Sunday, December 22, 2013

When life gives you lemons, grab some vodka

I'm not gonna sit here and lie; sometimes life sucks.  Like the fact that the hot water no longer works in my shower.  Every time I get in there, I turn to ice.  And I'm not sure if I get completely clean because two seconds after washing my hair, I feel like I have hypothermia, and I have to hover over my bedroom vent just so my fingers and toes thaw evenly and don't fall off!  And forget how long it takes pouring a "warm" bath for the kids in that bathroom.  I end up hauling water from another faucet--then dump it into the tub repeatedly, just like Little House on the freakin' Prairie!
    ...Or the fact that my van's left window doesn't work anymore.  (That makes visiting the drive-thru a real dream!)  Or how I have to disconnect and reconnect the van's battery every time I turn the thing off.  Or how it sounds like a commercial airplane getting ready to take flight. . . .  I'm sure whenever I start my van, the neighbors two streets over yell, "That single mother with the bad hair must be heading out to work again!" 
    But lately what bothers me isn't the shower, the van, my hair, or even the fact that terrible rumors have spread about my life now that I'm divorced.  No, what really chaps my a** is the fact that someone keeps toilet papering my house.  This shouldn't be a big deal.  None of this should be.  I could live in a country without running water--and I'm damn lucky to have a vehicle! Hell, one of these days my fingers COULD fall off--but they haven't yet!  And I have family who loves me--AWESOME kids--and I'm not bald.
    But still, last week, after I dropped off my four children to Cade for the weekend, I pulled into my driveway only to see A MILLION YARDS of toilet paper covering my roof.  That's when I cried.
    I got out of my van, sat on the cold concrete and wondered how people can be so cruel.  Was this someone who knows me?  Or just some teenagers who picked my house randomly?  It didn't matter--what hit me was that I'm exhausted and now I had to clean up another mess.  As I hugged my knees, loudly bawling in my driveway, I didn't care who saw me.  I wasn't trying to please the neighborhood, pretending to be the "Single Mom of the Year"! 
    After mascara had smeared all over my face, and several concerned citizens had rubber-necked as they drove past, I thought that instead of causing a traffic accident, I should pull myself together. I remembered that saying about turning lemons into lemonade.  That whole saying is so overused AND I'm allergic to lemons, but as I sat pathetically rocking on the concrete, a fantastic idea dawned on me.  After all, the toilet paper was two-ply!
    So, before climbing out the bedroom window leading to the roof, I put on cute clothes, cleaned up my face and did my makeup.  (Sometimes even lipstick can make life better right now.) 
    Then I climbed up on my roof and started wrapping that Charmin Ultra-soft (yes, I'm a TP expert) around my left hand.  I wound and wound until my hand and arm looked like the Michelin Man! 
    A car honked and two teenagers pointed and giggled.  I waved with TP streaming from my arm.  Whatever they thought--to me, it WAS hilarious!  After that, I exchanged pleasantries with a lady walking her dog. Did she realize how much her small, kind greeting lightened my load that day?  And when I told her what I was doing, her eyes brimmed with tears.  "Good for you," she said. "You're turning lemons into lemonade!  You're gonna make it, honey.  Just keep on movin' forward."
    I'd suddenly regained my cheery perspective.  Who cared about the stupid shower of doom, the van's broken window and its jacked-up battery?  Who even cared about my hair--wait, that IS an issue.  But anyway, someone had given me toilet paper, for free. 

    Maybe God knows how hard-up I've been this holiday season.  This was like that time in the Bible when manna fell from Heaven; all those ungrateful sinners followed Moses and God still fed them.  I can see Him now, wearing a toga--'cause that's what God wears.  I bet he was just chillin' on a cloud, throwing manna over the side, waiting for it to fall like big hail-balls from Heaven.  Wouldn't that make a great country song! Hail Balls From Heaven. 

    Yep, God provided again--and this time it was TP, probably donated by some pimple-ridden teenager!

    After I'd gathered all of the two-ply goodness, I made myself a steaming cup of peppermint coffee, took a bath, and then I used that toilet paper to wipe my own a**!  And I thought to myself, When those people TP'd my house, did they have any idea how positive I can be?  Betcha they didn't--and now the joke's on them!
    It'll take more than that to get this single mother down.  WHA-BAM.

    So the next time life gives you lemons--or someone TP's your house--remember, it's not always about the crap that happens. It's how we respond that makes the difference.