The dental floss was the last straw.
Or last floss.
It was stuck between two of my front teeth — two 30-year-old-crowns.
I wasn’t sure how to dislodge it. If I tugged too hard, the crowns could pop out along with the floss.
Is stuck floss a dental emergency?
I finally extricated the floss and tossed the container in the trash.
I’d bought the wrong type of floss.
Since our ancestors first used horsehair to floss their teeth, dental floss has improved, but horsehair was a good description of what I’d just used.
The floss fiasco topped off a week of mishaps — of my own making.
I kicked the week off with wrong moves on my computer — leading to what I thought was disaster.
“How could I be so dumb?”
Fortunately, I have the world’s best computer-repair friend, so I called him.
He was busy until about 6:30 in the evening at which time he could fix my emergency.
An hour later he called and said, “My wife reminded me tonight is date night, so I’m taking her out to dinner. But I could work on your computer after that.”
“That’ll be fine,” I said.
As soon as I hung up, I thought “What in the world am I thinking? Who wants to do a computer repair after date night?”
I quickly called him back and said, “Enjoy your dinner. My computer and I can wait till tomorrow.”
Caught up in my own gaffes, I’d lost ordinary courtesy. How could my friend enjoy date night if a computer repair job is hanging over his head?
To be honest, I had no need for the computer for a few days. But when I’m uneasy, everything sounds like life or death.
And at my age I always I worry my kiddos will think, “Mom’s really losing it.”
I forget that they have more important things to do than think about their mom’s mishaps.
Between the floss fiasco and the computer glitch — I managed to squeeze in three bounced checks.
Again, I felt embarrassed, ashamed and uneasy.
I wonder if my mishaps seem larger because of the general tension in the air — COVID, masks, vaccinations, local elections?
I must remind myself that mistakes are part of living. The only real error is not to accept that I’ve made a mistake.
It’s easy to want to “stick to our guns” and look for someone or something to blame.
I would be easy to say my computer was a lemon and that’s why it bombed. But that wouldn’t change my behavior.
Life is grandly messy. We all make mistakes and will make them again.
It helps me to keep Thomas Edison’s words in mind, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 words that won’t work.”
I think I’m approached 10,000.
During these last months the saddest mistakes come from patients in a tangle of tubes in hospital ICUs around the world.
Nearly all of these patients hadn’t gotten the COVID vaccine — or believed COVID was a hoax.
According to the Washington Post, 39-year-old Michael Freedy, a father of five, put off getting the COVID vaccine.
His last words before dying were, “I should have gotten the damn vaccine.”
Most of us can live with small mistakes. At most, they hurt our wallet and our pride.
But some mistakes hurt others, as well as others.
Let’s not make the mistake of not skipping the COVID vaccine. None of us want our last words to be, “I wish I’d gotten the damn vaccine.”