I have moved. I am still surrounded by boxes. I am learning how to live with another person. It’s hard.
I’m not making excuses for my bad behavior. I behaved badly and I own it. I’ll just tell it.
[I’m tossing in a couple of photos of my beautiful new environment; they have nothing to do with the story, but hey, I’d love to share the beauty with you too.]
There’s a backstory; this has happened more than once. Twenty-ish years ago and then again on the day after my big move, I sank into the arms of my old
friends enemies entitlement and deprivation and took something that wasn’t mine, or tried to get over on someone who was helping me (same crap, slightly different actions).
As my friend Andrew said when I told him these stories, some behavior is just baked into us. And in moments of forgetfulness, we just go to what we know. I’m embarrassed. I’m flawed. I’m learning.
Story #1 — 1995-ish
I took a road trip to Wilbur Hot Springs and then Mendocino.
Got to Wilbur and realized I forgot my flipflops. Asked if they had any spares at the desk. “Of course; check out the lost and found box. If you find some, please make sure to return them when you leave.” I agree — “Of course I will!”
When I left three days later to drive to Mendo, I decided I really needed those flipflops. Must have them. So I wore them and drove away. On Wilbur Road, about a mile from the hot springs, I decided to change into my brand-new $200 (in 1995 dollars) Havana Joe boots. Stopped the car, looked in the backseat where I had tossed the boots, and I only had one boot.
I arrived in Mendocino with a pair of $3 flipflops (which weren’t mine) and only one of my Havana Joes.
I met someone who was on her way to Wilbur at a 12-step meeting (where I told my sad tale). I handed her the flipflops and asked her to please return them, to take them back before I got any more smackdowns from the universe. I took someone else’s advice and called Wilbur to see if anyone found my boot. The gal at the desk said “Oh yeah, I’ve been driving by a single boot. Call me tomorrow; I’ll see if I can find it.” When I called the next day she told me the boot was no longer visible on the road.
Story #2 — moving day and the day after
The movers made a lot of mistakes when they packed the truck — they damaged a mirror, two lamps, my keyboard tray, and my dining table.
They were awesome. The operations manager and repair guy came the next day and promised to take all the broken stuff away, fix or replace all damage, and bring everything back to me all better. They even adjusted the amount due back to the original estimate even though the foreman wanted $300 more the day before. They want me to be satisfied; they want to retain their 5-star Yelp rating and they will.
But I couldn’t resist. Uh-uh, not me. There was an opportunity to try to get over and I took it!
I took them over to a box that was labeled Lampshades — Fragile — Do Not Stack (which means don’t put anything on top). I had left it sealed. My words: “Your movers stacked this on the truck and then stacked it here in the garage (this was true). It has lampshades. Let’s make sure nothing is damaged in here, okay?”
I said this knowing full well that I had a broken glass shade in the box. When they pulled it out and asked me if it had been broken before, I told a big fat lie. “Nope. Never broken.” They took that with them to replace as well.
After they’d gone, I took the other smaller unbroken glass shade that goes with that lamp and attempted to screw it in place. I screwed it in upside down and broke the lamp.
Called them up and told them there’s no need to replace the shade.
Instant karma, yo.
Where do you end up when your out of balance?
What not-so-loving behaviors seep through? What’s baked, or hard-wired, into your brain and psyche?
I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has had episodes like this. I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Blessed be!