5 Things in My Book of Things Too Good to Be True

Book of things too good

1. Having a Macy’s coupon applicable to something you actually want to buy.

Perfume? Only an idiot would think you could use a coupon for that. Joe’s jeans? Idiot 2.0. Make-up, Michael Kors anything, the one bra that fits perfectly, or the gloves your mom wants for her birthday? No, nada, nyet and nein.

Macy’s will take the coupon in the swimsuit department. In January. (Wisconsin stores only.)


2. Having your hair look crappy before going to the salon, so that you feel good about getting it cut.

The exact opposite of this is The Law of Inverse Coiffure (also known as a Charlotte Moment), and is explained in greater detail, thusly:

“The attractiveness of a coif in the moments immediately leading up to a styling appointment is inversely proportional to the hideousness of one’s hair the day following the appointment, and which lasts until the moments immediately preceding the next styling appointment, when the hair exhibits coiffure excellency for a period of time not to exceed two hours.”

This is based on the same principal as “Toast must fall peanut butter side down on a filthy floor.” Note: butter, Nutella or any thick sticky substance may be substituted for peanut butter, but the floor will be filthy no matter what.


3. That your boyfriend will give you a second chance.

You will be in a restaurant in New York City, and you will tell your bf, “Hey, look. Yoko Ono is at the next table,” only to have the bf suggest that you put on your glasses. The woman at the next table is in fact Asian, but is not in fact, Yoko Ono.

When 10 seconds later, Yoko Ono actually appears outside the window, right behind your boyfriend’s head, the bf flat out refuses to look, vowing, “I’m not falling for that again.” While the bf sits steadfastly facing forward, just 2’ away, Yoko laughs with her friends, swings a little kid by the arms, and eventually notices you staring at her with your mouth open. She smiles and blows you a kiss.

At the exact moment as you return the kiss, your bf finally turns around, but Mrs. Lennon has walked away. This is the Law of Inverse Ono.


4. That on the very day you are late for every single appointment, harried and frantic, someone at the grocery store, anyone, will recognize that you only have two items, and they will let you go to the front of a check-out line.

One evening in Los Angeles, I was late for a dinner party after an entire day of disasters, unforeseen traumas, an LAPD SWAT team in my driveway, and, as it was the day after a salon appointment, my hair looked like crap.

I grabbed two bottles of wine at Whole Foods, only to find long lines at every single checkout, with the exception of one counter where a lady had just pulled up with two overflowing carts, and three children in tow. Perfect.

I asked if I might, since I was dreadfully late to an event, just squeak past her with my two little bottles of wine. Cash transaction. Quick quick quick like bunny. What could go wrong? Sweet mother of Zeus, she went berserk.

“Who do you think you are, some childless princess, and the world owes you everything just because you wear high heels and drink wine?! Do you not see that I have screaming children (FYI they weren’t screaming until she unleashed her anti-princess-in-high-heels tirade) and a shit ton of perishables? How selfish are you people?!” Then she flapped her arms.

I don’t remember what happened next, except that I know molten lava formed in my inner ears and flowed down into my armpits.

(Now, when I am at the market and have a lot of groceries to check out, I scan the area to see if there is anyone with a couple of items, looking anxious and sheepish, and I insist that they go ahead of me. I believe that some day, in some city, in some grocery store, someone will return the favor.)


5. Having visited the gym, shower and salon on the same day as you run into your ex.

Even if you are the one who ended it, and you did it as humanely as humanly possible, who doesn’t want to look like a million bucks when you bump into an ex? That is truly in my book of things to good to be true, because what is more likely to happen is an event filed under “The Immutable Law of Catastrophe.”

This is the scenario in which you hadn’t been to the gym that day, or in the entire month leading up to it, your last hair appointment was the day before (crap hair), and two home invasion suspects had hopped your fence, tossed a firearm into your pool, and were refusing to “come out with your hands up” when the police surrounded your Sherman Oaks home.

In this situation, you are denied access to your abode for a duration of 4.25 hours, during which time you might have showered, put on clean clothes, make-up and possibly even done something with your hair. Instead, in The Law of Immutable Catastrophe, you will be allowed into your house with only enough time to let the dogs out, exchange smelly sneakers for high heels, then turn around and head to a dinner party for which you are already late.

You will pass a Whole Foods, and think, “I should bring something to the dinner.” You’ll swing into the parking lot, dodge the people trying to get you to sign a “Rename Uranus Now” petition, race into the store, grab two bottles of cabernet, and freak out when you see each checkout line is at least 20 minutes long.

Then, under a pot light in the ceiling that has created a halo over the head of a female figure with two heaping carts of groceries, and three little cherubs in tow, you see that perhaps the first and only good thing to happen all day…is about to happen.

Not only does the good thing not happen, but your armpits go on fire when the crazy lady starts screaming at you, causing you to sweat through a T-shirt you suddenly realize you slept in the night before.

You don’t know how you got there, but you find yourself in the parking lot with a security guard chasing you down because you ran out without paying for the wine. The Rename Uranus people look away, you are so disgusting.

You’re sweaty and stained, with bad hair, a red face and possibly wearing handcuffs when your ex rolls up and parks right beside you.

If I were he, this would be filed under, “Bwaaaaaaahahahaha.”


Click here to listen to Pam’s hilarious new essay in her Public Radio series “Wisconsin Tough.”

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