At some point in my life, I was just a young, fresh-faced, short-haired, joyful little college student. I swear, I have pictures to prove it. During this time, on an average sort of day, I stopped at a smoothie place (Jamba Juice? Blenders? Other California-esque juicery?) after picking up a pittance of groceries to stock my tiny apartment kitchen. I got into the car and pulled out of the parking lot, only to be hit by a speeding truck that didn't believe in red lights. I remember nothing of those few seconds that shot me across four lanes of traffic and crumpled my car like a piece of junk mail, except the following: 1. After the airbag deployed, the radio turned itself on, and started blasting opera from the classical station. 2. I was unharmed. 3. I had never seen so much surface area covered by freshly blended smoothie, EVER. Every square inch of the dashboard, carpet, all of my clothing, and the lenses of my glasses were covered with orangey-pink blended fruit. And would you believe, when all was said and done, that I could not stop thinking about the four-dollar smoothie that I would never get to drink? Because I was wearing it. Some sweet, clean-cut grad student came running into traffic to make sure I was okay, to tell me he liked opera, and ask if he could walk me home. While I was covered in FRUIT. I was completely at a loss as to what to tell him. Yes? No? Do you have a paper bag handy for me to crawl into? 'Musetta's Waltz' warbled from the speakers of the mangled wreck, and that's when I started laughing.
I recently found myself dealing with some potentially serious health concerns that I won't go into here. Suffice it to say, it was the kind of frightening that makes you never want to hear the words doctor, or test, or medical bill, or think about months September and October ever again. As it turns out, I am healthy as an ox, or perhaps some smaller, less burly animal (a goat maybe?), but what I remember about the whole thing most, is socks. Yes, socks. At every visit, for every procedure, every appointment, I SWORE I would remember that I would be wearing naught but an uber-flattering hospital gown and whatever happened to be on my feet. And every time I looked down, I would see that I had forgotten. Argyle. Polka dots. Rainbow stripes. Holes akimbo. You have some ridiculous old socks? I WAS PROBABLY WEARING THEM. And so I wandered around the hospital, in the stockings of a crazed toddler, unable to focus on the fear, because I could not stop thinking about how damned ridiculous my feet looked. And for that, I was immensely grateful.
I would like to rejoice for just about everything this year that wasn't calamitous. There has been more upheaval and uncertainty than I can even wrap my brain around. But would you believe I cannot stop smiling? If I've learned anything at all, it's that life is as hilarious as it is trying. If I had one wish for the coming year, or for you, dear readers, it's that every time you think you're a goner, you will find yourself covered in smoothie, wearing argyle socks, and laughing.