In my early 20s one of my work colleagues, a woman a few years older than I, would drop by my office, plunk down in the visitor’s chair, and share the latest happenings from her personal life.
One time we discussed her boyfriend who had been busted for selling drugs. Another she shared her plan to finance graduate school by accepting all the credit card offers she received in the mail and maxing them out.
Her stories always put in perspective whatever was troubling me in my life at the time.
One day she wrapped up her recital by remarking, “At least my life isn’t as messed up as Princess Di’s.” And that was when I realized that we can always find someone worse off than we are with whom to compare ourselves. For my colleague, this was Princess Di. For me, it was my colleague.
With that in mind, I recently shared with my husband that at least when Pettigrew is incontinent, he does it on the floor under the piano, and not under my desk where I have boxes filled with important papers. Think how much worse it would be to clean up there!
This is good to keep in mind as I scour the wood floor after his latest accident. I heard that to truly bring a reader into a scene, it is helpful to employ three of the five senses. So I could describe for you the smell that causes me to focus on breathing through my mouth or the feel of picking up the mess using thin plastic bags and paper towels, but I’ll spare you. I will however share that the vet has poetically referred to Pettigrew’s excrement as golden hued. Not to quibble, I think it looks more like yellow mustard.
Back to those boxes under my desk that have thus far been spared. I do wonder whether now is the time to invest in a filing cabinet to get the papers off the floor. Or, better yet, I can hear my husband saying, to make room for them in our existing file cabinet by dumping the outdated documents with which it is crammed.
I feel exhausted just thinking about it!