Sunday, August 14, 2011


Today I rubbed all the color out of a spot on my hot pink shorts while trying to fix them after accidentally sitting in sap/tar. The original spots were tiny, and would have been fine if I would have just left them alone, but instead, I feverishly tried to restore them to the perfect shorts they were when I bought them.

Now there is a big white patch just below the right ass cheek. Unwearable.

You have no idea how excited I was about these shorts. For one, they are the most flattering fit I've found in a long while, in a size I was ecstatic I could finally fit into, in a color that made me want to skip around with delight.

I tried to look up hot pink dye brands, as if maybe I can still fix them (I know that is very unlikely). I fantasized that soaking them would more evenly leech out from other parts of the shorts onto the white spot (I know also, this is unlikely). But mostly, I keep looking at the shorts trying to convince myself maybe it's not that bad, maybe I wasn't overzealous in the scrubbing, maybe they're not ruined. Maybe it wasn't my fault.

From the beginning my husband took a very "accidents happen" "you're too hard on yourself" "just buy a new pair" attitude-- which may be kind of right, but these sort of accidents make me crazy, and you can't just "buy a new pair" (ladies, am I right??) because the price included that initial joyous rush I felt at finding them, and he should know we can't afford to be replacing full-price hot pink JCrew shorts every 6 weeks. Anyway-- had I left the shorts alone, and left the microscopic tar stains, it would just look like maybe I had recently sat in tar, no big deal. But instead, my own hand took the ruined-factor to the next level. And knowing I turned something bad into something that totally bums me out, well, that bums me out even more.

Of course, once I thought I was thoroughly "bummed," I started thinking, maybe that's how I am with everything. If I could just accept that some things aren't perfect and sometimes things get a little crapped on, my meddling and trying to make everything exactly as it should be isn't going to make anything better, it will make it worse to the point I can't stand looking at it, and no amount of examining it at all angles would be able to convince me it's fine. So maybe I do need to stop being so hard on myself, even though I've spent a long time convincing myself my problem is I'm not hard enough (it's a Catch-22).

That's not to say "things" aren't bad. Things are good-- I'm really lucky, I just lack perspective 70% of the time. My real problem is that because I'm lucky, how come I can't seem to make any more out of the luck I've been given? I feel this real need to live up to expectations and then to exceed them, because-- as with the shorts-- everything I've been given has been so close to perfect, I can either just wear the shorts and run with it, or scrub at them until I go too far and have nothing suitable to run in.

Thus, metaphorically speaking: next time I need to just wear the damn shorts (why didn't I do that before?? GAHH.)

So, in the end (which is now, btw) I may have just gotten more out of ruining a $45 pair of shorts than I did out of earning the $45 I needed to pay for them.

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