For the last few months, as my ever decreasing output here can attest, my relationship with the Universe as a whole has been best described as 'Not Awesome'.
Transcending the usual level of 'Life is nothing but one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead*', which I think most of us are more or less used to by this point, since sometime around June the Universe has been showing me a level of vindictiveness which would usually indicate that it had come home early from work one day and found me having sex with its wife.
*If I might quote Homer Simpson
It was therefore with some surprise that I was greeted yesterday by a surprising number of goodwill gestures from the aforementioned universe, almost as if I'd bumped into the Universe at a party thrown by a mutual friend and spent the entire evening having it say to me, 'Hey, you and me... we're still cool... right?'
It began as I got into my car to head into work.
For those who aren't already aware (and why on Earth would you be) I've been working a couple of additional side jobs lately in order to make a little extra money. One of those side jobs involves receiving tips (And I'd completely forgotten how pleasant that is, btw.) What was less pleasant was that I'd completely misplaced about thirty dollars in tips last week. I'd pretty much written the money off, since that's not even close to the worst thing to happen over the summer. But then Yesterday morning as I opened the drivers side door to my car I was greeted by a small wad of cash which had apparently slipped out of my pocket and fallen into the space between the seat and the floor. I can't imagine how it could have been there all that time without my having noticed it, so I'm assuming that this was the opening salve in my day of apologies from the Universe.*
*And for the record, 'I'm sorry, here is a small pile of money' is NOT the worst apology in the world to receive. Use that information how you will.
The next apology came when I arrived at the parking ramp. I hadn't mentioned it (in that I haven't written a column in almost two weeks) but for the last week and a half there has been a new car stealing my space every single day*. A tiny, smug little electric blue Toyota Scion. Sitting in my** spot, glaring at me to say, 'Look how compact and in tune with youth culture I am. I'm specifically designed to appeal to Millennials who have nothing better to do than destroy my day by taking my parking spot while posting selfies on Instragram and doing something on Snapchat which I suspect is sexting but I'm not entirely sure because I still don't really understand what Snapchat is except that I think it's about boobs.
*Followers of the great Grey Sedan debacle of 2013 will understand the seriousness of this offense.
**Not actually my spot in any legal or contractual sense, I've just been parking there a long time.
But yesterday the smug little Scion was not there. I had my spot again. The world once again made sense.
Then I received a long awaited rebate check in the mail.
And so on, and so on, my day became one long reacharound from the greater forces of the universe, all seemingly hellbent on apologizing for all the wrongs of the last few months.
I swear to god, at one point I actually heard the Universe say, 'Come on baby.. I've changed. I'm different now. I'd never hurt you like that again.'
OK universe. Maybe. Just maybe. I might be willing to try again with you.
But I'm going to need jewelery first.
It's about standards.