My husband Realm doesn’t always follow the rules. He does things like taking a handful of the weekly ads at the grocery store for kindling on winter evenings. He believes that a yellow traffic light means “speed through this intersection and you win!” Using turn signals is optional, and this seems especially true when he is weaving through traffic or pulling out in front of another driver. He has no qualms about spitting his gum onto the sidewalk or out the window. As you can see, I’m maintaining a list of all these adverse behaviors, but it’s not for any reason you might suppose. My daughter Pearl clearly understands my reasons for keeping track of Realm’s feats of inconsiderateness. In fact, as her father swiped a handful of ads and carried them out of the store one evening, she warned him, “Karma, Dad.” And then, when he laughed and began to explain the mainstream definition of karma, she said, “Well, it’s more like Mom is getting your karma by association.”
You see, whenever I enter a grocery store hoping to find a weekly ad in the tray, they are always out. Or when I have the green light at the intersection, some maniac driver speeds across, determined to “make it” long after the signal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stepped in gum. And my sister, Gemma, thinks I need to seek PTSD therapy for my knee-jerk reaction to cars pulling onto the road beside me while I’m driving by. It’s because I’ve had a lot of drivers pull out in front of me brimming with confidence that my vehicle’s brakes are in tip-top condition. My brakes have held steady, but my nerves have not. My nerves are shot, and I blame Realm. Why do his poor decisions come back to bite me? Maybe it’s because he never needs a weekly ad. Maybe his shoes are too dirt-encrusted for that wet, stretchy gum to stick. Maybe he can run lights and dodge cars like he’s in a pinball machine because he’s got some sort of serendipitous-ness.
It wouldn’t surprise me. He wins all types of drawings and contests. He’s won Godiva chocolate—I mean the big pyramid package. He’s won two iPads, along with gift cards, cooler cases and backpacks and t-shirts. It’s a nuisance how many travel mugs we have because he won them. (I’m constantly trying to unload them when he’s not looking.) Fortunately, he has not come home with a leg lamp.
So, is his luckiness a shield that wards off the karma stuff from happening? Does it ricochet off him and hit me? You’d think this would make me wary of hanging around him. And, yes, I cringe when he zips through an intersection at the last minute. I admit to lying back in the passenger seat, closing my eyes, and announcing, “I’m not here,” as we zig-zag through traffic. I also admit to eating more than half the Godiva chocolates and getting one of the iPads, not to mention enjoying a few Amazon gift cards. My exercise t-shirts are easy to pick out because he brought home duplicates of the same shirt in my size. Not only does he hand over his winnings, he picks out things he thinks I’ll like the most. He’s kind of nice that way. Plus, when there’s gum in the tread of my shoe, he stops and gets it out for me. So, it’s not so bad, really. By the way, is anybody asking Santa for a tumbler with a random business logo on it? Yeah, I’ve got leads on some tumblers.