I carry a little mirror in my make-up bag. It’s a lot more convenient than pulling out a compact and having to open it up every time I want to check my lip stick. (And the older I get, the more often I do this.) I’ve had that little mirror for twenty years or longer. The other day it ceased to exist. I dropped it on the kitchen floor and it shattered into a million shards. The pieces were so tiny I couldn’t pick any of them up by hand so I got out the old faithful dust buster which did the trick.
I reflected on how much I was going to miss my mini-mirror and if I’d be able to find a suitable replacement. Then a horrifying thought hit me…“Break a mirror and you’ll have seven years bad luck.” I certainly didn’t need that black cloud looming overhead! Within a couple of days of thinking about the lousy luck that might be in store for me, things began to go south.
Atop the refrigerator in the garage is where we store extra soda. Most recently we had two twelve packs of Coke sitting there, too close to the edge of the freezer door. My husband decided to chill some cans as the stash in the fridge was running low. It was then, through the door that leads from our kitchen to the garage, I heard some pretty loud noises and some not so nice language. Ken had dropped a twelve pack on the floor and soda was going everywhere. The sticky contents were spewing not only up but down and all around. Cans were rolling under cars as they sprayed a layer of our favorite beverage on the hoods. The few that hadn’t broken were dented and bulbous on the bottoms. They had to be opened carefully and their insides poured out. The front of the refrigerator was coated in Coke and all around lay puddles of pop.
We used a plethora of sacrificial towels, several buckets of water and a string mop in an effort to combat the clammy mess in front of us. I don’t recall how long it took but I do remember Ken having the presence of mind to push the other container of Coke way back on the top of the refrigerator.
A few days later another mishap came my way. We were headed to some friends’ house for dinner and I had offered to bring dessert. I didn’t say it would be homemade dessert, just a sweet treat. So we stopped at a grocery store near their home and I ran inside to buy a couple of frozen Marie Calendars yummy pies. Since they wouldn’t fit in a bag in an upright position I opted to just carry them in my arms so they’d lay flat. Exiting the store my eyes were scanning the parking lot to find where Ken was waiting for me. All at once, and as quick as a wink, the tip of my sandal caught on a raised area of concrete. Down I went, hip first, while I tried to break my fall with my left hand. Heaven forbid I drop the pies! But it was too little, too late, and the pies went flying willy nilly. (Funny that I was more concerned about them than my own well being.) My wallet flew off somewhere in some direction so I lost sight of it. (It was embarrassing to be sprawled out on the concrete and feeling so helpless.)
Fortunately there was a kind man who came to my rescue and offered his hand to help me up. And another Good Samaritan, a lady, gathered up the pies and my wallet. Meanwhile, Ken had seen my ungraceful acrobatic act and was running across the parking lot to my aid. I’m clueless as to why my wallet didn’t dump its entire contents all over the parking lot, but I guess the Lord was watching over me. In fact, I know He was because all I came out of it with was a scraped up ankle, a sore hand and an aching, slightly bruised hip. It could have been so much worse. Coincidently, the friend, whose house we were headed for, had a similar fall just three months earlier. Her trip resulted in her breaking her wrist, spending weeks in a cast and even more weeks of physical therapy. She did flash through my mind on my way down to the ground, but there again I was mostly about the pies. Speaking of which, and oddly enough, both pies were in perfect condition and none the worse for their wear despite their flight in air.
There’s another old saying that goes something like…“Bad luck comes in threes.” I was actually hoping that this one came true and would replace the seven years the other old adage promised. And so be careful what you wish for…calamity number three was right around the corner.
I make a habit of placing a white bleaching tablet inside the water tanks in the toilets. I don’t know if it really helps to keep them clean but it makes me feel like I’m doing something to at least try to help. So it was time to replace one of the capsules in the back bathroom. I picked up the tank lid and suddenly water began gushing upward. Some pieces part had let go and a pipe was spewing water like an angry geyser. I had to put the lid down somewhere before I could try to locate the source of the explosion. Almost dropped it in my haste… it was heavy and awkward trying to handle it in the deluge that was pouring down. I was straddling the toilet bowl as I managed to reach over to the sink and plant the lid there.
Out of the corner of my eye I spied the tube that was causing the flood. Quickly I put my hand over the top which was of no help at all as water then began to spurt out in every direction. The water level on the floor was rising, the tiled area was at capacity so the excess was soaking into the nearby carpet. The walls were being saturated and I was in panic mode.
Ken was at the other end of the house in his office and barely within ear shot. I began screaming his name as loud as I could, “KEN. KEN. KEN.” And that seemed to go on for an eternity. He finally heard my shouts for help and headed in my direction. “Where are you? He wanted to know. “I’m in the bathroom,” I panted. “Which bathroom?” He asked. (Fair question since there are two at the back of the house and Ken was on his way to the wrong one.) “This way, back here,” I yelled impatiently while still trying to hold back the surging flow.
Ken sloshed through the water on the floor, reached behind the potty and turned off the water valve. The gushing stopped immediately and he asked me what I had done. His look in answer to my explanation…“I didn’t do anything except remove the tank lid”…was skeptical at best. But my swearing finally convinced him.
He was a saint in helping me clean up the mess. He brought in the big guns, i.e. the wet/dry shop vac and began sucking the flooring dry while I attacked the walls and cabinets with many of the same old towels I’d used in the garage a few days earlier. (Don’t worry, I’d washed them in the meantime.) Quite some time later we left the room with the toilet still torn apart but at least the worst was over. Ken would save fixing the plumbing for another rainy day.
I’d like to make it clear that these three incidences all took place in about a week of my breaking the mirror. So you tell me…am I being superstitious or what?