I’m not the kind of person who wakes up easily in the morning. This means I’m usually running 3 minutes late for everything, driving my perpetually-punctual husband crazy. This morning was no different. At 8:05am I was flitting around with the electric toothbrush buzzing in my mouth, my hair dripping wet, checking the weather forecast to see what side of spring the Pacific Northwest was going to serve up today. Highs of 52 deg. F, winds at 9 mph, chance of precipitation, like, 172%. Better dress warm.
I picked up a freshly laundered sweater that was laying on the bed, waiting to be put away. Underneath it, I had decided to wear a top that I recently purchased off the clearance rack at Banana Republic. The top cost something like $5 and I bought it without even trying it on. I never do that, but it was a nice top and it looked like it fit. As my mom has been known to say, “It’s $5. What’s there to think about?”
Well. This morning I ripped off the price tag that was still on the top and put it on. Let’s just say it didn’t really fit as well as I had imagined, or rather, not imagined, considering I didn’t really give the purchase any forethought. The straps needed to be adjusted because the narrow part that needed to be at my waist was at my bust, crushing my chest, and the neckline that was supposed to be sitting comfortably on my clavicle was looking more like a mock turtleneck. I needed to remove the top to adjust the straps, so I started to take it off.
To my horror, the top would not come off. There I was at 8:08am, 22 minutes before I had to be at work and with a whole 25 minute drive still ahead of me, with this confounded clearance sale shirt wrapped around my shoulder blades and elbows like a straitjacket. I tried pulling it every which way. I tried shimmying out of it. I even tried taking the straps off my shoulders and pulling it down over my bum. Nothing worked. I thought to myself, I’m going to have to cut this off. That, or I’m going to come to work looking like someone who had a sudden growth spurt inside their shirt. Like Jekyll. Or the Hulk.
After 7 minutes of contortions, muttering, and sweat, I managed to adjust the straps without taking off the top. I wasn’t happy to be wearing it anymore, but I didn’t have a choice. I threw on my sweater, hobbled into my car, and set out for work.
Before I pulled out of my garage, I sent a quick text to my co-worker Aleah (you might remember her from this post), “Running later than usual today, and for a very stupid reason.” She assured me that she would cover for me until I got there. Still, I was pretty frustrated and wanted to get to work as quickly as I could, so let’s just say I was driving faster than the average speed of traffic. I turned on my signal to exit from the freeway. As I merged onto the right lane, I heard a popping sound ahead of me. A cloud of dust emerged and bits of shattered tire flew about. As I got onto my exit, I saw that two cars ahead of me, a truck’s tire had exploded, forcing it to screech to a sudden stop.
Had I been right behind that truck, going as fast as I was, I might have been tardy for very different reasons.
So thank you, Lord. I was spared from a potential accident because I had two cars between me and an exploding tire, because I had to pause in my driveway to send a text to a co-worker, because I was made late by an ill-fitting shirt. These were just moments that I had discarded in my mind, just like I do so many other moments that to me seem inconsequential. But I know now that these scraps of time make up an intricately designed existence, tailor made for me. Ill-fitting, yes, and perfect.