Friday, April 2, 2010

On Achieving Balance

When I was a fun-loving single chick in New York, my friend Virginia told me her theory on the universe: Every woman can have a great guy, a great apartment, and a great job, but not at the same time. You can have two at the same time, but never three - so if you have, say, a great job and a great loft and meet a great guy, brace yourself, because a pink slip or an eviction notice is coming your way.

I observed the phenomenon always held true - I had a great place to live and a great job and when I met my future husband, I went uh-oh, and sure enough, my manager quit and my great job became, well, vomitrocious.

I've been reflecting on Virginia's theory recently and wondering why it worked. I think it has something to do with an overload of good karma, kind of like overeating - if you have too much of a good thing, you have to pay the piper. Or something.

Now, I am married and have a nice house and a good job, but I work a lot and my house backs onto a busy street and also we have crazy neighbors in one house so, even though it appears I've been binging, there has been enough roughage in my karmic diet that I've been able to avoid divorce, unemployment, or relocation.

That is, until we decided to book a really amazing vacation this spring.

I have not actually been out of the country since my nine-year-old daughter was a year old, and since that trip a) involved spending three weeks with my soon-to-be-ex-inlaws and b) was immediately followed by a divorce, I think it's safe to say it's not high on my list of awesomest foreign adventures I've ever been on. So in January, we decided it was time to do something amazing and foreign, and found an resort in Belize, and ... booked the trip. I decided to live on the edge, and paid a nonrefundable deposit just days before layoffs were to be announced at my husband's job.

We dodged that bullet, I am pleased to report, and I blithely assumed that maybe the increasing volume of the construction at the college next door had rendered my house sufficiently unpleasant that no further harm would befall us. What else could it be? I found a swimsuit that fit me. A wonderful dog sitter. Pink docksiders in my shoe size. Books I had been waiting for were suddenly waiting for me at the library. My hairdresser stopped whining about her terrible boyfriends and instead gave me a great cut and some good movie recommendations.

And then it happened. On Saturday, my dog came to beg at the dinner table (I don't know why he does that, he gets plenty of table scraps as it is), and I noticed ... his eye looked funny. I held up his face, and he closed his eye defiantly.

I said, I think something is wrong with the dog's eye.

My daughter replied, No there isn't. He's been doing that all day.

Fifteen minutes later, the dog and I were in the car headed to the vet's office, where the on-call emergency vet (read: I charge extra! Lots extra!) determined that although there is nothing vision-threatening going on, my beloved Rufus required three kinds of eye drops and a follow-up visit to clear up the problem.

As she was ringing up my Visa card and I was calculating how many tropical blender drinks I would have to forgo because I love my dog, my tongue hit a rough patch on one of my back molars.

Odd. That wasn't there before.

So, Tuesday morning, right after dispensing the doggy eye drops (and just before calling the dog sitter to find out how much more her stay is going to cost now that there is medication-dispensing involved), I headed on over to the dentist, figuring, well, he should probably check that tooth, and letting my coworker know that I'd be ... ohhh ... maybe a half hour late for work.

I think you know what's coming, because all dentist stories tend to follow the same arc. My visit ended with the words, "Take as much tylenol as you need for a few days, don't chew anything on that side, and remember, you were" - hold up two fingers a fraction of a millimeter apart - "that close to a root canal."

Because I'm a grownup, I don't get anything from the prize box, even though I was very well-behaved for three hours, but I did get an emergency packet of dental goo to use if my temporary crown comes off in Belize. And as an added bonus, the dental technician who did the work was very interested in my upcoming vacation, and regaled me with her stories of her own vacations, which involved lengthy descriptions of her fear of flying, and why, exactly, she is afraid of planes. I would have comiserated with her about my own dread fear of planes but seeing as my mouth was full of dental gadgetry designed by medieval barbers, it was a little hard to mention it.

We fly out tomorrow: nine hours of flying (no, I'm not nervous), an hour's drive to our resort on "mostly paved roads," and then I'm looking forward to a week with a book, a beach, and a blender drink. At least, I think I am.


  1. I hope you have a great trip :-) sounds like you'll enjoy it!

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  3. Something always happens before vacation. Have a great trip and be safe:)


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