Tuesdays are my Charlotte Shabbat. I go to yoga and therapy and maybe take myself out to lunch. I don’t pay bills on Tuesdays or take calls from accountants or attorneys (unless, however, the aforementioned attorney is a fellow alum, member of my book club, or coaches my kid’s basketball team with my husband, in which case I will happily talk to her or him any day of the week). I read, I putter, I take long walks with the dog. Dentist appointments are not on the list of Tuesday-approved-activities. As if I really needed to say that out loud.

Except for the fact that it is Tuesday, and I just got back from an emergency dental appointment to fix a cracked crown. Make no mistake, I’m grateful the dentist fit me into the schedule. I did, however, miss my sacred pilates/yoga class this morning, and I’m feeling a bit put out.

Let me also clarify that I love my dentist and the entire staff of his office, and I’m not just saying that because I sent my regular hygienist the link to my new blog. They are kind, competent, funny, and I would much rather see any one of them at the grocery store or the park. I even ran into one of them in Milwaukee, where we had both flown to visit our college kids. She’s the office manager and probably the only one of the staff who hasn’t personally cleaned my teeth, but honestly I would trust her to. That’s how great they all are. I just don’t want to be in that chair, in part because I can’t talk with the mouth mirror and explorer and suction thingy all in my mouth like too many straws, smudging my lipstick and making a drooley mess.

I’m a girl who actually likes having her teeth cleaned, but even so I make those appointments on Mondays. I know one other person in the world who likes having her teeth cleaned, and it’s my mother. Clearly we share a genetic defect.

Another defect my mother and I have in common is that I’m congenitally missing four teeth, the details of which I will spare you, but the upshot of which is twelve crowns and four implants. Not a single cavity, for the record, but I have financed two college educations worth of oral surgery, orthodontia and dental work. Unfortunately, those college educations were not for any of my sons.

So Sushi Tuesdays has been in a work-in-process for a while, and it wasn’t until after launching and about 450 views that a friend points out to me that – while she loves the name – there is a certain one of Uncle Jose’s Colorful Words right in the middle of sushituesdays! I had no idea… OH SH#T!

Or maybe, she continues, it was intentional?

Actually, that’s pretty funny. Makes me wish I had seen it first.

The boys think it’s hysterical. So do I, until I remember that I’ve also forwarded the link to a good number of Dominican nuns.

I guess some days are like that. Even Tuesdays.

I love taking the dogs for a walk on trash days. Simple things, I know, but it’s so great not having to carry that stink bomb around with me on my run. It’s not the smell that gets me nearly so much as the temperature. One of our friends refuses to get a dog because he doesn’t want to ruin his walk by having to carry around a steaming pile. He makes a good point. Believe me, I am no big fan of the “puppy prize,” but it sort of goes along with the puppy. And a conveniently located trashcan along my route makes me just a little happier than I already was for getting out with the dog.

One of the gifts of time is perspective. I used to refer to myself as the “luckiest unlucky girl” ever, but now I think of myself as just plain lucky.

I do what I can. I run. I eat well (mostly). I brush. I floss (really!). But certain details are simply out of my control. I have this girlfriend I like to work out with, and she kicks my trash around the track. Some people are genuinely annoyed by the mud stains and grass clippings that cover them by the end of the workout. But not us. Our standing line is: “I know what a bad day looks like, and it’s not this.”

Running around the track with my girlfriend in the rain is not even on the bad day radar screen. Turning 40? Nope. Not even a bummer. Choosing the favorite tie for Sam to wear to his own funeral? That’s a bad day. Shopping for suits for my sons to wear to their father’s funeral? Bad. Going to the police station to gather my husband’s personal items and the coroner’s office to pick up the autopsy report? That counts. The day Sam would have turned 42 if he had lived that long? Yep. Six weeks over the summer with no washing machine and four sons? Maybe. But not in the top 10.

It’s got to be a doozy to make my top twenty. And yet… there is a blessing to be retrieved, even on those dark, dark days. It is the confidence that comes from having survived those bad days, especially the ones in the top five. It is the ability to say to my sons, “You made it through that. You can do anything.”

I wish I could say that the “shit” in the middle Sushi Tuesdays was intentional, but once again, I am reminded that I’m not perfect, and I’m not in charge of every detail. It’s probably better that way. I’ll just have to try not to step in it. Again.

I know what a bad day looks like, and it’s not going to the dentist on my Tuesday. That having been said, my followup crown appointment will not conflict with my Tuesday yoga next week.

Wishing you light and strength. And serendipity!

3 thoughts on “Serendipity

  1. Wonderful stuff! By the way, my guess is that the Dominican’s would appreciate that “play” on words – even funnier that it wasn’t intentional!

  2. Sometimes we just can’t get around the sh#t in our lives no matter how hard we try! And somehow we make it through. Love how you just “roll” through it, Charlotte. Hugs!

  3. Charlotte our friendship is still relatively new, I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet Sam but am so grateful to have gotten to know you & your family.! I love reading your warm, honest and meaningful words. They can turn a sh#t Tuesday into Sushi and I love sushi almost as much as you do, Thank you !!

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