Yesterday the universe stopped cooperating

Why do I say this? How did I know? These sorts of things made it clear:

Technology tried to make me cry

  • I tried and failed, over and over, to access iTunes to buy Hey Jude, because I was in the mood to hear it. Loud. But no.
  • Google refused to google for me
  • My new electric toothbrush wouldn’t charge

I got lost inside Waitrose.

  • First I couldn’t find Chinese Rice Wine anywhere. Having never had to use it for a recipe before, I didn’t know what alternative to buy. Is rice vinegar the same thing?
  • Then I was mis-directed to the wrong section and stood there looking at all manner of special wild rice which were on the bottom shelf, so people kept running me over with their trolleys while I wondered — what happened to plain white? Only later, when I’d been forced to give up on my recipe, did I find an entirely different aisle with all the normal rice options
  • After these initial set-backs things got worse. Aside from the fruit & veg section, the meat counter and the wine area, the entire supermarket stopped making sense to me. I begun to understand what dementia might feel like. I went from frustrated and in a rush to panicked and then, utterly defeated. I came close to leaving Waitrose completely empty-handed but managed to regain just enough calm to go on to buy a uniquely stupid collection of items for dinner.

Finally, despite 36 weeks of heroic of Counting Zeros effort, I managed to clear out my current account on the 1st of September thanks to the dentist, only to then find a stray piece of UNOPENED post which informed me that I’ve missed the deadline to file my US taxes.


Other things went wrong too, these are just the highlights.

I seem to be oppressed lately by a ridiculously long list of administrative life tasks to which I can now add having an argument with my dental insurers, hunting for receipts and tracking down tax paperwork that could seriously be anywhere which is to say it’s unlikely to be somewhere I’ll find it. I get to spend quality time re-appreciating my trouble with systematic approaches to filing.

This time-sink couldn’t happen at a more inconvenient moment. After a lengthy summer break, the pile up at work is huge. On top of which I get to have surgery at the end of this week — the reality of which came up behind me this weekend and threw a bag of panic over my head.

But if there’s one thing I know about the universe, it’s this — it only gets worse if you let it know it’s getting to you. Never ever approach the universe in a very cranky mood. It guarantees a lot more trouble. As a French friend of mine once said to me

Life is the best lover there is. The more you love it, the more it loves you back

And what I’m talking about here is basically the same exact point — but in reverse.

So I refuse to pick up another card this morning from the Deck of Change without arranging some sort of protection. The universe is definitely in the sort of mood where I’m likely to pick up a card that could demand that I go rearrange my pension or attempt to arrange a mortgage.

I’ve decided it’s time to call in the special services of my own personal lone ranger. It’s time for Phoebe Carter …

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