Madeleine Robins

Be Like Joe

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Joe and Julie

So there I was on Saturday at FogCon, hanging out with people (including BVC’s Kit Kerr, Nancy Jane Moore, and Laura Anne Gilman) and I got a call from my older daughter. A mother knows her child, and even at the age of almost-26, there’s a note Julie gets in her voice when Something Is Wrong. “Hi, Mom.” It’s hard to explain the tone: lower pitched, slower than usual, maybe a smidge of rue.

“Whassup?” I ask. I’m in the hallway, people are talking loudly, and, oh, yeah, the hallway is in the basement of the FogCon hotel, which means the mostly-excellent cell reception gets a touch dicey.

“I just thought I should tell you that Joe’s car was stolen today.”

Okay: Joe is her boyfriend, and Rover, the car, is their only means of transportation other than shanks-mare or public transportation, in an town where a car is pretty necessary. Julie is job-hunting. It’s not the best possible time for this to happen. Really, there’s NO good time for this to happen. And then there’s the: what does this mean for me, or require of me, or, you know: what.

“So what do you need from me?”

There’s a long pause, then she sighs and says “I just thought you should know, because, you know: parents and all.” So I express my condolences, express the hope that Rover will come home again, wagging his tail etc. We exchange love and I hang up and go back to what I’m doing. And later in the day I check in on Facebook, where all news is exchanged, and Joe mentions that his car was stolen. And their friends all condole, and give good advice, and Joe says thanks.

And then, about an hour later he posts: “I am warm and loved, and I have a roof over my head. In light of everything that has happened today, I still stand fast in my affirmation: Best Day Ever™”

Pretty much on the bad days and the good, when he’s angry or sad or sublimely happy, Joe will manage to point out that the day is the Best Day Ever™. As Julie pointed out to me this afternoon, “… it’s mathematically sound! I mean, literally each day is a culmination of ALL the good things that have ever happened in your life, but with the added potential of NEW good things!”

Rover was found in a nearby city today, somewhat the worse for wear. There will be the expense of getting her out of impound, and making repairs, but it’s still Joe’s beloved car, and it still doesn’t mean buying a new (old) car. All things considered, it could be worse.

What I love is that even on Saturday, Joe knew that. Even Saturday was the Best Day Ever™. Joe is officially one of my heroes, and I intend to internalize Best Day Ever™ if I can possibly do so. As Julie says, “Order now to receive an extra refill cartridge of PERSPECTIVE!”

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