Happy New Year

Dear President Trump,

I think you’d probably count me among ‘the haters’ that you so generously wished a Happy New Year this morning, so thank you (I guess) – it’s a smidge better than telling us to ‘eat shit and die,’ which really was the very clear subtext.

Last year I told you that I don’t go in for New Year’s Resolutions and generally that’s true, but I decided today that I’ll focus on being friendlier this year. I got a decent start on it when we were out and about earlier in the day and I’ll cap the day’s friendliness off by wishing you a Happy New Year and really meaning it. We probably don’t have the same definition of “happy” and since I don’t think I’d like yours, we’ll go with mine. My current understanding of happiness is that involves a sense of gratitude and ease that is laced with joy and is not the stuff of instant gratification. I think if you had a happy new year like that, the whole planet would breathe a sigh of relief so I really do wish you one.

To maybe help you along towards such a happy new year, I’m going to tell you the story of our last 24 or so hours. It doesn’t start out so great, but there’s a happy ending. (It is also too long to fit on a postcard, but oh well.)

Last night on her way home from the gym, Laura decided to go to the grocery store. Due to an unfortunate confluence of circumstances she sheared the front left car tire and it flatted. She managed to get it into the grocery store parking lot and after determining that the Ford C-Max Hybrid doesn’t have a spare tire (apparently most hybrid and electric cars don’t have spares, something which I think you should address as a significant consumer safety issue) she called USAA to have the car towed. After an hour and a half a strange guy showed up, but inexplicably he didn’t have a tow truck. Another hour and a half goes by and finally a nice guy with a tow truck shows up and brings the car and Laura to our house since we knew the Ford service station wouldn’t be open today and it really just needed a tire. Of course Laura is cold and tired and pretty wrung out and of course it’s New Year’s Eve so we make a brief appearance at the annual NYE party across the street and then try to sleep through the hours of fire works with a freaked out dog. So far not a super fun story, right?

This morning looked grim too. It’s New Year’s Day and nothing is likely to be open and even if something were open, how do we get the car to it without paying for another tow? Being the intrepid fixer (in a good way), Laura starts calling potential tire shops anyway and on the second try gets a live person. Once she explains the situation to him he has her text him our address so he can see if we are close enough to come over (!) and get the tire to fix it (!) and lo and behold we were and he did (!!). He was here in under 10 minutes and back with the fixed tire in less than half an hour. The name of the shop is ‘Angel’s Tire Service.’ Really. So this was our happy happening today – it has all the elements – gratitude to our unexpected tire angel, way more ease than we thought possible, and joy at having the situation resolved.

May we all be safe, even if we have hybrids.
May we all get to be truly happy every now and again.
May we take care of our health by being a bit (or a lot) friendlier.
May we make peace with reality and still be intrepid fixers.

Tracy Simpson

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