My maternal grandmother, who is a true piece of work, is fond of saying, “You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in.” Last year in a state of deep pondering I thought, “Maybe, but if you’re mad because your pants are soaked it will take much longer.”
Today experience confirmed my pontification.
My mother is working today, so my sister and I planned to go by the office with lunch and her grandson to brighten her day. All was going according to plan…until we parked and I tried to maneuver the lunch, drinks, and diaper bag into a convenient carrying position. The lid of a large drink popped off precisely as I put the drink between my knees, sending a river of dark brown sugary liquid careening toward my crotch. I am a fast mover, but there was NO hope of avoidance. Like a pop-tent I sprung from a stately seated position to a sprawled, pregnant bellied crab-walk arch, desperately trying to stop myself from becoming more of a human sponge.
I emerged from the car with napkins that had somehow miraculously launched into my hand (Mom magic) and wiped down my rear, legs, and the seat. My sister, who had very slowly and carefully pulled my sleeping son out of his car seat during this blessed event, did what every good sister does in this situation: laughed hysterically. I tried to rearrange and pat down the evidence of my grace, to very little avail. Of course, I had no choice but to walk into the office pretending that I didn’t have a dark, wet stain down my pants and sit down as quickly as possible.
In the grand scheme of things it isn’t a big problem, and it made me grateful that I had not started the dark load of laundry before leaving. (Karma meets Mom preparation?) All the advice to keep an extra set of clothes handy rang back through my mind, colliding with the times I filled my bag with unnecessary clothes and was then told to simplify. With no one to blame but myself (and gravity), there I stood with wet, sticky, pants. It’s just harder to get glad in that situation; particularly when you’re sticky and wet.
Now over the years I have had my share of spills. This year’s most popular games have been“Peek-a-boo” and “Name that Stain”. Generally when one has on pants that are wet, stained, ill-fitting, or generally uncomfortable, it can be distracting. Thankfully for liars, pants do not regularly catch on fire; that would really be a damper on a day.
An hour or so later I got home and changed my pants; I am now glad indeed. It seems that the key to going from mad to glad is about change. Today the change in my attitude came down to something very simple—changing my pants. Sorry, Grandma. Today getting glad had everything to do with different pants.