by Jill MacGregor
I am a confident driver. Out of my way—yield to me. That feeling you have, other driver? It’s you knowing in your core that I have the right of way—that your speed is hindering me from closing the gap from timeliness to late AGAIN-ness. I am quite sure others consider me safe and benevolent as I let them in during rush hour… but come on.
I am the only one keeping score on things.
And I’m really not paying that close of attention to how the final tally is constructed.
When it comes to how I drive, there is no East German judge. It’s just Me, Me and Me! And I say *10’s* across the board.
I am so great.
But yesterday, I began to tally. I’d had several honking/gesturing moments with other drivers and I’m quite sure I pulled out in front of an oncoming semi.
Cement Mixer + Jill = cartoon flatness
I began to replay the honking/gesturing fits other drivers had initiated with me that day.
Hmmm. New thought—here it comes.
Maybe it was me, I said out loud. What an uncomfortable concept.
My next question?
Maybe I should ask myself this more often?
Well, that’s just a bag of snakes, isn’t it? Maybe I should start asking myself that question not just about driving but in general—during those moments of unease or friction—or whatever the emotional equivalent is to honking and mad gesturing…
Because, it seems when you ask yourself this question it is either laced with self loathing or dripping with arrogance. There must be a middle ground.
So, I have a little story.
A few years ago I had a fung shei party and while we drank wine and ate stinky cheese—a friend of mine who was a practitioner revealed the mysteries of the “bagau”, the fung shei map for measuring the placement of objects and the energy in a space. We discovered why clutter makes us insomniacs. We discussed the four elements; earth, fire, wood and metal, and the importance of balancing them in a room.
As she gave us this info, I mentally mapped out my own condo, making sure I had my wood and metal in the proper places. I was startled to find I shouldn’t have electrical appliances in my vitality quadrant, previously referred to as the kitchen.
I moved to the loft–my bedroom. This is where it gets scary. Initially, I marveled at my innate ability to place everything in the most desirable bagua quadrant. Then I get to my relationship quadrant.
I was horrified to realize that the cat box is in my relationship corner.
Side bar: Where does one put the poo?
I began to wonder if my *success* in love was directly tied to the placement of my cat box in this space. It had to be—it couldn’t be me, right?
I said, RIGHT?!
How simple this would be to remedy! Why, it would be all rice and doves in no time if only the litter box was not in the northeast corner of my bedroom.
But, I noticed a second culprit, this one tougher.
There’s also a toilet in my relationship corner.
Where does one move the toilet? I realized I asked myself this the same way I sometimes ask myself if my life would have been different if I’d chosen a different major in college…because, merde alors, I seldom am parle-ing the francias, si vous get what I’m dit-ing.
But until I get that Way Back Machine it doesn’t’ much matter what the answer is…so, you get my move the toilet vs French major quandary and its lack of relevance in the real world.
And, as if that weren’t enough to hog tie a single girl, I notice a third problem stinking up my relationship corner.
I have three postcards in this corner—of the same Magritte painting. Three. Emphasis. In case you missed it the first two times…there’s a third one.
The postcard is headshot of a man and woman, hands clasped together, both melodramatically facing east, cheek to cheek. I thought it was so clever. You see, the man and woman actually have scarves over their faces obliterating their vision and the piece is called “Love is Blind”.
Did I mention there were three of them and they were my relationship corner? You know, up there sucking the love out of the room with the diabolical assistance of the cat box and the toilet.
Three of them.
“Love is blind”.
Flushing. Sexy, sexy flushing.
So I had a choice at that moment. I could buy in 100%, put the cat in diapers and paint everything vivid red or pink *grimace* and plaster all wall space with hearts, flowers and symbols of love.
Or I could stop, reflect and say, well, that’s an interesting theory, and keep everything as it was.
I went somewhere in between. Because. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was just in case.
My plan: Bedazzle.
I started with the cat box.
It was a whorish mess.
Ten kinds of wrong.
The cat worked around it, shaking her head each time she entered her sparkling shit house. I (apologetically) noticed the look of concern on her face as she considered what else dear god in heaven was going to be inappropriately decorated.
For the sake of love.
One by one my little rhinestones fell off the cat box—foreshadowing–the cat began shaking her paws every other step as she encountered the stickiness. Shaking her head, she would shoot me a side eye making me realize that perhaps I had taken the wrong approach.
Really? Her cat look would say. Really.
Thank you, kitty. You are so wise.
It didn’t seem to make any difference in my love life where the cat box was or what it looked like or if my tiny bathroom had an oversized heart shaped rug from IKEA that was clearly meant for a teenager who had yet to develop her taste—in décor or men.
And as the last plastic gem stone fell off the cat box, I made the decision to buy a new cat box and return to age appropriate neutrals in the bathroom.
Everyone in the house (read: me and the cat) seemed much more comfortable with this less sparkly approach.
Why did I do it? I guess I did it so I didn’t have to ask myself the question—Is it me?
Because, bottom line, it is much easier to make a trip to IKEA and the craft store than to look inside and think deep and hard about the part I play.
I’m a firm believer in intention and its power in our lives, how we can create a stage and set the desired events in motion. But I’m also a believer in examination. I guess the trick—or the goal—is to never allow one of those to replace the other.
Look hard and believe harder.
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