I’m a good friend of Murphy’s, indeed, I know him quite well. I’m always ready to receive him when he visits, but I dread those visits. He causes me a vexation of spirit and planning every time he drops into my life. First, it was a nudge and sleeping through a class. Then it was being late for a music lesson and running face first into a door. That door was never locked, it was the main lobby door, for heaven’s sake. But someone thought it was a security problem, they hadn’t had any incidents in the past, but it was 1979, and it was the end of an era. I broke my glasses, and I’m so far sighted that I couldn’t see a thing for the next month, while I tried to get new glasses. I finally put them back together with masking tape. It didn’t help my image, self or otherwise.
I normally don’t think about the million and one things that have gone wrong at the last minute, but I should. One was waiting on a bus corner when my parents were out of town. I missed the bus, and instead, met up with some friends who went dancing and then out to breakfast, the whole time insisting that because I was 18, I could hang out with them before they finally gave me a ride home. Guess who came home when they couldn’t reach me on the phone. But Murphy was good to me that night, on my bus corner someone was murdered. My dad was furious, but when he heard the story, he wasn’t so mad at Murphy after all. Me? Well, he was my dad. He was entitled. I tried really hard not to turn his hair white, I did try, but he turned white anyway, and his forehead was extended to the back of his head. The four children in our family never looked into who caused him all that stress, for we each had some level of guilt.
I’m well past just being a grownup now, and I’ve had lots of Murphy time. I’m almost done with Ruckus, 63,000 words of sarcastic humor about transitions and running off to Fairy. I want to make sure that nothing goes wrong along the way to meeting with an agent or a publisher. So, looking on the internet, I saw the most incredible opportunity. “A Winter Escape” was listed on Twitter and I saw it. Eagerly looking up the site, I found The Seymour Agency was going on a winter cruise with writers, agents, movie producers and more. There would be classes from the Writer’s Digest about all sorts of topics, from writing a proposal for a book to writing the book itself. It said to book with Vacations to Go, a prominent vacation broker, and sign up for Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Sea’s trip in February. So, I asked my husband, and he practically bounced off his chair and into the air with joy. “I think you have a winner,” he said, “I believe in you.” So, we agreed to go on a five day cruise. (If it had been a three day cruise, I would have passed. I watched Gilligan’s Island as a child, so I was forewarned about that option.)
I signed up with Vacations to Go and paid the deposit. Right after that, Murphy arrived. My air conditioner died. That was a thousand dollars, then my father-in-laws a.c. died. That was the same weekend. We help my father-in-law when he needs it, after all, he’s a great guy, and it’s the right thing to do. So we slid toward the second deadline for the convention and classes with very little room to spare. I sent an e-mail to the Agency, and bless her heart, Nicole said it would not be a problem if the check got there before our payroll check did. I sent the check in the mail. I gave it four days to arrive. Then it was quiet. A little to quiet, Murphy quiet. The deadlines passed ,and so did October. I thought it might be a good thing to check up on life in the fast lane.
It was a good thing I had. Murphy had not signed me into the proper dinner shift, in fact, he seems to have signed me out. I wasn’t listed anywhere on the manifest list and was almost in tears, as the man in charge told me that I could probably go to the classes, but…
It all came to right with Nicole’s help. She reassured me that I was going to have a great time on the cruise. I felt much better after her e-mail. So I decided to write about the experience of the oopses that life gives us, the ones that auto-correct spellings and aids by changing those spellings that had nothing to do with content I was typing. The phone rang, and my mother told me that I had written a check on the wrong account. Murphy!!! She followed that by saying that it was better that I had used the account I did, the other was needed for other things. So, Murphy, it’s okay this time, but stop sitting over there on the couch making the lights blink on and off. You’re starting to wear away my patience. Where is that save button? And give me back my commas!