September 30, 2003

Weirdness abounds. Someone nicked the plates from our car yesterday while it sat in the parking garage. I didn't learn this until I staggered home from rehearsal last night; Stacy had to deal with this nonsense from the get-go of coming off the Metro. (She stayed home today as well to get our new plates and so forth form the DMV. I hear it went alright, and we're more or less fine now, if a bit frustrated.)

Stacy says the car is cursed. I don't know. We've certainly had more than our share of car-related troubles in the last couple of years: rear-ended twice (one of which put her in surgery), a break-in, numerous trips to the shop, lots of parking-lot dents and scrapes, and now this. Still, for the most part, lots of this stuff wasn't nearly as bad as it could've been. We got broken into, but lost nothing of great value; we had to have repair work done, but discovered it before taking a road trip; we had our license plates stolen, but not the car itself. With the exception of Stacy's back injury (which was very serious indeed), most of what we've endured has been inconveniences, not disasters.

Am I a Polyanna for trying to make the best of all this? Maybe, maybe. It would be a fair accusation, I suppose. But I don't see the value in underlining the negativity of it all either. Two years ago, having our car broken into was an afterthought to a year that had already brought losing two members of my family, then enduring the accident and my wife's surgery, and finally September 11. I think I've got a good picture of what a real tragedy is, and this ain't it.

Robert Fulghum has an essay in one of his books about this. It's the one where he says that life is lumpy - but a lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in a breast are three different orders of magnitude. It's good to be aware of which one you're coping with.

(None of which is to say that it isn't a big pain in the ass to stand in line at the DMV on a Tuesday morning because some miscreant got a wild hair. Which is something that I didn't, admittedly, have to do today. I love you, sweetie.)

Anyway, I suppose the point of all this is that I still feel like life is good today, and that I've been blessed with good fortune. For all the reasons I have to be happy, I can endure an inconvenience or two. So it goes. So it goes.

(Nonetheless, if anyone out there has a good way of de-jinxing a car, let me know...)

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