Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 | Life in a Northern Town
Scientists say we all believe negative things happen more often than they do because we remember negative events more clearly and assign them more value. This is why everyone in your town believes that each one always choses the longer line at the grocery store even though that cannot be true, and is where all those heavily sighed “this always happens to me” for which teenagers are renowned come from.
The cure for this comes in celebrating the small good things in life, and on a grand scale of small good things, my day rocked. I set out for Boston with the intent of getting my hair cut. I purchased my ticket the night before. I arrived in a timely manner and set out for the cab stand after a solid two hours of work on the bus (perhaps the longest stretch of writing I’ve done in months) but en route, I had a moment.
A moment. The kind of moment where you realize that what you have with you is your laptop bag.
And yesterday, when you last used your wallet, you were not carrying your laptop bag, but a random tote bag with cheerful green and purple flowers on it which is still sitting on the floor of your bedroom.
This is not typically what you would consider to be a good moment. I clutched my mobile. I contemplated. I started dialing, only to realize that my dearest Boston friend was in Alaska and probably not even awake yet. I paused. I tood a couple of cleansing breaths. This is difficult to do in a bus station, but the one is Boston is really quite nice as these things go.
And I remembered that as I walked out of the house, Rob had handed me a new credit card, sent to us to replace an old one, and said he’d activated it for me. And rather than put it in my wallet, I’d just dropped it into the bag over my shoulder.
I started emptying, carefully. It was not in my New Yorker. It was not in the small notebook I make lists in. It was not in the large notebook I take book notes in. It was not in O. But it was tucked up under the power cord to my laptop, winking at me.
The cab took it. The stylist (in her much less snooty new digs) took it. The second cab took it. The new grilled-cheese-fast-food place took it. (Cheeseboy, not gonna be my favorite.) And then I was back on the bus and home again.
Where, as I stood at the pizza place paying for the pizzas for the lacrosse team with, yes, the credit card, it occurred to me after I’d done it all that I wished I’d gotten myself a drink, but I didn’t really have time to go back and have them run the credit card again–and someone walked up and handed me the five dollars she owed me. I’m just glad I didn’t wish for a pony.
But I should have bought a lottery ticket.
So, what good stuff happened to you today that you’re suppressing to support that negative illusion?
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