Sometimes life can rub you the wrong way. Like petting a cat from tail to head…it just doesn’t feel good. The cat will let you know if you’re annoying it by answering with a growl and a slash, but what’s a person to do when life gets tough. How many frustrating things can happen in a day? Rhetorical question, but it seems when one thing turns blotchy and sour, it can spread to other things. In short, I believe that sometimes crap comes in clumps. All you have to do is listen to any country western song to see proof of my theory….crops failed, wife left, dog died...clumps!
The other morning a friend of mine stopped in to pick something up. I greeted her with a brief “how are ya?” as I continued with my frenzy to get ready for work. After a while I noticed she hadn’t really answered me. Looking up I saw that she was standing in the middle of my kitchen with her eyes pooled with tears and her bottom lip quivering. I stopped my tornadic activities and gently approached her, asking .....“what’s wrong?”
Through sniffles and waterfalls I learned that after a week from hell (clumping usually hits when you’re emotionally shot) she learned that her septic system was malfunctioning, her refrigerator had died, and all three of her kids had pink eye. I watched a woman who is normally indomitable, and gutsy, melt into a puddle right before my watery eyes. Clumps!
I knew she needed a shoulder to cry on so I poured us some coffee, pulled up a chair, and listened attentively as she purged her soul. Sometimes all we need is someone to be a witness to the unfairness of what’s happening, and the absurdity of it all. Sure enough, within ten minutes of purging she was hoisting her super-sized pocketbook back onto her able shoulder and heading out the door, dry eyed, and confident. She had dumped her clump. I, on the other hand was hoping that her clump wasn’t catchy.
To be fair, I’ll mention that I also have a theory on good clumping. That’s when a bunch of nice things happen in a row. It’s not as popular to talk about as bad clumping, and not many country songs have been written about it, but I know it happens because I’ve had a few “good” clumping sprees already this year.
Perhaps we don’t talk about good clumping as much because we don’t want to jinx ourselves or sound as though we’re bragging. Calamity has a way of bringing people together, side by side, in the same leaking boat, but good luck momentarily sets one apart, causing them to sparkle and celebrate. Some of the people in the boat become inspired at your victory, and gain the strength they need until their “good” clump comes along, but others twitch and curse, because they believe it should have been them…. and NOT YOU! They complain and poison everyone within listening distance. It eventually backfires on them though because I also believe that the more you complain the more crappy clumps you get…. and the longest boat ride.