Ups and Downs

Today is my birthday, and I have a story to tell.  (It’s probably one that you’ve all heard on Twitter/Facebook already, but I still want to post this for posterity’s sake.)

I had met Ryan at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  We drove separately because we were coming from different ends of town.  On the drive home, I was trying to return some calls I’d gotten from family and friends.  Just after getting off of the phone, I went through an intersection and behind me appeared the dreaded blue lights.  (And sirens – seriously, who does that??  Are you trying to make me feel like I’ve committed some huge, horrendous crime?  Because it worked.)

Anyway, evidently I had misunderstood the speed limit and was going quite a bit over.  The cop took my info and went to his car.  The tears began.  I’m such a girl.  Meanwhile, my phone started to ring.  I saw that it was my sister, but I couldn’t answer it in my condition, and I didn’t think it’d look good to the cop that I was on the phone, anyway.

The cop gave me my ticket and pretended to feel bad for writing me one on my birthday, then I drove away and called Mary back.  That’s when I found out she had been planning to put Bill Murray on the phone.

(She had been sitting next to him at a restaurant.)

I spent the next 45 minutes or so sobbing, feeling like a wretched person, wondering why this had happened to me after such a great birthday, googling “Why do I feel so bad after getting pulled over,” you name it.  I morosely wondered why all the good things that had happened today had to tease me like that if my day was to end on such a sour note.

Then I realized I’ve got it all wrong.

Yes, I got a speeding ticket today, and that really stinks.  I didn’t get to talk to Bill Murray, and that REALLY REALLY REALLY stinks.  But…

I got a lot of well wishes from friends and family.

I got to eat a delicious lunch with a friend.

I got to hang out with friends and bring them dinner.

Ryan let me buy some awesome fabric to make curtains for our living room.

We had a delicious meal at one of my favorite restaurants.

The men next to us at dinner were discussing which flavor of cheesecake to get and saw my eyes light up at their mention of the mango key lime.  I told them it was my favorite and I highly recommended it.  They enjoyed their slice…and paid for ours.  The man said, “Thanks for being a great neighbor and for the recommendation.”  Wow, what kindness.

Ryan and I went shopping and I got a sweater AND a pair of shoes for the price that the shoes alone had been less than a week ago.  (Hey, that’s a big deal to me.)

I got to turn the A/C on on my BIRTHDAY.  I’m used to frigid temps.

I won’t let the ridiculous amount of guilt and shame I feel about the ticket ruin all of those good things.  It sure tried, and it almost won.  But I’m going to bed with a happy heart tonight.

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