It's not about the house.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Git Yer Thumbs Out

My new gloves have a hole in them, which is just so appropriate…

See, I wore the same pair of gloves with a hole in the right thumb for going on four years. Not because I couldn’t afford a new pair, but because I just don’t get around to things. The other nine fingers were fine, so I’d tuck my thumb in my fist or put my hand in my pocket and off I’d go. I’d tell myself it was handy – for counting money or turning pages in a book – but the truth is the ripped glove made me look like a little match girl, so I’d remove it when conducting any thumb-requiring transaction, anyway. Once a year or so I’d get a wild hair and stitch the damn thing closed (because that’s so much easier than purchasing a new pair) but it would just rip open again the first time I wore it and then me and my holey gloves would be off together for another year.

Last week, though, I happened to notice a rack of handwear in the grocery store. Three racks, actually, like Goldilocks: men’s, women’s, children’s. I passed up the flimsy ones with the faux-leopard cuffs designed to match my pair of chromosomes in favor of a sturdy, handsome, warm-looking pair on the men’s rack. I even slipped one on just to be sure (which – trying things on before I buy them – is something that I never do) and oh, my goodness was it toasty. Ten bucks, what a bargain. So I brought them home.

But the right one has a hole in it. I tried the left one on in the store, and the right one has a hole in it. In the lining. I thought at first it was a pouch for keeping money in – because we’ve all heard of that, right? a little pouch in the palm? – but in the days I’ve had them the hole has gotten bigger every time I put them on, until this morning I put my hand inside the hole instead of in the glove itself. It made a noise like a wee raspberry as it tore.

This is exactly the reason I don’t get around to things – because when I do, this is what happens. I buy the gloves with the hole in them. I buy a box of sixteen firestarters and when I get it home there are only twelve firestarters in the box. I buy the $1200 gas stove and the ignition won’t ignite. I’m the idiot that buys the extended warranty on everything – because every single thing that comes into my possession is guaranteed to shit the bed eventually – and when I call the 800 number it’s been disconnected. Such is my life, and I’ve come to accept it.

But no, I haven’t. I’ve come to acknowledge it, I’ve come to recognize it, I’ve come to expect it, even, but I have not come to accept it. The truth is I can’t help but rage against it. And oh boy, do I still rage.

“Oh, come on!,” I scream, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” as I hurl whatever’s failed me now across the room (if it’s small enough to throw, that is, otherwise I tend to hurt myself flailing about it in frustration). Johnny doesn’t understand this. Johnny says things like “Such is life,” and “This, too, shall pass.” Johnny says things like “Why don’t you just return the gloves?” that make me want to punch him in the gut and run away.

Meanwhile, tires go flat on my car for no reason. I blow out a brand-new pair of sneakers by stepping on a rock (stepping on a rock! how does that happen?). The tv I bring home shuts itself spontaneously off...

The best zen-ish expression I’ve ever been able to muster is “Well, that happened...” and then I throw a fit. Do you remember that scene in Dirty Dancing (and you know you do, so don't deny it) where Baby’s on the bridge and she can’t master the step, so she has a spastic little temper tantrum? That’s me, three or four times every week. With shouting, and swearing. And sometimes violence. And Johnny melting quietly into the woodwork till it’s over…

We really should not have bought a house, with a track record like mine. I don’t know what ever possessed us.

It might have been the fact that it’s what you’re supposed to do – but then, who says so? I mean, sure, you have to live somewhere, and folks who know about these things say you might’s well put your money into something that you own – but if everything you’ve ever owned has turned up ass, does that not count for anything? Couldn’t someone, somewhere, take that into account and say hey baby, you – you – might want to back up ten yards and just punt this one?

Of course, some of this is my own fault. Nobody told me to spill beer on my computer. But even this new computer Charlie sent me – I love it, it works great, I don’t know how I ever made do with the old one for so long – but, now that I finally have a new one, my printer doesn’t work. My old printer, the one thing in my life that never gave me any trouble (which isn’t entirely true either, but you know how you get nostalgic about things when they die), isn’t compatible with the new computer. So now I have to get a new printer, and how long could it possibly be until that breaks on me, too?

And yet —

Wait. I interrupt this broadcast to say that I just turned on the radio, a radio that was a Christmas gift not seven weeks ago, and the volume button’s ceased to work. I can press play, but I can’t hear any sound. Is it just me? I mean, seriously – is it me?

Okay, so enough with the self-pity. The point is: some folks just ain’t cut out fer it. Have you ever heard the expression “fall into a bucket of shit and come up with diamonds in your teeth”? It means you’re lucky, that you come out of sticky situations smelling like a rose. Well, Johnny has a companion saying: “fall into a bucket of tits and come up sucking your thumb.” It means, basically, you couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse.

That’s us.

To be fair to the universe, we’ve fallen into more than our share of tit-buckets. We won some money in the lottery; we used it to buy this house; we bought this house for what we’ve since been told was a tear-down price. But maybe we bought this shit-bucket hoping to come up with diamonds in our teeth, and maybe that’s where we went wrong. This is still me we’re talking about, after all. Me, with the blown-out sneakers and the secret palm-pouch in my brand-new gloves.

Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised when we put in a second bathroom and the toilet made a dripping sound even the plumber can’t explain. When the garbage disposal that was supposed to be able to demolish bones couldn’t even grind banana peels. When the doorbell we put in goes off when someone rings the neighbor’s. I don't know, maybe we should just accept that no matter what we try to do, we'll just keep coming up sucking our thumbs…

At least that way they'll be warm, though. Which is more than I can expect from my gloves.


Carmine said...

This is one of the best, right up there with 'Little Yellow Pill'

You know, obviously you have a problem with inanimate objects, like exceedingly bad Karma.
But remember, everything is alive, just at different levels. For instance a rock is alive but sort of the single-cell anemone of lifeforms. Way down there, as in 'dumb as a rock'.
If you show love and affection toward these objects and send off a positive vibe then they will respond. Your TV won't go off until you shut it off, and your gloves might grow a new finger. Your printer might actually decide to become compatable with your new PC. Then again, if you start talking to these objects like they are house-pets, your friends and family might decide to become in-compatable with you, the loveable bad luck girl who has gone off the edge.

su said...

You are soooo your Dad.... 0-100 mph in 5 seconds. Sometimes it is best to ask for the input before you leap..... the after input can only be supportive. Otherwise it is the punch in the stomach!!!ly mp

RED said...

I take the opposite approach. I buy five pairs of gloves in identical colors for $.89 each at Xmas Tree Shops.

This way when I lose one, there are nine other gloves that match.