|It pretty much went down like this.|
One day I was minding my own business and I got a speeding ticket.
That was today, by the way, and I really was minding my own business. I was minding it so much, in fact, that I completely overlooked the sign where 70km/h goes down to 50km/h and I sped through at 75. And I also overlooked the not-so-ghost-like police car at the corner, until the officer pointed at me, turned on his lights, and pulled me over.
I would like to say he let me off. I would love to say that I burst into tears in front of him and he took pity on me with a warning, or that I flashed some cleavage or did some other very inappropriate girl thing and he winked and reduced my fine. Sadly, neither of those things took place. I didn't cry (until I got home), I didn't flash any cleavage, and he most certainly dinged me for the full amount.
What sucks about this whole ordeal is that I had a very legitimate reason to be going that fast. And the universe seemingly screwed me over, which was not very nice of it considering how saintly I was today.
Yes, I also like how I used "legitimate" in a sentence in which I blatantly broke the law. We may all stop laughing now so I can get on with my story.
And I'm actually not even close to saintly, but I'm going to stop at that and leave it up to your imagination-- not yours, mom. Please skip this paragraph entirely before you rent me my own confession booth.
Today I cut my workout in half, put aside submitting bids for two contracts and turned down a shift as a noon hour supervisor at Gutsy's school so I could hang out with my baby brother. Making money is helpful right now, but it doesn't hold a candle to my Michael. Mike has Downs Syndrome, and he needs a buddy at all times. My mom - who's about eleventeen times more saintly than me - had to take my grandma for a medical procedure and I offered to take Mike for the day. My mom does so much for us, so it's the least I could do.
But let's keep going like I'm some kind of a big deal. Feeling sorry for me is an important component to the tale.
The day was going swimmingly. I don't spend nearly enough time with Mike, so I was more than happy to hang out for a few hours. He bought me lunch (my mooching knows no bounds), we had lots of laughs, everything was great.
We had just brought my friend a coffee because she had injured herself and hadn't had one all day (a serious emergency, if you ask me) when my mom called. She needed a hand ASAP back at my grandma's house. This was the plan in my head:
2:00 p.m.: Help mom and grandma because I am an amazing daughter/granddaughter
2:15 p.m.: Leave grandma's house with Mike and bring him home for dinner because I am an amazing sibling
2:20 p.m.: Pick up Spawnling from school because I am an amazing mother
2:35 p.m.: Drive across town and pick up Gutsy from his school town because I'm an amazing mo-- wait, I already earned that achievement at 2:20... because I'm an amazing driver.
Except I'm not an amazing driver, apparently, because I failed epically to notice that cop around 1:58 p.m. in his so obvious lame-o burgundy cop car, and now I have a $125 ticket and 2 demerit points gone.
And the worst part? It was my very first ticket, ever.
And the worst-worst part? I felt so very sorry for myself on account of it being my very first ticket ever that I got because I was running around being a great everything for everyone. How is that fair? How could the universe do that to me?
So I ranted to my friend Liliane, and I ranted to my friend Robyn, and I ranted to my friend Christie, and I ranted to my husband (yes, I really needed to rant four times to get through all of that). And know what I did when I was done ranting? I texted Jes Lacasse, who is my brand new friend, mutual admirer, and, I've decided, my attitude sponsor.
A couple of weeks ago after I posted the dark sobby emo post, I received an incredibly insightful letter from a near-stranger. In it she acknowledged how blue I was, but didn't sit in my puddle of despair with me for very long. In fact, she threw on her rain boots (which I'm sure were quite lovely, because she has a serious passion for fashion) grabbed me by the hair and dragged me out of it with her positivity. She suggested that I needed to reshape my thinking; that I had so much in my life, including my wonderful partner and kids. She said I needed to try, as hard as it might be right then, to look at life from a place of abundance rather than lack, and that doing so has done great things for her. She even said I could call or text her any time if I wanted to.
An email out of nowhere from a random creeper (well, we met briefly at BOLO last year, but I had to look at her picture and see the attention-grabbing pink hair to remember that. Until then she was a creeper, albeit a thoughtful one).
I figured had two choices:
- Electronically slap her in the face and climb back into my puddle, or,
- Give what she said some serious thought because, after all, the water I was sitting in was getting kinda cold.
I took door #2, and behind it was a new friend. I even graced her with a text, which turned into a fabulous conversation.
Once she started pulling my hair she just couldn't get enough, obviously, so she dragged me back to Twitter, too. I'd never fully embraced the ADHD-like business of the platform, but I've been giving it a shot and I rather like it. You can find me as @StayAtHomeMaven. I can almost be witty with 140 characters or less. Almost.
I got together with Jes yesterday for sushi and manicures, the combination of which made me feel incredibly upscale. We couldn't be any more different in most ways. I listened in fascination as she brought me into her world - the world of a childless, unmarried fashion entrepreneur. I was captivated, and yet confused. This chick did know that I'm a stay-at-home-mom who gets her hair cut at the bargain place and owns 4 pairs of pants and half a dozen pairs of shoes, right? I was quite sure I had mentioned that this was my first manicure since my wedding day in 1997, and that my excitement normally begins and ends with a Friday trip to the children's section at the library. Totally boring, fairly predictable. That's how I roll.
And yet she's totally into me. She may not put it quite like that, but she is. I suppose it must be my charisma. I am basted in some pretty spicy awesome sauce. On the other hand, it could also be my hotness. Because next to modesty and charisma, that's what I have the most of. Whatever the case, I'm glad I can send her random texts like this:
"I am trying to see the abundance in the $125 speeding ticket I just got while I was rushing around helping family members. PMS is not helping."
And receive this:
"Oh honey pie that's balls. Here is the lesson: do everything at the right speed"
Do everything at the right speed.
How deep is that shit? I know, right? Out of a parking ticket. Amazing. Acknowledge that it totally sucked, and then throw something good at me to change my mood.
If she can do that to my psyche, imagine what the girl could do for my wardrobe.
One step at a time, Maven. One step at a time. Do everything at the right speed and all that.
So let's not tell her how dull I am, okay? We'll let the hip manicure-getting, sushi-eating, clothes-savvy, abundance-receiving text stalker of mine keep on thinking I'm full of greatness.
I'll feel much more full of greatness after I pay off my debt to society.
On the other hand, being a wanted criminal takes my stay-at-home-mom street cred to a whole new level.