Had that coming
Tuesday August 10th 2010, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Life

You know? There was a time when we’d been married about a year when we were moving out of an apartment that had landlords who were infamous for treating their tenants poorly. The chances of getting our cleaning deposit back were not high, no matter what condition we left the place in, but we were dirt-poor students who needed what was our money anyway.

Which is how (I think Richard was taking exams) I came to be scrubbing down the place all day on a ferociously hot day with a deadline right on my heels: the electricity was going to be shut off at 5 pm and the utility account switched over to our new apartment in town.

There were outside doors in opposite directions and I had them both open in hopes of getting some kind of breeze going through there as I mopped and swiped and cleaned the tops of doorframes standing on a chair, and on and on.

Everybody in that apartment complex was like us: young, newly married, and students or grad students at BYU. Or had been: a plump woman my mother’s age appeared in my doorway, looking into my kitchen and at me halfway across the place, and asked me, Oh! Are you the cleaning lady? I’m moving in today and thisthisthisandthis were not properly done in my apartment and I’d like you to take care of those now and

And she just went on and on, ignoring my efforts to go Yo! No! I’m not! Sorry, but!  By the time I finally got that through to her, I knew her name, where she was from, her recent divorce, the fact that her kids were all grown, when all I wanted was simply to be left alone doing my thankless-enough task, knowing the landlord would probably stiff us anyway–we were friends with the managers, three sets in one year, two gone because of those owners and the third set trying to make them honor their contract.

She seemed okay with finding out I wasn’t the maid after all, probably glad just to have someone to talk to, but I was young and dumb and my frustrations were such that I truly never wanted to see her again. (The landlords didn’t have faces. She did.)

We went to church on Sunday.

Guess who was there.

One of the leaders at church met her, she being new, and knowing nothing at all of any of that, called me on the phone the next day and asked me if I would go visit this new woman on a regular basis as her Visiting Teacher.

Inwardly, I winced and guffawed all at once–okay, G_d, I hear you. You’re trying to set me straight here, and yeah, I guess I needed that; but, really, do I have to?

I had to.

And you know? We were different generations with different experiences and I tended to feel like just a kid around her at first, but by visiting with her we came around to actually being good friends, one I was sorry to move away from a year later–which would never have happened, I would never have spoken to her again, had not that Relief Society president asked me to do that.  I totally would have missed out. And so would she have, for that matter.

I thought of that today when, for the first time ever–today of all days–my Squirrelbuster birdfeeder refused to do the little bouncy bounce I always give it after screwing the lid back on. Darn thing jammed.  For no reason I could figure out.

Richard looked it over when he got home and said the rubber linings around the seed openings were coming loose.  He would see what he could do once it’s empty, but since I didn’t want to pour all that seed I’d just put in there onto the ground for the squirrels (and I’m sure not going to tell them it’s free for the grabbing up there right now, presently the thing won’t close under their weight like it’s supposed to…)

Yeah, you got it. A cosmic message of, Make peace. Even if we do succeed in fixing it ourselves and don’t have to take it to where that clerk might be on duty when I ask about the lifetime warranty on that thing.

But it just might be the rubber makes me hit the road and I’ll have to make that 50-minute round trip again for the sake of perhaps not just the feeder.

And you know? I think it would prove a very good thing. I’m ready.

Somewhere, a woman thirty years older than me would be smiling…

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Jonah had a whale, you – you have squirrels. We await the rest of the story!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 08.11.10 @ 4:54 am

Everything happens for a reason, huh?

The wheel comes full circle. Thank you for the post!

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 08.11.10 @ 6:30 am

Thank you for sharing that. You teach us all more than you may know…

Comment by Channon 08.11.10 @ 6:49 am

oh dear — I can’t wait to hear how this all comes out!

and I’m guessing you’re headed out to my old home town, visiting the Wild Birds store in the little shopping center with the Lunardi’s grocery store and the toy store full of great educational toys (if it’s still there)– wishing I could hitch hike in your back seat (along with the feeder)

Comment by Bev 08.11.10 @ 7:44 am

Another example of ‘no such thing as coincidence?’

Comment by Don Meyer 08.11.10 @ 10:02 am

Synchronicity — gotta love it. Or just cry, but loving it much better.

Comment by Patricia Day 08.11.10 @ 12:58 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>