A positive, grateful attitude is the key to enjoying life, I
always say. Being thankful for things in
your life—big and small—keeps you constantly positive. I try to teach my children to
have gratitude when good things happen, while also seeing the blessing in an
But sometimes s*** happens. And as much as you want to see the good in a situation, you have to
acknowledge the reality when something just sucks. I realized that the other day...
The day started off relatively typically. There was the regular morning commotion
involved in getting my 11-year-old up, showered, fed and off to school. The baby was being her normal morning cute, and her Beyoncé impressions were nipping any bad morning moods or frustrations
in the bud. At noon, I was off to a
Traffic was horrendous, but I was feeling pretty cool when I
managed to weave my way around the bulk of it by taking side streets most of
the way. I ended up at an intersection
where city vehicles and cones had forced me right next to a cement truck. While waiting at the red light, I noticed
something thick spraying onto my windshield and across my hood. "You have
got to be kidding me," I said out loud as I looked over to confirm the
Sure enough, that airborne goo
was cement coming from the cement truck
next to me, and it continued to spray my car like a big,
cement-truck-asshole. I hurriedly
cracked my window, “HEYYY! YOU ARE SPRAYING ME WITH CEMENT!!!” The guy looked at me wide-eyed and sprang for the hose. He sprayed my car while I seethed and shook
my head back and forth. In the meantime,
the light had turned green and I was blocking a line of angry cars behind
me. The guy with the hose gave me a
thumbs-up and a nervous smile and shouted, “You’re all good!” while he motioned
me forward, and I went on to my meeting.
But, as it turns out, all was not good. When I went to get
in my car after the meeting, I noticed that the water drops, which were wet
when I’d left the car, were actually watered-down cement drops and had now
dried hard and gray all over my car.
After phone calls to the city clerk’s office and a large sum spent on having the auto detailer buff cement off of my car, it was time to pick my son up from school. My husband suggested that he and our baby daughter come along, and we would all go grab an early dinner afterward. When we rolled up to the curb where my son was waiting, we were greeted with a frantic look and his motioning us to roll down the window. “Your tire is deflating!” he shouted. And just as he finished the sentence we heard the soft whistle of air rushing out of our tire. We had run over a nail.
The “bloody hells" and “oh dears" crescendoed, and my son Evan started to cry.
The sound of whistling tire air was interrupted by a loud
“Bloody hell!” coming from my husband, who was staring at our flat tire. The flying
cement and now this? I kept my cool
and told my son not to worry. Thank
goodness it didn’t happen while we were driving on the freeway. And thank goodness it was a clean puncture,
and we could probably just get the hole patched. We would call AAA and get it handled.
When the guy
at the tire store told me that the puncture was on the tire wall and not the
tread, and therefore couldn’t be patched, I worked hard to stay calm. “Oh well. Sometimes things like this happen,” I said out loud so my son and husband could hear. They didn’t hear when I then looked up at the
tire guy and clearly mouthed, “What the F, dude!?” About 45 minutes later and after purchasing
a new tire, we headed home.
“That sucked!” my 11-year-old boy said. “Yeah, that did suck,” I said, “but thank
goodness nothing worse happened. The
point is, we are all safe and healthy.” We drove most of the way home in silence. I was tired and trying not to think about the
money spent on the car when I pulled a little too far right into the garage and
pinned my son’s bike against the wall, dragging a dent down the side of the
car, and also taking the paint off.
And then, I just lost my s***.
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” I screamed as I jumped
out of the car and flailed my arms around in the air. I continued to rant while I did dramatic
things like punch the air and cover my ears and then uncover them repeatedly. Upon hearing the ruckus from inside, my
mother-in-law who was visiting from England came into the garage and asked what
happened. “I just dented the EFFING car
with the EFFING bike!” I screamed.
My husband was saying, “Bloody hell," and my mother-in-law was saying, “Oh, dear." “And we got a flat tire!” I added. “Oh, and this morning it rained cement on my car!” I said dramatically. The bloody hells and oh dears crescendoed, and my son Evan started to cry. The chaos ensued for another 20 minutes.
Later that evening I told my son that as much as we all
should be positive people, we have to be real with our emotions. We should generally look on the bright side of
everything. But when three crappy things
happen in a row, it’s OK to be pissed off. I probably shouldn’t have screamed the swear
words the way I did, but I like to think that even June Cleaver belted out a
“Mother effer” when she burned her dumb casserole. Yes, when s*** happens, it’s OK to be
upset. Sure, there’s probably a lesson
in it, but you’ll realize it later when you’re done punching the air. “That looked weird when you did that,” my son
said. “But, it felt awesome,” I
said. Punch the air and move on, I
say. And so we spent the next five minutes
left-hooking and uppercutting the hell out of the air. And it looked weird. But it felt amazing.