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 boiling water and dumping 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.

24 comments:

lol you find a silver lining in everything, this one just lined your own arse lol

Woman, you're inspiring. May the gods bless your journey. You're my new hero. Rock on!

Hah! I told my wife the exact same thing this past Mischief Night, "They TP this house, they're just saving me a trip to Costco" :)

Good for you! And thanks for reminding me that sometimes it's as "simple" as a change of attitude! Sending good thoughts to you during this difficult time. xo

You go girl!!! I fall apart in tepid water. Cold? I'd be a basket case every morning.

Keep up the awesomeness! Seriously groovy post. :)

Isn't it great that we can so completely control how we react to whatever comes our way in life? I so wish that whoever did that to your house could see your closet now filled with TP they gave you for free!

You are wonderful. You are such a strong person. You are an inspiration, and your kids are so blessed to have you as a mom. You are a role model for them, but also for so many others. This was a great post. Thank you for sharing it. I agree with you. Our response is the key to getting through things.

Free toilet paper, that is a wonderful way to look at what happened! You are certainly a survivor!

Giggling girls used to TP our house regularly when Favorite Young Man was a teen. Unfortunately, they used cheap toilet paper that we could not gather up to use. I miss you.

Love,
Janie

Why doesn't what you did surprise me AT ALL? Love you, Sonny!!

Love you and your story and I don't know who you are...you are awesome.

A to the men! I see a new book from you coming out of all this.

So, Elisa, if you need some TP, I've got some coupons I could send you. Nice bathroom pic, too. Apropos. Reminds me of a lady I used to want to date but chickened out.
(Friday night alone? I thought you were a writer. Writers live for that night alone with their words, you know.)

Way to turn it around! I always say, "When life gives you cucumbers, make pickles." Pickles are submerged in brine (or adverse circumstances) for a prolonged time to make the transition. Cheese usually has to age before reaching its intended flavor. I think all things amazing take time and difficulty, and you are certainly facing some adverse circumstances. Way to overcome!

You know... when I started reading this, I thought "Hey... free toilet paper!"

Great minds darlin'...

Good for you. Always find a positive in the situation and you will be fine.

way to stay upbeat. can't let the you know who's get you down!

plus, with four kids, you can always use the extra TP (don't i know it!)

cute pic, btw. :)

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is there no helping hands around Miss?...

Dear Elisa, I've read all the comments and there seems to be a real vote of confidence in you and in your response to life. I learned with Meniere's that I have no control over much of my life but I can control how I respond to people and words and things that happen. And you are teaching me that again. Peace and good will to you.

what a great way to turn a negative into a positive! i certainly hope you keep getting blessings you need and deserve! and that smiling face in your pic is evidence enough that you aren't letting the the storms of life rain on your sunshine! thanks for sharing!

Awesome post & oh so funny! I so agree, crap happens, it's how we respond to it that makes us or breaks us.

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