Friday, August 20, 2010


“People always blame their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.” ~GB Shaw

It's not the difficulty that defines us; it's how we deal with it.

In the immortal words of my beloved spouse, I attract trouble. For the longest time, he was convinced that I sought it out. A couple for instances:

Once in Penn Station about 20 years ago a homeless woman approached me in the bathroom. At that time, hubby was in grad school, we were barely paying our bills, and I had totaled our car with no replacement in sight. The woman asked me for money, and when I responded I had none, I exaggerated not.

Then she grabbed my arm and told me not to give her any of that sh*t.

Then I threw her up against the wall and quietly repeated that I had none to spare.

When I came out of the bathroom shaken up, Hubby told me I had done something to bring that on myself.

About four years after that, I was walking along the northern outer boundary of Grand Central Station, headed from the East side to Penn Station to hop the LIRR home. Immersed in my own thoughts, I emerged to notice that a large man, at least 7 inches taller and 100 pounds heavier than me, was walking in my path. I moved out of his way. He moved back into mine. I moved out again. He stepped right up in my face and swung at me, telling me "wipe that sh*t off your face."

Without thinking, I blocked his punch (which otherwise would have hit me square in the jaw) and squared off with him. He was momentarily stunned, but he hurried away. It all happened in less than a minute, and I don't even think anyone on that crowded sidewalk blinked.

That time, hubby didn't accuse me of starting anything.

But he did notice that I had a weird way of attracting the walking wounded and all variety of predator. And usually, I'm able to thwart, evade, or otherwise parry as necessary.

But I do get caught off-guard occasionally, and it happened again this past week. I guess things were just a little too happy and quiet.

It's all good. That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger...and I might add, wiser.

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