Cult of Positivity
A few months ago, I was in a situation that required some plain speaking and immediate corrective action. You know what I mean. Some situations just can't be sugar coated. You step in a pile of shit, you have to stop what you're doing, take a moment, and scrape it off your shoe. It's likely that your shoe, if not your day, can be saved.
So this was one of those situations where some shit had to be scraped. A simple clean up operation, a little unpleasant, but in my opinion necessary, to move on. Without a lot of drama. Where I come from, a foot full of refuse is a perfect excuse to kvetch (and possibly laugh) a little. This sort of thing happens to us all from time to time. We commiserate. We deal with it. We move on.
Here's what happens in So Cal: We throw the shoe away. We deny the existence of dog shit, or any shit for that matter. We pretend the shoe that got hit with the shit never existed. It never happened.
Which is why my plain speaking, rolled up sleeves and desire to clean it up and move on, led to a raised eyebrow and the not-so-complimentary comment "You're not from around here are you? You're so.... east coast."
And so I am. And yes the shoe is a metaphor. But it's a perfect one.
Here's a story that's not a metaphor. A couple of years ago I met another mom over a lunch play date. After our mutual friend departed, this new friend's child had a colossal blowout all over the mall food court. It was bad, mortifying even. I couldn't just abandon her. I had to help her get the kid (and the mess!) out of the food court and lend a hand as she all but showered the poor kid in the restroom. I didn't mind actually. Anyone who has read my essay in See Mom Run knows I've been there! I was cracking up the whole time even as I held my breath and even as the poor mom apologized almost tearfully for the unavoidable, expressed her gratitude and shock that I was willing to stick around and help, and refused to meet my eye. I know it was traumatic for her, but she did not need to apologize. These things happen. It's part of what bonds moms together. At least where I am from.Continued on the next page