Saturday, February 11, 2012

Karma: What Goes Around, Comes Around

Karma: What Goes Around, Comes Around
I Just Didn't Expect It To Happen So Quickly!

Life is full of little lessons that we are all meant to learn.  Some lessons come early in life, e.g. "When I cry, someone will pick me up, feed me, and change me."  Other lessons come with age, e.g. "Beer before liquor, never sicker."  Still other lessons come with wisdom, e.g. "Self control is the key to weight loss.  Until you've learned the former, you'll never see the latter."

"Ma'am, do you have any idea how fast you were going?'

Every experience in life is meant to teach you something.  Speeding tickets are meant to teach you to obey the traffic laws (or if like me your lead foot doesn't allow for that lesson, then at least it teaches you to be more alert to the presence of law enforcement on the road). 

Granny knows there's a speed trap ahead.

Getting stuck behind a slow driver is life's way of teaching you to slow down and appreciate the world around you...and it might help with that speeding ticket lesson, too.  I like to think of grandma drivers as poky little guardian angels.  They are slowing you down so that you can see the speed trap before it snares you.  These are lessons I have learned and I will be sharing these and other life lessons here.

Today's lesson is that karma is real and you want to be on her good side.  Karma is defined by as "the Buddhist belief that whatever you do [in life] comes back to you".  Synonyms for karma are fortune, fate, and destiny.  My personal definition of karma is that if you do good, good things will come your way.  I also believe the reverse is true, so if you fail to do the right thing be prepared for the consequences.

This lesson was taught to me in a short, but nerve-wracking way this week.  While out at happy hour with some co-workers the other night (after a particularly long and difficult work week), I noticed a man at the bar fumble his driver's license.  He went to put it into his pocket and missed.  Now, normally I would be "Little Miss Helpful" and hop up, retrieve the license from the floor, and return it.  But, in this one instance, whether it was because I'd been on my feet at work for ten hours that day or because I'd had insomnia four nights in a row this week or just because I got a wild hair to let the situation play itself out without my interference, I did nothing.

I'm not particularly proud of the fact that I saw it happen and didn't respond appropriately.  I'm not particularly ashamed of it, either.  It was just that "one more thing" to do in a day that had already had a hundred "one more things" and I couldn't do it.  That being said, I did monitor the situation to ensure it had a happy outcome (someone else had seen the fumble also and returned the license to its owner within thirty seconds).  And I feel sure I would have intervened if the situation had taken a turn for the worse.  But, for that split second when I mentally weighed the pros and cons of getting out of my seat to return the wallet versus staying where I was and doing nothing, doing nothing won.

Little did I know then that karma was watching me.  Karma is like Santa Claus.  "She sees you when you're sleeping, she knows when you're awake.  She knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake."  Karma saw me take the low road at happy hour and decided to teach me a life lesson.  Karma moved swiftly, too. 

Now here is where you need some background knowledge on me in order to understand the rest of the story.  I am not an "A place for everything and everything in it's place" kinda girl.  Yes, I carry a purse and yes, my wallet is in my purse at all times.  However, this is not always the case for my credit card/debitcard/car keys/flash drive or any other item of heavy use that one might carry in a purse.  Items that I use frequently tend to end up in my pockets.  I had eight pockets in various locations on my person that night.

As it is February in the Northern hemisphere, it was chilly after sunset and well after sunset when I left the bar. I put on my coat before going outside to walk the twenty yards to my car in the parking lot.  At my car, I dug my car keys out of my pocket, got in the car, and started driving (I was late to meet my best friend at the movies for a girls night out). 

Stop right there, before you get all judgemental on me.  You're probably thinking,"She'd been drinking, so she probably dropped the card or didn't notice when it fell out of her pocket and why is she driving after drinking?"  Au contraire, Mr. or Miss Nose In The Air, I said I was at a happy hour.  I didn't say I was embibing alcoholic refreshments.  More background knowledge for you, I am the world's most reliable designated driver because I don't drink.  No, I am not a recovering alcoholic, a Mormon, or a prohibitionist.  I'm not saying I've never had a drink, I just very rarely ever want to have an alcoholic beverage.  I am also fortunate enough to have a group of friends and co-workers who have never judged me for that choice.  They've questioned it plenty, but they've never excluded me from a happy hour because I don't drink or because I have the strong probability of being the only one to clearly remember all of the night's events the next morning.  They just appreciate that I will be able to take them home if they have a little too much and leave it at that.  You should, too.

But, I've gotten off on a tangent.  Sorry! I try not to do that, but you needed to know the whole drinking thing to understand that I was in no way impaired as I left the bar.  I drove to the movies, circled the parking lot endlessly looking for a parking space, and rushed inside to get tickets as I had somehow beaten my friend to the theater.  Here comes the karma backhand to the face!  I reach into my pocket for the debit card to pay for the tickets and it's gone.  I searched my coat pockets, my jeans pockets, and my purse pockets.  Nothing.

My friend arrives and purchases the tickets as I search through my purse frantically.  She convinces me to calm down and that it probably fell out of my pocket in the car (which has happened more than once).  We enjoyed the movie, The Vow with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum - except for the ending which was lame - and head back to our cars.  Since I had parked farther away than my friend and it was now very late (and girls shouldn't walk alone in parking lots late at night), she drove me to my car.

I checked the passenger seat, the driver's seat, the back seat.  There was no debit card in the car.  I went back to the three parking lots I had been in that day, there was no debit card on the ground.  I went home and checked my accounts with on-line banking, no unusual activity on my accounts.  By now, it was after midnight and I gave it up for the day.  Sleep trumps financial worries on a Friday night after a harrowing work week.

The next day, I rechecked the car.  I rechecked the coat and the purse.  I ran by work to see if it had fallen out in the drawer where I stow my purse.  All nothing!  I was ready to call and report the card as lost.  I was literally mentally preparing to talk to the customer service rep and explain how I've lost my card because I've put it somewhere and can't find it.  As I parked my car in front of my house, I did one more check of the car - maybe it's stuck between the seat cushions.  Bear in mind, I've searched this car three times now.  I've looked everywhere - between the seat and the doors, under the seats, under the floor mats, in places this card could not possible have fallen- and I found it between the driver's seat and the center console, where I had already looked twice.

Okay, Karma.  Next time, I will get up no matter how tired I am and do the right thing.

Lesson Learned: Karma is watching, so do good unto others or she will get you.


  1. Nice first post Lainey! I'm following!
    And I know your love of the Vanilla Vodka!


  2. I didn't say I never drank. You just caught me on one of those "very rarely" occasions, as evidenced by how little vanilla vodka it took to get me rosy cheeked and overheated.

  3. Great first blog, Karma comes and goes, but don't forget sometimes bad things happen to fabulous people.

    Ps If you want to see her drink take her to Vegas! :)

  4. I did try, twice, to comment on this post. Somewhere there was a disconnect. Maybe it was the ghost that was messing with me?

    1. So do I get to know what the comment would have been now that the ghost is allowing you to post?