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Valued Social Butterfly
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THE FOLLIES: THEM'S THE BREAKS

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Them’s The Breaks!

After Torah study last week, as I started my car in a parking lot, I couldn’t get my 2015 Mazda sedan (no longer on warranty) to budge, no matter how much pressure I put on what I thought was the accelerator or how often I depressed the pedal. Envisioning the worst, I lamented to my wife that there must be something radically wrong with the car. Very sweetly, my wife told me that my foot wasn’t on the gas but on the brake.

Haha? To start the Mazda, I first must put my foot on the brake and then press the ignition button. That I did automatically. But for the first time since I owned the hyper-computerized car, I mindlessly kept my foot on the brake while trying to accelerate. When I moved my foot onto the gas pedal, the car smoothly zipped out of the lot. It’s a good thing that my wife was with me. Otherwise, I would probably surrender, enlist AAA, and, in the meantime, shroud myself with battalions of bleak thoughts.

I wonder how long, barring my wife’s timely intervention, I would have struggled with the pedal before I realized that my foot was mashing the brake all along. In fact, I wonder how much trouble I would invite into my life without my wife offering me her abundant resources of common sense. I would be adrift more often than not. My wife, rooted in reality, stabilizes me when I get all-too-often flustered with the mechanics of things.

There ought to be a proverbial passage in the Torah that applauds my wife for saving me from multiple misadventures.

I wish my wife was beside me on the bus the next day. Because a month’s worth of delectable cookie and crème Quest energy bars that we ordered from Amazon had been delayed, I was about to go into withdrawal. I could have purchased the same bars at the fitness center; but for weeks, they were too pricey (welcome to Hawaii). But today, my special bars were on sale, so I gleefully bought a box of them before I exercised.

After leaving the gym and getting on the bus, I placed the package underneath my feet and read my trusty novel while keeping each foot bookending my cache. When I got off the bus and walked toward my condo, I felt lightheaded with anticipation but unfortunately I was also empty handed. Nuts! I had left my energy bars on bus 13. I felt drained and distressed. For a moment, I imagined racing home to my car in order to intercept the bus. Instead, I merely trudged to my condo, a wise move according to my pragmatic wife. Would I have I left the bars on bus 13 if my wife was by my side, even if it were Friday the 13th. No way. She would have made sure that I husbanded them home.

The next day, I became a little hopeful: I contacted the bus terminal’s lost and found department, but after a lengthy wait, I was informed that the bars were still missing. Then all of a sudden I cheered up: I inadvertently had done a mitzvah, a good deed, no? Someone somewhere (perhaps even a family) was enjoying what may have been rightfully mine but because of my absentmindedness was now his or hers or theirs. On the other hand, I can see myself vicariously sharing their pleasure bite by bite.

Of course, I could have bought another box of bars at the gym: the sale was to last for another week. But I decided to patiently wait for the Amazon delivery. We were notified that it will come on Saturday, a welcomed gluten-free blessing for me on the Sabbath.

 

 

schlomo
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