What I’m Wearing: Polka-dots with the Sweetest Ruffle

I’ve become convinced that the universe has the kind of sense of humor that if we met at a party, I’d want to be his or her best friend.

Completely convinced.

And being the universe, all mighty and powerful, it would likely be all James Bond in it’s own badass way, drinking a Vesper martini. “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?” The universe would say.

And me, because I think I’m all badass (when I’m really not), I’d order the same and then I’d fall over while the universe would chuckle and tell me to get back up.

Last week was a crazy week that had me run ragged as I spent three days commuting back and forth to the IABC conference and then to my condo to check on the renos that hadn’t been started yet, much to my dismay. “Have the renos started?” everyone kept asking me and I was all deer-in-a-headlight as I shook head and replied no, they had not, because my contractor was MIA and not replying to my emails. I then got a call from Home Depot saying my backsplash was in and I was all great, that’s awesome, because I’m excited and I love my bottle green glass tiles, but where was my flooring that I had ordered two weeks prior and was supposed to be delivered in 48 hours? “We don’t know where your flooring is, actually,” Home Depot said on the phone to me, but they were assuming it was on a truck somewhere. “Can we call you back?”

“Please,” I pleaded. “Definitely call me back.”

I’ve been doing a lot of yoga in the past year, which I think has gotten me through a lot of the stress and pressure that accompanies a marriage coming to an end, selling a house, moving into a rental, learning to single parent (especially those late, late nights in the middle of the winter when you’re sick and she’s sick and there’s puke everywhere), buying a condo, meeting with contractors and the never ending packing even though you purged the first time you moved, less than a year before.

“Do good, be good, say good,” Suzy keeps saying in yoga class. “How you handle yourself on your mat will transfer into how you handle yourself off your mat.”

I’ve been trying hard to do just that. To do good, be good, say good, and as a result, the universe has been kind. I’ve been rewarded, gifted, blessed, fortunate or lucky, however you want to see it. It has not been lost on me.

“You’re a bright, shiny spark in the universe,” a friend said to me, and then admitted to being a little envious.

“Do good, be good, say good,” I replied.

But then. Then I started to lose sight of that last week though, and allowed myself to get caught up in the pressures of work stress and the self-imposed drama around my contractor and my floor. Toxicity started to creep in. Negative thoughts and self-doubts.

On Thursday, I was whirling through my day, and ran into a friend. We started to chat, I bitched about my contractor and my floors and then she shared something bad that had happened to her, and I paused, because suddenly, suddenly, I could feel the universe giving me a nudge.

“Let me help,” I said, and I did.

I don’t believe in doing good and being good and expecting a reward. I honestly don’t think that entered my thoughts as I did what I was able to do to help a friend. And afterwards, when I reflected on what I did to help, the joy I felt wasn’t because I had helped but was because I could help. I was in a position to do so, and so I did.

I walked back to my desk, and had forgotten about my small problems in this big world, where there are always bigger problems. I saw a missed call on my phone, returned the call and heard my contractor’s voice on the other end. “I’m in your condo,” he said, his voice echoing in the empty rooms. “I’m about to make a big mess.”

We hung up the phone and it rang again.

“It’s Home Depot,” the person calling said. “I’ve got your flooring, do you want to pick it up or would you rather we deliver it?”

There was the universe, working busily away.

I picked Clara up after school that day, told her I wanted to show her something. We walked into the demolished condo; and though I was prepared for it, even I was surprised by the forces that had been at work.

“Mama,” Clara said, her eyes big. “This sure is a big mess. Did Wally make this mess?”

I confirmed that he had, as we walked from room to room, through the dust and debris.

“I sure hope Wally’s going to clean this mess up,” Clara said, her hands on her hips. “We didn’t make this mess, so I don’t think we should have to clean it up. I was at school, and you were at work. Do you agree?”

I tried to hide my smile, as I agreed with her.

This morning I woke up early, threw on some running clothes and hit the pavement for a short run. I showered, and applied some makeup, did my hair, thinking about the renos and the packing, the journey that I’m on.

All my pants and dress shirts are packed, a dozen or so dresses remain hanging in my closet to get me through the next two weeks at work until I move.

I passed my hand over a polka-dot dress with a fitted bodice and a sweet ruffle along the hem. It makes me think of my honeymoon in Los Angeles, of the photos of me in that dress while I splashed in the surf in Santa Monica. It’s a sweet, sweet dress, with romantic notions and ideas; it reminds me of train stations and chance encounters, and the opportunities that exist if you open yourself to them.

I pulled the dress on, added my beige colored shoes that Clara has been wearing every chance she gets, tripping in them when we play Clara and Mommy and she’s me and I’m her.

I looked at the date on the calendar, it hadn’t changed; it’s still the day that my divorce becomes final and official, as far as the courts are concerned. It’s still the day that my very first mortgage payment comes out. One chapter closing, another one opening.

“You’ve got a wicked sense of humor,” I told the universe, as I grabbed my purse and phone and car keys and headed out.

Do good, be good, say good, I think the universe probably replied, and tilted it’s Vesper martini my way.

And I tilted mine in return.


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