Sunday, July 10, 2011

Let he who is without fault cast . . .

. . . the first aspersion.

Daniel got his first paycheck on Friday. He then washed it along with his jeans on Friday night. I found him standing over the washing machine on Saturday morning holding two tiny pieces in his hands and looking into the machine at the fragments plastered to the walls inside.

It was all over his face. I knew what he was thinking--"I just worked harder than I've ever worked and I have nothing to show for it."

"Daniel. It happens. Take a deep breath. It's okay. They'll cut you another check, but it may be a week or so."

Relief flooded his face and I had him all smoothed out when he came out into the living room and mentioned it in front of the rest of the family.

To their credit, Joseph and Sam were immediately sympathetic. But his older brother harassed him ("That was pretty stupid. Why didn't you . . . "). His Dad rolled his eyes and gave him a look I know all too well as it's been directed toward me all too often. It's the whole, "I can't believe you did that," look which comes from the belief that looker has never, ever done anything absent minded and costly in their entire lives. Not once. And they are glad they aren't like you.

Am I the only one who remembers her own mistakes at moments like this? Like the time I lost my glasses while working in the garden and never did find them? Or the time I slipped on shoes from two different pairs (two different colors, one velcro, one with laces?) while searching around under my desk with my feet and then went out in public dressed like that? And so on, and so on and so on . . . I've got a dozen of these stories . . .

I reminded Gary of the checkbooks he's lost (and never found) and Jeremiah of the how he didn't get his first official pay check at all two years ago because he forgot to turn in his W-4s.  I also reminded Gary of how he used to get in to trouble because he regularly forgot to clock in at the job he had shortly after we got married. And for good measure (and because I'm still chafing from his response to my shoe story), I reminded him of a story one of his Navy buddies told on him about his showing up for inspection wearing boots from two different pairs. Both men immediately protested that those were only isolated incidents and they were a long time ago.

Well, Daniel has only ever washed one pay check and chances are he won't do it again. So how about we cut him some slack, fellas. Geez.

Humble Pie is best served to those who are capable of remembering that they ate it.


Debby said...

I've made so many mistakes that I do not laugh at know I ran out of gas, right? And I didn't even tell the story of hitch hiking to work last Sunday because I couldn't find the car keys. Which turned up in my purse. Which was over my shoulder. As I hitch hiked.

*ducks head and blushes*

WhiteStone said...

Ummm, I lost my reading glasses yesterday in the flower bed. Once wore two different shoes (identical shoe, different colors) to a funeral of all places! And yesterday I left my purse in the garage when we headed to the city. Thankfully, inside and not out on the driveway...which is always a possibility for me. lol

Happy Elf Mom said...

I just feel sorry for Daniel, and nevermind everyone else's mistakes. Thankful it's a FIXABLE mistake. :)

Mary Paddock said...

Deb--me either. And I've done things like the purse/key thing too. I've learned not to say anything.

WS--I don't even want to think about the number of times I've lost my glasses and all the places I've found them. :)

HEM--I felt pretty bad for him too. When I was growing up, my parents often unintentionally left me with the impression that I was less together than most people. They did this by treating my mistakes with disdain and criticism (heavily implying that they never, ever did those things because they were so together themselves). They often treated those mistakes like they were permanent stains upon my person by mentioning them frequently over the years. I'm sure they were trying to help me try harder, but what they did was create someone who was convinced she was a monumental--worse than most-screw up. I'll be darned if my kids get that message. Once Daniel realized he wasn't alone in this category, he was better able to plan how not to make that mistake in the future. And the other two adults in the house will be more empathetic in the future.

Scotty said...

Tell him he's not alone, Mary - I've been a pocket-checker for years and still managed to wash my work diary the other day...


Mary Paddock said...

Scotty--Thanks. I've passed it on to him.