It has occurred to me, now that I'm forty, give or take a year or two, that I may be able to give some advice to the younger generation on how not to live their life. Looking back, I've had some good experience on things not to do when:
2. Dating guys
3. Driving a car
4. Riding a horse named "Bucky" (which has nothing to do with number two).
5. Attending any event where laughing hysterically is considered rude.
For now, I'd like to discuss item number one on the list and let you in on a little life lesson in karma. After quickly Googling the word "karma", I came across a website called "Skepdic" which in and of itself seems odd to me. However, having grown up on the vast plains of Texas, I'm pretty bad at pronouncing some words anyway.
Those of us cursed with a West Texas accent tend to stress syllables that should not, in any way, ever be emphasized and to draw words out into as many syllables as possible. That being said, I do not think there is any other way to pronounce "Skepdic". Maybe "skepdictionary" was already taken and shortening it was the owner's only option, but had they asked me, I would have told them to think that one through just a little while longer.
The Skepdic website defines karma as "a law in Hinduism which maintains that every act done, no matter how insignificant, will eventually return to the doer with equal impact." Obviously, by definition, this can be very good when you have done something good and pretty damn bad when you have done something wrong like laughed at an aging man's inability to distinguish the identity of an object.
In my late twenties, I was working as a supervisor tasked with assisting in the transfer of a call center from Dallas, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia and I was so thoroughly engrossed in my job that I constantly let it define me.
Sitting at DFW International in my wide-legged, black slacks, and crisp, white, button-down blouse recently retrieved from my suburban dry cleaners, I thumbed through a magazine and tried to appear nonchalant. The truth was, I was looking forward to getting to Atlanta and picking my rental vehicle. I was hoping for a sharp, red sports car or at the very least a dark, black sedan.
The flight was uneventful and I made my way to the rental counter. The line was longer than I had anticipated with many people waiting impatiently for their turn. I finally approached the counter and was asked for my I.D. and credit card. As I pulled my wallet from my purse, I dislodged a skinny, white, cylinder package from the depths of my handbag causing it to fly vicariously, in what seemed like slow motion, straight up into the air turning over and over until it landed and then skidded across the concrete floor directly in front of the wing-tipped shoe of a distinguished looking gentleman. I knew instantly what it was.
TAMPAX was written clearly across the package to alert anyone who may not have known exactly what it was. For a split second, I thought about walking back to my prior place in line, at the feet of the man with the nice shoes, to pick it up. Instead, I decided the best course of action was to ignore it. Who was really paying attention anyway? Certainly not every single person in line looking up into the air as it flew across the terminal. That tampon could have come from anywhere. I told myself.
To divert attention, I chatted with the rental car employee as my trip turned from embarrassing to worse. The sports car I had wanted, and was willing to pay extra for, was not available. The only vehicle they had left was a baby blue mini-van. "Oh, I've never driven a mini-van." I said, "But, I'm sure it will be fun!"
As I drove out of the airport parking lot, in the mom-mobile that smelled of stale burgers and dirty socks, I remembered another time in my life when Tampax had played a role.
One hot summer day, my childhood friend and I were out on her daddy's boat at Possum Kingdom Lake. Her older sister and her sister's friend were skiing as her dad was busy driving. Her aging uncle, who was along for the ride, opened the glove compartment. Inside was a long, plastic box. He opened the box as my friend nudged me. We sat at the back of the boat, laughing silently, and pointing, as he turned the tampon over in his hands trying to figure out what it was. When it occurred to him, he quickly shoved it back into the glove box and we continued to laugh.
Good ole karma. I thought as I drove down the freeway. It has always had a way of putting me in my place.