remember just how brutal they were.

  4. Princess Shantae March 23, 2012 / 10:26 am

    Something I always wondered… Amber’s profile says she needs hearing aids, but she didn’t have them in when she was kidnapped. Seems strange that she’d be playing outside by herself without having them in. I know people with hearing aids, and they only take them off when they go to sleep or are bathing or swimming, and sometimes not even then.

    • Meaghan March 23, 2012 / 10:38 am

      I don’t know what was going on with Amber, but I wear earplugs a great deal. I started out wearing them only for sleeping, but started wearing them a lot during the day too, even when I was out and about in public, shopping or whatever. I actually kind of liked not being able to hear as well. It made me think more clearly. I’m trying to ease off on the earplugs a bit lately cause wearing them all the time caused my ears to become inflamed and even bleed a little.

      Some people just do not like hearing aids. Shaya Chittaley, the woman I stayed with in Cleveland while I was in the I-Match Program, is just about deaf but she has a hearing aid in only one ear, and half the time she refuses to wear it. It was extremely difficult to have conversations with her when she didn’t have her hearing aid in. Even shouting, I kept having to repeat myself. Dad had the same problem and I suppose quite a few people do, but still Shaya refuses to wear her hearing aid. I suppose each to their own. Maybe Amber just didn’t like wearing hers.

  5. Princess Shantae March 23, 2012 / 10:46 am

    OMG, old people who won’t wear their hearing aids are so frustrating! I’ve worked in nursing homes for years and this is so common. Sometimes they just forget they need them but a lot of times its just pure stubborness. Then they get annoyed b/c you’re not speaking loud enough, they think you’re mumbling even when you aren’t. Or if you raise your voice and they do hear you they decide you’re being rude, b/c you can not talk that loud without sounding impatient even when you aren’t impatient, which you usually are by that point anyway. Its very inconsiderate to the people trying to help them.
    Its funny, people who need glasses usually have no problem putting them on, but hearing aids which are a lot less noticeable than glasses? Some weird kind of vanity?

    • Meaghan March 23, 2012 / 10:56 am

      Well, a few decades ago quite a few people did have a problem with wearing glasses and would rather keep bumping into things than wear them. Maybe eventually hearing aids will become stylish the same way glasses have? But I doubt it because, with glasses, everyone knows your eyesight can go bad at any age. But almost everyone with hearing aids is old; people see it as a sign they’re old and they don’t want to broadcast that fact. (Never mind that they have gray hair, wrinkles, Senior Citizen discount on the bus, etc.)

  6. Princess Shantae March 23, 2012 / 1:23 pm

    And talking too loud or not hearing what people say to you is also a dead give away.
    I wonder if Amber was hit by a car b/c she couldn’t hear it coming and so wasn’t able to get out of the way?

    • Meaghan March 23, 2012 / 1:36 pm

      I think they ruled out a hit-and-run. Now they seem to have ruled out everything except Curtis Dean Anderson…though I wonder about just how strong the evidence against him is. I mean, is there anything besides the confession. A person can confess to anything.

  7. Princess Shantae March 23, 2012 / 7:48 pm

    You have to be careful about atributing unsolved things to known killers. I guess the temptation is pretty strong once they’re in jail or dead and that way you can say well, we think Curtis Anderson did this but he’s dead now and can’t hurt anybody.
    Like a few years ago a girl named Katherine Devine was listed as one of Ted Bundy’s victims b/c she was killed in the Seattle area around the time he was there too, but finally DNA proved that somebody else had done it.

  8. Swilltastic March 23, 2012 / 9:30 pm

    Yes, link to the article, especially since it’s a term you coined yourself. I had no idea what you meant by the phrase, but now I do. I really like your Johnny Got His Gun theory behind it.

  9. Princess Shantae March 23, 2012 / 9:42 pm

    Oh I’m sorry! I didn’t mean that I thought Amber might have died in a hit and run and her body hidden. I meant, the accident that left her with migraines, I wondered if it happened b/c she couldn’t hear the car coming.

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