Tag Archives: karma

Is it safe?

Hiding from karma

I know, I know – I promised to turn over a new blogging leaf, to be out here more often, and then I disappear.

I’ve had a good reason, I promise. Oh, sure, I’ve been a little busy. I picked up a second job right before the holidays (that’s another blog post – getting a job in retail in the state’s largest mall right before Thanksgiving – uh, really?!), moved Teen Girl home from college right before Christmas, then had to actually do the holidays.

But the real reason is that I’ve been hiding. Not from any actual person, or from anything you can actually see, oh no, nothing that easy. I’ve been hiding from karma. It seems karma has taken quite a liking to me lately, and, well, quite frankly I don’t need any help embarrassing myself or making myself look silly. Karma can just go find someone else to pick on.

Karma, however, doesn’t work that way. She (and, feminism aside, I’m convinced karma is a she because we all know that when it comes to being spiteful, women have that market cornered) arrives on her own time, usually unannounced and uninvited, and leaves whenever she decides it’s time. There’s nothing you can do to speed the process.


So I went into hiding, of sorts. I tried to keep myself from making the snarky comments, thinking the snide thoughts or saying the smart-ass things that instantly came to mind. That’s where karma gets me most – when I’m at my snarkiest. Let’s not forget she waited years, YEARS, before striking at me for that one time I stopped dating a guy for saying he was an aff-eh-KON-dee-oh of weapons, not because of his love of guns but because of what I mistakenly thought was a deliberate mispronouncing “aficionado” and how appalled I was to discover that no, that’s how he really pronounced it.

Then there was the time I waited for a half-hour for a reporter to take him to interview a patient, only to find out the patient had been discharged and the two had arranged privately to meet outside the hospital – and neither thought to tell me.

More recently, at my retail job, karma took another swing. I am one of two non-college students in our particular store, and the other is the store manager. I don’t mind being “the rookie,” and sometimes get a kick out of being the low person on the totem pole. It’s not my first job at retail, however, and I’ve worked with the public in some form or another since I was 13, so I’m more than comfortable talking to people and working the register.

One night I was asked to close by myself – the first time – and one of the college girls asked if I felt comfortable counting down the drawer. Uh, yeah. I think I can handle that.

I should have heard her coming. Thinking back now, I think she was even wearing loud, clacking high heels. That wench, karma.

For the rest of the night I was a bit insulted. “Do I feel comfortable counting down the drawer? Seriously? SERIOUSLY.” Or one of my favorites of the night, “Hmph.”

Then it came down to count down the drawer. I opened the computer program and I counted down the drawer. Then I clicked next and I did it again and hit balance. It didn’t balance. I tried it again – it didn’t balance. This program gives you only three tries, so I panicked. Then I tried again. Nope.

Then I remembered. I was still figuring up the “base fund” when I should have moved on to the deposit. I was using the right numbers on the wrong computer page. I had just completely messed up that night’s deposit.

So, “Do you feel comfortable counting down the drawer?” actually should have finished with, ” … with this software?”

Sooo … yeah. I’ve been in hiding. But as with a bear in hibernation, I can only silence the snark for so long. It’s getting restless and so am I. So I’m back. Karma be damned.


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Karma is an unforgiving wench

imagesYou ever have one of those days where you wake up and just know something is going to be a little off about this day? The ones where you really, really want to just crawl back under the covers and wait for the storm – whatever it is – to pass?

Today was one of those days.

The morning itself was fine. I almost literally jumped out of bed, turned off the alarm and felt refreshed and energized, ready to face the day. No hitting snooze and snuggling with my pillows this morning – no, I was up and ready to face the day. I turned off the alarm, turned on the lights and started my ritualistic walk toward the kitchen where, thanks to the wonderful designers at Mr. Coffee who put automatic timers on their machines, my cup of hot morning necessity would be waiting.

Halfway down the hall it hit me: This is not how morning is supposed to be. And since this good morning isn’t how it’s normally supposed to be, something is going to balance it out later in the day. Something …

It nagged me for a little bit, but then I put the music from my phone on and proceeded about my morning routine. All went well.

Work was busy, but good. While writing is a big part of my job, another part – the media relations-defined part – is to escort members of the media through the hospital when they have interviews with doctors or patients and their families, and to get consent forms signed from or on behalf of the patients (in the case of our pediatric patients). This morning I had a radio personality from Mason City come and get patient and family interviews for an upcoming radiothon for Children’s Miracle network. We walked through different parts of the hospital for four hours, but he got what he needed and left.

Then I started to feel it again. I knew whatever it was hadn’t happened yet. It wasn’t the four-hour media tour. It wasn’t listening to Christmas tunes on the Cambus in September.

I still didn’t know what it was, but I couldn’t shake it.

I was set to do another media escort at 3, so just a few minutes shy of the hour I went down to where I’d agreed to meet the reporter. I waited. And waited. And at 3:20 I tried calling the patient’s room to see if the reporter had gone up without me. No, I was told, that patient was discharged.

There would be no interview. And no one called to let me know.

I knew who was responsible. It was karma, in all her glory, snickering behind the plants in the lobby.

The reporter, as it turns out, was from the station I anonymously mocked on my Facebook page yesterday for having three language/grammatical errors in a 140-character tweet. I didn’t name the station, just posted the tweet.

Karma, you miserable little bitch.


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You just can’t hide from Karma

They say karma will always get you. It may not happen today, or tomorrow, or next week or next year – but it will happen. At some point, when you least expect it, karma will come around and bite you in the ass.

Karma’s a bitch.

For the last five years I’ve often retold the story of how I truly discovered my word snobbery – that I  went on a date with a man who was quite proud of being an aff-eh-KON-dee-oh of weapons, how I giggled at what I thought was his deliberate mispronouncing “aficionado” and how appalled I was to discover that no, that’s how he really pronounced it. And that I didn’t go out with him again. Oh, the horror, to mispronounce a word!

You know what’s coming.

The other night I was out on a date and we went to an Italian restaurant for some pasta and wine. While I’m not a wine “aficionado,” I don’t think I’m an idiot, either. I looked over the wine list and made my selection. When the waitress came to take our wine order, I asked for a Bolla chianti. Make that a Bolla chee-AHN-ti. Heavy on the C-H.

As soon as it was out of my mouth I knew I’d screwed up. It’s not CHianti, it’s KEE-ahn-ti. I knew that. But it was already out there. I stole a quick look at my date and saw a slight smirk (or was it a grimace?) and an “Oh, you poor thing” look from the waitress.

I slouched just a little lower in my seat. I wanted to take it back, to say, “Wait! I know this! I know how to say it!” Actually,  I think I really did say some of that …

Then it hit me. This was karma. Sitting right there next to me in that booth, helping me read the wine list and nudging me to that particular glass. Karma helped me find a wine that sounded appealing and then, quietly, sat back and watched it happen.

So, to the unnamed guy whose future date offers I declined because of the way you mispronounced a word, I’m sorry. So, so sorry. That doesn’t mean that it won’t still make a great story (I’ve forever ruined the word “aficionado” for many of my writer friends), but it does mean that I’ll be a little more gracious in telling it.

Damned karma.


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A welcome stranger

Call it karma, fate or divine intervention –  no matter the name, someone is really making things happen.

The kids and I said good-bye to our dear Bridget, a 9-year-old Newfoundland, in July. Arthritis and finally cancer had made our happy pet live a life filled with pain and we couldn’t watch her suffer.

Max, the Lab/Border Collie mix that grew up with Bridget, had a difficult time adjusting. He’s become my shadow, never leaving my side when I am at home. He begs for food more, and is more destructive when we are gone (I’ll be replacing my back door this spring).

I’d been thinking of getting him – more than us – another dog, but what? We’re not “little dog” people, but are we really ready for another big dog? What if we were to skip the “giant” breeds and go to “large,” like Labs or Shepards?

Then there are all those other issues: Max now gets to ride with us when we go away for the weekend, and with two dogs that wouldn’t be possible; Max has started enjoying being “the only child” and getting spoiled with the extra attention; and there’s always the financial issue, I’m saving close to $20 each month on dog food alone.

Then karma/fate/God intervened.

A neighbor stopped by my house Monday night wondering if I’d lost a big dog. As I was holding Max back, I told him that no, we no longer had anyone other than Max. He proceeded to tell me a large dog, “I mean Great Dane big!”, had showed up at his house earlier that day and wouldn’t leave.

This neighbor and his wife and young son live with his parents and another sibling in a small house around the corner. They already have three small dogs, “and we really can’t take in another dog – and this one’s too big for me to know what to do with.”

Without thinking, I said, “Go get him.”

As I watched him walking the dog to my house, my eyes began to well up. I called the kids into the kitchen so they could see.

My neighbor was bringing us a young Newfoundland.

I was surprised at the dog’s appearance. It was well-groomed, happy, healthy and had a collar. Someone was missing this dog.

I set about making phone calls – the sheriff’s office, the nearby veterinarian, neighbors – and e-mailed a friend on the Cedar Valley Humane Society’s board. The next morning, complete with migraine, I made a few more calls. I talked to someone at the Humane Society who told me that yes, they did have a lost dog report that matched the animal in my home.

I called both the cell and home  numbers and at 4:30 that afternoon I got the call. The owner, in tears, told me she never thought she’d see her dog again. About an hour later she and her husband were there to pick up the Newfoundland now known as “Bear.”

I think we’re ready now to welcome another giant breed into our home. My son, when he first saw Bear, said to me, “What are the odds that another Newfoundland would find us in Coggon?”

What are the odds, indeed.

This weekend we meet a female Newfie whose family moved to the city and can’t keep her. She and Max will ultimately decide whether this is going to be a transition that will work.

I’m really hoping it does.

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