Saturday, April 21, 2007

Murphy and the Pollyanna Man

I made myself a nice homemade stirfry for lunch and went out to sit and eat it at the camp table I'd set up on the edge of the driveway. As I went out, one of my favorite symphonies came on the radio and then the man two houses away came out and started vacuuming his car with a very loud vacuum cleaner.

Murphy, I grumbled to myself. The noise really bothers me, and there was a nice symphony inside. The noise set my teeth on edge and tightened my shoulders and neck.

But eventually, the man stopped vacuuming and peace returned. I thought of how if a good symphony comes on while I'm inside, I happily enjoy it. It's probably random and not a plot against me. And I was out numerous times before without having to hear the vacuum cleaner.

And that reminded me of the Pollyanna Man who used to live with us at the Lake House. Whenever anything bad happened, he'd always say, "Well, it could have been worse. " No matter how terrible something was, he always said that. Some pretty bad things happened and we used to laugh at his Pollyanna attitude. But why not? What's so bad about always expecting that you're getting the universe's best, rather than it's worst?

And I think how so many people these days don't know Pollyanna and have never read her book. It is actually a pretty good book--I liked it.

I had more to say on this topic but no more time to write right now. Except this: when I went back out to eat the rest of my lunch, hoping for peace and quiet and sunshine, a man came out on one side with a chainsaw and another on the other side with a lawnmower and when I went back in, there was some horrible music playing. Round two: Murphy 3, Pollyanna, 0. I guess it could have been worse. There could have been a nuclear holocaust outside. Remember: things can always get worse.

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