It’s not every day that you can step in a pile of dog shit and walk away with clean soles.
A few days ago, I was wearing my favorite new boots that I bought in last August in New York City. They were marked down to $30 from $599, the only pair like them, and in my size. If you believe in fate and that some things are meant to be, then you can believe that those distressed brown leather ankle-height riding boots were my beshert.
And not meant to be insulted by wayward dog turds blatantly left in front of my super mailbox. Yep. An inconsiderate jerk let his obviously large dog relieve his or herself right where I’d be likely to step in the mess when picking up my mail in the dark.
I felt the squish, and cringed. My boots were doomed. And then I realized that the grass was still damp from the rain. I had a choice. I could become one with the crap, or risk water damage on my boots. Without a second thought, I stepped from the pavement into the wet beyond, squished my heel around a few times, and hoped. When I got under the street light, my heel was clean, but the leather was darkened with water. But, I didn’t stink of a dog’s dinner anymore. The poop was gone. The next day, thankfully, the leather had dried good as new.
It all worked out for the best.
A couple of days later, the husband and I reluctantly made the decision to cancel our family trip to Israel. We’d been planning for three years to take the whole family on an epic adventure for our youngest son’s Bar-Mitzvah.
He was going to read from the Torah on top of Masada.
It was going to be amazing. Because of a variety of circumstances, we haven’t taken our kids away on many family vacations, and even the 18-year old been on an airplane just three times in her life. In fact, this isn’t the first time we’ve booked a getaway and then cancelled it. They’re almost grown up and they’ve never even been to DisneyWorld for goodness sakes. I’m so tired of disappointing my kids. I’m so tired of being disappointed myself. Time is running out.
First world problems, I know, but I was really looking forward to the time together, especially as my girl has gone off to University.
When we decided to call the dream trip off, I went through my own version of the Stages of Grief. These are my defence mechanism, and are well practiced when things don’t go my way. They are:
1.Avoidance (I don’t want to talk about cancelling the trip. It’s not happening. I can’t hear you.)
2. Mock cheerfulness accompanied by nonchalance (Oh, whatever. Who cares anyways. I didn’t really want to go anyways. In fact, I’m happy it’s off. Relieved really. Just cancel it. Big smile.)
3. Depression (Oh, woe is me. Why do these things always happen to me? I was really looking forward to this. I’m so sad. Nothing is ever going to turn out for me.)
4. Apathy (Whatever. I don’t care about anything. I’m like a shadow moving through the day.)
I know, healthy. Right? Especially stages 1-4.
Somewhere between depression and apathy, after I dried my tears and before I started to not care about anything, I went to get my mail. That big turd was still laying there. Right in front of my mailbox. With a perfect indent from my boot.
Still there. Me stepping in it didn’t make it go away.
And that crap didn’t ruin my beautiful boots.
Just like this other crap isn’t going to ruin my life.
A new addition to my Stages of Grief.
5. Reluctant Acceptance (We’re not going. We’re not going. We’re not going. There will be other things. Other trips. Other opportunities.)
I think I’m a grown-up, even though I’m fighting it. Shit happens. Literally. Whether you step in it purposefully, or not, that’s just the way it is. Luckily, this time it was just the cancellation of a longed for vacation. Everyone in my family is healthy. We have a home. We have food to eat. Other than the luxury of a transatlantic jaunt, my kids are well provided for.
This trip was important to me. But not going on the trip won’t ruin my life. There will be other trips, and we will find another, quieter way to celebrate our son’s Bar Mitzvah.
Maybe we’ll fly away to a beach. Somewhere a little less adventurous. After all, you don’t need to go to Israel to have a good time. We’ll be together and that’s all that matters.
I’ll just make sure the resort serves hummus.
PS. I hate. hate. hate. hate. hate. disappointing my children. Did I say hate?