I love the new "people connecting" web sites. I’ve been able to catch up with so many friends from the past. People I had known all my life but had somehow allowed to let slip away when I moved 1500 miles south and was caught up in the everyday chaos known as life. We get to chat, play some games and generally enjoy catching up with over 35 years of lost time.
But the thing I love best is when one of them posts a note about something I myself have recently experienced. The last such situation was when a friend commented that she had set the coffee up the night before but was surprised when the pot was full of only hot water in the morning. We’ve all done it, forgotten to add the coffee. Our bodies are in the moment but our minds are on to the next thing. It just so happened that that same night, some two thousand miles away, I had left a gas burner on low on the stove after cleaning up from that night’s dinner. My husband found it when he went out for his evening snack.
“Wendy, is there something you forgot?”
“No,” I said getting out of my chair where I was reading the latest Golf Digest. (It’s winter, nothing is on TV and the magazine was within reach).
“So you meant to leave the stove on?”
This is one of those stupid &$%#^& questions that piss me off. Tell me I did something stupid. Don’t say it like I’m three and need a lesson.
“Yeah, I did. I was trying to see how long I could leave it on before we ran out of gas.” (We don’t have a propane tank... we’re hooked in to the gas line.)
I get the sigh.
“Seriously, I had the beans on so low that when I pulled them off for dinner I didn’t even notice the flame.”
I wanted to say it was better than the time I left the burner on under an empty pot and burnt it so bad I had to throw the pan away, but why give him more ammo?
Later that day, I talked to a good friend in Idaho. She told me the night before she had inadvertently put the fish back in the tank she had just cleaned, but forgot to put in the anti-chlorine drops, killing her grandson’s seven goldfish. (She keeps the fish at her house as her daughter doesn’t like to have pets in the house. A whole other chapter about the crazy kids we raised is coming). I told my husband at least I didn’t kill a living thing.
He just looked at me, smiled and said, “Yet.”
So my friends and I were commiserating. We noticed that it is usually the husband that discovers our little slips or failures.
Haven’t we all left the hose running outside when, in the middle of watering, the phone rings? Run out to pick up something at the grocery only to find that you left the back door open and the lizards have taken over the sun room? Put the washed clothes in the dryer and an hour later you go up only to find you forgot to turn the damn thing on? One friend was halfway to work before she realized she still had on her fuzzy slippers.
There are those things we forget all the time. The curling iron, the hair straightener, the light in the closet. But my kids have done those,too. Just look at the burn marks on their bathroom counter.
Again, I use the "brains too full, I’m too busy" defense. I am always thinking of the next thing that I need to do and sometimes, I SAID SOMETIMES; I forget to finish what I started. But I haven’t burned the house down and the water bill was only really high that ONE time. The things we do right outweigh the other stuff and until such time as the reverse is true, cut us some slack.