Friday, July 03, 2009

Murphy's Law

I am a believer in Murphy's Law. Not a fan. That would be like being a fan of rush hour traffic, or teeth cleanings, or menstrual cramps. No, I am not a fan. I just realize that when something exists, you are better off knowing the rules of the game, so that you are not caught offgaurd.

My mother tells me that bad things happen to me because of my belief in Murphy's Law. That is because she believes in ANOTHER law, called "The Law of Attraction". That law states that whatever you think about, is what you draw to you, so if you have negative thoughts, then you end up having a negative life. It's a self-fulfilling process.

No offense, but I think that that law is pretty bogus. I mean, I get that if you are a worry wort who is obsessing about people liking you, then you are probably going to be so annoying that people are not going to like you. But that isn't the cosmic universe in action, that is just social inter-action. And I kind of doubt that the people of Rwanda, or Kosovo, or Darfur have their negative thoughts to blame for the atrocities that they have had to endure.

The rough definition of Murphy's Law is "If something bad CAN happen, it will." I don't buy that completely. Otherwise I would be panic stricken at all times, believing that the sky was going to fall on my head. I do, however, think that there is a watered-down version of Murphy's Law and that is "If you fail to prepare, you have prepared to fail." It's not bad luck, and it's not that bad stuff is going on all the time. It's that when it does happen, you remember it, so it feels like it is happening more than it is because of the impact that it has on you. Here is just one of my examples that prove my theory:

I really loved the maple tree in our front yard. Loved it so much that I worried about it. Then we got new sod put in, and the morons who installed it dug up all the top soil on the lawn, killing the feeder roots, and essentially suffocated the tree. A week later, when the city was repairing the sidewalk in front of my home, I was adamant that the workers not damage the tree, with their bobcats. What do you think happened ten minutes later? Yep- giant gash in the side of the trunk from their equipment. And the icing on the cake was the micro burst that came through Salt Lake a few months later. My brother and I were driving down the street, watching limbs ripping off tree after tree. We sped home, and the whole time I was saying "I hope my tree is ok." As we drove down my street, we saw the limbs that littered the pavement. I approached my home and breathed a sigh of relief. My tree was in tact. Oh, that silly Murphy's Law. That second we heard a "Cr-r-r-a-c-k" and one of the main tree branches (the width of my car) came crashing down right in front of my car. I had to look at my brother and laugh. Now, how could I have prevented all of these things? I couldn't have. But I noticed them, and they affected me greatly, because the tree meant so much to me. Had I paid any attention, I would have realized that half the trees on my street have suffered similar fates, but their owners aren't mourning their losses like I am, so I feel like I am the only one who has had a karmic arbor-related catastrophe.

Case number two: I am going to take Shelby to a birthday party at a home where I have never met the family. I look like this:

but think "Who cares?...I am not going to get myself ready to impress a group of five year-old's and their parents. I will just drop Shelby off, and come right back home". So when I show up to the party and it's on Walker Lane in a home that looks like something off of Dynasty, I know that I am in trouble. This is verified when I have to stay because it is a pool party, and they need helpers. Of course- I have not shaved or waxed any time recently. The swimsuit that I have on under my clothes, from weeding earlier that day, is the one with a hole in the butt (no pun intended) that Garrett chewed through. And I think I forgot to brush my teeth. So, I stay, trying to think positively. And just when I think it can't get worse- it does. Their pool is broken (yeah) but not to worry- their neighbor's pool is available. So we walk down the tree lined lane to this neighbor's property. I am commenting about how gorgeous the neighbor's house is, when the mother's friend leans over and whispers, "That's the ground-keeper's house". Oh K. What world have I just entered?...I feel like Frodo, when he enters the land of the Elves. So, after getting over the shock of the REAL house, I helped out with the kids. They swam, and had a great time. Luckily, my suit never had to make an appearance, and I sat watch on the side of the pool. When I got home, I snapped the picture above, just so I could see how bad it really was...yep- as bad as I thought. Then I snapped this one after I had showered and put some make up on, so I could see if it makes a difference...yep. Lesson to self- if I am going to look like a hobbit, I better stay in my part of Middle Earth, rather than venturing out where the Elves live.

So, it's not the Theory of Relativity. But to me- it's science. It gives me a strange sense of comfort to know that if I want to see an old boyfriend, that I haven't seen in ten years, all I need to do is coat myself in fertilizer and baby vomit, and go down to the mall. Murphy's Law says he'll be standing on the corner, waiting for me.

No comments: