Skip to main content

...and that's why it made perfect sense that the cats peed on my business suit.

They are cute, these kittehs, but I now see that they are all a part of God's plan, my cross to bear, as it were.

As I revealed in my post about how I know I am Chilean, I believe in the fair and equal balance of good and bad, which I hope/believe I can control through the Art of Self-Imposed Minor Suffering.

If I have too good of a day or too much good comes, I'll spend the next day atoning, trying to bring my minor suffering back in line enough to mitigate any additional instances of major suffering. I'll drink my water without ice, and no flavoring of tea. I'll skip eye liner. I'll eat a Weight Watchers frozen meal instead of getting that Schlotzky's sandwich I want. I'll watch Duck Dodgers with the kids.

As soon as good news came down the pipe, I know the bad will, too. I consider myself lucky because the universe likes me balanced in the middle, and I know it could be much worse on the other end.

I could, for example, be the police officer who lost a handcuffed suspect on I-10, I could be the person who found that vicious -ism graffiti at the fire station, or I could have numb thumbs from too much texting.

I don't know why the universe operates this way or why I have been selected for this section of the Bell Curve, although I've made plentiful contributions to the Fair to Middling Writers Fund by purchasing many books with theories.

None of them know, either, but God love them for trying. It gives me hope that they do try.

That same wishful wannabe optimism co-mingled with Chilean POV is why I'm willing to believe in the space elevator but not odorless, trackless kitty litter.

I thought the universe spoke to me this week, actually. Through my purse. Which, when you think about it, is exactly the medium through which the universe ought to speak to a busy on the go woman these days. A burning bush would elicit a quick dial of 9-1-1 on the cell. An old man with long beard who is carrying a rock wold get a cash donation. But talking through a purse? That's a clever, modern God who has caught on to what we'll pay attention to.

It was this past Wednesday afternoon when my purse reached out to me. I was in a rush, hustling from one thing to the next, in crazy heat. My purse---which is really a woman-mom-worker combo case---was heavy, banging against my back. I had the beginnings of a headache, which I counted as my due for having a seriously interesting day.

I'd better get green tea, cold at least, instead of that coffee, I was thinking to myself as I muscled my way through heat so thick it felt like a new heavier gravity. Oh I wanted coffee, how I wanted it. Rich caffeine on ice with fat free soy and a dollop of French vanilla. Grande, of course.

And that's when my purse spoke to me. "Progress report!" it demanded.

Of course, I thought, of course when I have a Divine Amazing Interaction it will be incredibly practical and results oriented.

My steps slowed.

Well I still need to write an article about that health rally on Monday, especially now that I've got those photos. Then there's the article about that sexist cartoon. And schedule the two chats I have in mind. Plus prep for that contract. Oh and call The Client, the One I've Been Needing to Call. Prepare for the kids' birthday party, follow-up on RSVPs. Buy the toys for the party. Promote the circus. Followup on that call. Write two more articles, fulfill volunteer obligations, reach out to those contacts, check on that, uh, can you check back later, Demanding Universe?

I stepped inside the Starbucks, expecting a cool blast of air, but found none. I was almost slightly relieved. This practically gave me permission to get the coffee, all things (and balance of suffering) considered.

"Progress report!" my purse demanded again, and this time, the man in line ahead of me whipped around and shot me a look. I gave the startled deer in headlights look and innocent silent shrug. He narrowed his eyes at me, anyway. I now knew, however, that this wasn't all in my mind.

"Just smile and wave, boys, smile and wave," my purse advised.

Now the man's eyes widened. After another look at me, he turned away and edged forward slowly, away from me.

I stuck my hand in my purse and began feeling around as nonchalantly as I could. The demands and advice grew more insistent, "Progress report! Smile and wave! Progress report! Smile and wave!" My hand landed on a small, hard toy. I pulled it out.

A Madagascar 2 Happy Meal Penguin toy.

I pushed the button on its back, "Progress report!" I pushed it again, "Just smile and wave, boys, smile and wave."

"Ohhhhhhhhh," I exhaled in enlightened wonder.

In front of me, the man's shoulders shook a little.

I stuffed the penguin back in my purse, wait, maybe it would keep talking. I pulled it out and inspected it. Ah ha, an off switch. I stuffed the muted penguin back in my purse.

But it's not nice to ignore the universe. It will get your attention, one way or another. And that's why it makes perfect sense that later that night, the cats peed on my business suit.


Yolanda said…
That was absolutely divine, in every sense of the word.

Now get your screenwriter hat on because I feel a blockbuster coming on. A busy mom who receives divine messages via her purse?! Sounds 100-times better than Bruce Almighty.
Anonymous said…
Universal balance. I get it.
Kyla said…
Mmm-hmmm. Perfect sense.
Major Bedhead said…
I like your theory. Makes complete sense to me.

We had the giraffe from that Happy Meal push. It, sadly, didn't seem to have an off switch so it met with an unfortunate accident.
Meghan said…
I'm not sure, but this post seemed even funnier to me knowing that we were on the phone either right before or right after this incident. LOL
In fact, I think this is so funny that I am going to locate one of the 5 Madagascar penguins that continue to float around my house and put it in my purse. Just in case the universe needs to get in contact with me.
Either that or in the dishwasher. Because really, if the universe wants to get MY attention it's going to have to be one of those two places. LOL
And you already know my feelings on kitty litter.
You rock Julie, keep on keepin on.
Ms. Skywalker said…
....and that is why I don't have cats. :)
Magpie said…
I thought your purse was "speaking" metaphorically, until I got to the end. Yeah. It makes perfect sense.
Julie Pippert said…
Maggie, my life is both 100% metaphor and 100% literal, which makes perfect sense for a Liberal Arts major even if not for a math major LOL!

Jenn, awww but they are so cute, these kittehs. lol

Meghan, it has come in super handy. The kids were driving me crazy in the car one day and I whipped it out when I ran out the desire to say ANYTHING to them, and said, "Kids, here's what i say to THAT," and I punched that penguin who chirped "SMILE AND WAVE BOYS."

Major, we have balloon euthanasia and toy mercy killings here often. So I understand.

Kyla and Annie, knew you'd get it.

Yolanda, oh a screenwriters hat? let's see if I have one lol.
Anonymous said…
the best title ever
Elizabeth said…
I really needed a laugh this morning, thank you!
Miss Yvonne said…
That is one of the very few things my cats have never peed on in my house.

Popular posts from this blog

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Quorum

After being confronted with written evidence, Julie admits that she is a total attention whore. In some things, in some ways, sometimes I look outward for validation of my worth and existence. I admit it. It's my weak spot, my vanity spot . If you say I am clever, comment on a post, offer me an award, mention me on your blog, reply to a comment I left on your blog, or in any way flatter me as a writer...I am hopelessly, slavishly devoted to you. I will probably even add you to my blogroll just so everyone can see the list of all the cool kids who actually like me . The girl, she knows she is vain in this regard , but after much vanity discussion and navel-gazing , she has decided to love herself anyway, as she is (ironically) and will keep searching for (1) internal validation and (2) her first person . Until I reach a better point of self-actualization, though, may I just say that this week you people have been better than prozac and chocolate (together, with a side of whi

In defense of vanity...I think

Do you have one of those issues where you argue with yourself? Where you just aren't sure what you actually think because there are so many messages and opinions on the topic around you? I have more than one like this. However, there is one topic that has been struggling to the top of my mind recently: vanity and perceived vanity. Can vanity be a good thing? Vanity has historically been truly reviled. Vanity is number seven of the Seven Deadly Sins. It's the doppleganger of number seven on the Seven Holy Virtues list: humility. There are many moralistic tales of how vanity makes you evil and brings about a spectacular downfall. Consider the lady who bathed in the blood of virgins to maintain her youth. Google Borgia+vanity and find plenty. The Brothers Grimm and Disney got in on the act too. The Disney message seems to be: the truly beautiful don't need to be vain. They are just naturally eye-catchingly gorgeous. And they are all gorgeous. Show me the Reubenesque Pr

Is your name yours? How your name affects your success...

Made by Andrea Micheloni Not too long ago I read What's in a name? by Veronica Mitchell. She'd read the NPR/USA Today article, Blame it on your name , that shared new research results: "a preference for our own names and initials — the 'name-letter effect' — can have some negative consequences." Veronica's post and that article got me thinking about names, and their importance. Changing to my husband’s name and shedding my maiden name was no love lost for me. By the time we married, I’d have gladly married any other name just for a change. My maiden name was a trial; I was sick of spelling it, pronouncing it, explaining it, and dealing with the thoughtless rude comments about it. My sister and I dreamed and planned for the day we could shed that name. So I wonder, sometimes, whether I adequately considered what a name change would actually mean. Heritage and genealogy matter to me and my maiden name reflected a great deal of familial history. Histo