I awoke one recent morning to an ice-cold house; my thermostat and my furnace were not on speaking terms. This shouldn't have been a problem in May, but this being May in the U.P., it was a problem.
I took the dogs out, shivering as I moved from cold to colder air. Saira and Indy ambled through the dewy grass, pondering which was the best spot for taking care of business.
Mere seconds after I got them back in the house, Saira decided she had more business to do than she originally thought, and tried to resolve it on the dining room rug, necessitating another hasty trip outside... where Saira concluded that her business wasn't all that pressing after all and she'd prefer to be back indoors.
Now running behind schedule and beginning to feel surly, I stomped back into the house and put on a pot of coffee. While I was in the living room catching the morning headlines on TV the coffeemaker overflowed, belching a Niagara Falls of pale brown liquid and muddy grounds over the edge of the counter and onto the floor.
A few fistfuls of paper towels and several unprintable oaths later I headed upstairs to get dressed, entering my room just in time to break up a yowling, butt-clawing, tail-biting brawl between my daughters' two cats.
"For God's sake!" I yelled, yanking the battling felines apart, "Anything ELSE?"
Well, yes. The bathtub faucet won't stop dripping, the battery in the kitchen clock died and I couldn't find matching socks.
I stomped out of the house in a roiling black cloud of foul temper, asking myself, "Why does everything happen to me?"
I'd walked about two blocks before I calmed down enough to remember the blessed truth: everything does not happen to me.
In fact, none of the aforementioned events happened to me. They just happened, and I just happened to be there.
As much as I enjoy a good stew of self-pity laced with whimsy, I know that the thermostat, dog, coffeemaker and cats did not huddle together, giggling maliciously, conspiring to make me miserable on one random Tuesday morning.
It's funny that when misfortune befalls us we're so quick to ask, "Why me?" Yet when we get a promotion, win the lottery or meet the love of our life, we rarely ask why we deserve such good fortune.
You could say we're optimists, assuming it's our destiny to be happy. You could say we're spoiled brats, assuming it's our destiny to be happy. Either way, the only thing it's truly reasonable to assume is that life is sometimes unpredictable, messy and irritating. Not just for me, and not just for you. For everyone.
The next time I'm mopping up spilled coffee or pungent pet surprises - and there will be a next time, believe me - I'll try to take comfort in knowing that some of you are out there cleaning up messes, too. Let's make a vow to not ask ourselves why, oh why, everything always happens to us. We're all in it together, after all; pass the paper towels.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Deb Pascoe is a Marquette resident, mother of three and full-time editorial assistant in The Mining Journal newsroom. Her bi-weekly columns focus on her observations on life and family. She can be reached by phone at 228-2500, ext. 240, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog online at www.singlesobermom.blogspot. com.