Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Sunny skies? No sweaters, thank goodness.

One of my all-time favorite jokes has to do with guilt.  A mother lovingly gives her only son the gift of two beautiful sweaters and to honor and thank her, the son decides to wear one of them when he goes to visit her.  Pleased and doubly warm (inside and out) with his decision, he rings his mother’s doorbell anticipating her smiling face when she sees he chose to wear one of her wonderful gifts.  The door slowly opens, the mother sees her son standing there, looks him up and down and harrumphs, “So, you didn’t like the other sweater?”


When I get up in the morning I look in the mirror as I brush my teeth and say, “Today, I will do the best I can in all that I attempt to do.  I will help as many as I am capable of helping and along the way I will harm none.”  Really.  Through minty-fresh breath I mumble my good intentions for a positive, uplifting day and if all else fails and I fall short, I pray that nobody gets hurt.  When day is done (hopefully before midnight), I re-run the day with toothbrush in hand again making a mental checklist of what transpired since the crack of ridiculous (between 5 and 6 am) and try to determine, if this day was my last… would I be proud of it viewed on instant replay two stories high?  Was I successful in my attempts to aid and comfort those in distress?  Were my words, written or spoken, helpful/constructive/positive?  Did I use a firm enough hand when administering the doses of tough love where needed?  Were more frowns turned to laughs when all was said and done (a critically important part of my every day)?


I have a deep appreciation for the value of the minutes that are mine to borrow on this planet and, like most of you, have the basic human need of just wanting to love and be loved (heck, even a healthy helping of like makes me pretty darn happy).  Nonetheless, I somehow seem to have grown up to be the poster child for the Wrong Sweater Theorem.  I don’t know about you, but if one interaction goes sour during the day, it has a tendency to burrow in my brain and I spend (waste?) an extraordinary amount of energy wondering what went wrong and what can be done to make it right.  But deep down, I know that more often than not, the people who adhere to the Wrong Sweater school-of-thought cannot be pleased and should probably not be added to our checklists at the end of the day.


The thing with Wrong Sweater people is this: you can stand teetering on a decision of what to say or do with them and if you veer to the right, you’ll see in their eyes that you should have gone left and if you go to the left they’re apt to shake their head (often accompanied by a barely disguised “Tsk-tsk”) indicating their disbelief that starboard wasn’t your first and only choice.  Guilt has a way of sucking the joy out of a situation, usually dragging your confidence along behind it and the Wrong Sweater people don’t feel a lick of guilt over these situations (they know you’re carrying enough of it for everyone).


You could wear BOTH sweaters, but not only will you literally be hot-under-the-collar, you’ll look silly doing it.  And the Wrong Sweater folks will pull no punches as they laugh and point it (and you) out.


During a phone call this afternoon it was brought to my attention that I apparently had a Wrong Sweater moment a few days ago and I didn’t even know it.  For hours, I tried to figure out what I could have done differently and realize now that there was no way I could have chosen the right sweater or worn two at a time to make things right.  I’m going to have to brush my teeth and let it go.


Living in Southern California, I am so grateful that as the sun went down it was 57 degrees: no sweater required.  Tomorrow, it will be more of the same as the weather calls for sunny skies and a high close to 80 degrees out here in the high desert.  With any luck, the trend will continue and I won’t be tempted to put on one of those Wrong Sweaters again.  That’s just one less thing on my list.  Thank goodness.

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