I’m a Loser

Posted: November 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Husbandry, Miss Kate, Mom, Travel | 1 Comment »

On Mark and my first wedding anniversary we’d recently moved into our house, and I was pregnant. Extremely pregnant.

Before heading out to a celebratory dinner (where Mark would drink expensive wine and I’d sip water), he gave me a present. We were in what would be the baby’s room, sitting on the floor. And Mark handed me a little turquoise box from a brilliantly-branded jewelry store. I think you know the place.

Inside it was a beautiful necklace—a platinum chain and a diamond solitaire pendant. I absolutely LOVED it.

Mark put it on me, and we sat there on the floor for a while, looking at the new crib and rocking chair and the pile of laundered, twice-rinsed baby clothes, marveling over how much our lives had changed in one year’s time.

Then Mark had to stand up and grab both my hands in order to pry me up off the floor.

Ah, good times.

A few weeks ago we went to Seattle. We had an amazing weekend with wonderful friends. We ate at great restaurants, got a private tour of Chihuly‘s studio, went for walks on the beach, and even saw two bald eagles up close and personal.

But somehow in the course of all that fun I lost my diamond necklace. And I’m just sick about it.

The thing is, I was insanely organized that weekend. Like even more so than usual. Our hosts don’t have children, so I tried my utmost to keep the sprawl of our stuff controlled. I folded clothes and placed them neatly back in our luggage. I paired shoes closely together and set them at the edge of our beds. I gathered wayward toothbrushes, detangling spray, and princess panties that had been flung around the bathroom and tucked everything away in its place.

So I’m not sure how that necklace got away.

Damn my recent growth spurt around accessorizing. A couple years ago I wouldn’t even HAVE another necklace to change into. But recently I’ve made an effort to mix things up a bit. I’ve bought some bold, statement-ish jewelry hoping to up my maternal style quotient.

All I know is that beloved diamond necklace went to Seattle and never came back.

This is the WORST feeling. That pit-in-your-stomach, beating yourself up, woulda coulda shoulda feeling.

The thing is I also know what it’s like to feel this way then to suddenly find the lost item and to snap out of it. To feel awash with sudden relief and renewed love for that once-lost thing. I keep hoping I’m at the brink of finding the necklace on the bottom of my toiletry kit (even though I’ve emptied it out and shook it upside down eight times now).

But as the weeks march on and it doesn’t turn up, I’m losing hope.

All this would be bad enough on its own, but a couple weeks before Seattle I pulled another regret-laden move. It was a rainy, stormy, low-visibility morning. I was driving to work in a crazy slew of traffic. My 20-minute drive took nearly an hour.

I finally arrived at the parking garage in downtown San Fran. Hurray! I made it in one piece.

But when I pulled into the garage and took a sharp right to get into the row of to-be-parked cars I heard a loud scraping sound. No, it was more like a crunching. I looked up to see that I’d hit the edge of the doorway—a wall covered with a black rubber bumper and bright yellow reflective tape.

I’m such an optimist that I hopped out of the car, hopeful that—despite the horrific crunch of metal—the damage wasn’t too bad. [Let me throw my head back here for some hearty rueful laughter.] ¬†Yeah, well, no luck there. I pretty much took out the front passenger-side door AND the rear passenger-side door. Oh, and I scraped up the edge of the bumper too, just for good measure.

I’m not sure why I’m in this self-destructive mode. Maybe my moons are in retrograde? Or my insurance company is controlling my actions like a marionette? Maybe—despite my age, my marital and maternal status, and my professional standing—I’m still that irresponsible, reckless teen who crashed her car into a snow bank, lost her mother’s pearls, and had her Kelly green rugby shirt stolen because she didn’t lock her locker.

I don’t feel like that girl any more, but try as I will, maybe I just can’t shake her.

The other night at dinner Paige asked me to tell her a story about when I was “a little girl.” I find these requests both sweet and annoying. The egomaniac in me loves the invitation to hold court on my favorite topic: myself. But the tired old mom in me just wants to clear the dishes off the table and start running the bath water. Haggard Mom thinks summoning up some story to tell takes more energy than she has.

But egomania won out.

Me: “Okay, so when I was a little girl my mother used to save all the old stale cereal and crackers and bread that we didn’t eat. She’d put it in the trunk of her car. And whenever she drove past the golf course or the pond on Poppasquash Road she’d pull over and feed the old crackers and stuff to the ducks.”

Kate: [wild-eyed] “You’re not supposed to do that!”

Me: “What?”

Kate: “Feed bread to ducks! We just learned this on our field trip. If ducks eat bread they get this disease where their wings get stuck like this [holds her arms straight out behind her]. Then they can’t fly!”

For some reason in my wrung out, end of the day, slaphappy mode, I found this utterly hilarious. And I started to laugh.

Kate: “No, Mom, it’s true! Their wings get like this [holds her arms out stiffly again]. It’s NOT FUNNY.”

And really, it’s not funny. But something about my daughter’s sweet earnestness, and something about how all those years my mother was trying to do something good but was essentially crippling the object of her affection—gave me a taste of how powerless we can be as we make our ways through the world. Try as we may to do the right thing, sometimes the universe conspires against us.



1 Comment »

One Comment on “I’m a Loser”

  1. 1 Megan {{Millions of Miles}} said at 4:24 am on November 18th, 2011:

    Oh no! I’m so sorry that moons have been so out of alignment for you :-) Hopefully that necklace will turn up and no 20 year old ducks fall out of the sky on top of you with stuck wing disease! My best advice- take a nap!!!!

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