9-10-14 Imperfect Timing

Writer Joshua Harris once said, “The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.” I couldn’t agree more, especially when my husband (who is in grad school and has been gone a great deal lately) came home late (after soccer practice, baths, dinner, dishes, laundry, etc.) and said, “Hey. I’m going to go jump in the shower since I’m all sandy from playing volleyball.” Now, to put this all into perspective for you, I’m all about him “letting off steam” with a sport, but again … it came down to timing – imperfect timing at that. It is almost genius how bad timing can be sometimes, and sadly for him, this was one of those times.

Let’s rewind to earlier today. I only slept for four and a half hours, because I had work to do. Then, the air conditioning broke at work and I was stuck keeping my sweet-turned-sour 8th graders occupied in a classroom that had the humidity level of the Amazon, without the refreshing rain-smell. Due to the fact that I think we’d neared our dew point in the air, my hair somewhat resembled a troll doll, as a halo of flyways encircled my head. I would have liked nothing, NOTHING more than to drop my sweaty self into a shower, but … you guessed it … no time! My son had soccer, and, sure enough – it was just in time for the rain.

For someone who had no intention of becoming a soccer mom, putting up with soccer weather is the absolute worst. There is a man named John Ruski who argued philosophically that, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” He was obviously not a soccer dad in the Midwest. Just about the time we pulled up and pulled out all of our gear, the rain started blowing sideways. No lightning, so play on! Where’s a good electrical storm when you need one?

After coming home damp and cold, after being dripping and hot earlier, you can imagine my frustration at the now clearly horrific timing of my husband’s announcement to take a shower. So yes … timing is everything, just ask the olympian who missed the gold by a fraction of a second, or the business man who missed his plane by a few minutes. I think time prides himself on making messes out of “could be in-control” situations.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all stepped in at the wrong time, listened in at the wrong time, came home at the wrong time, or shown up at the wrong time. I might even argue that time isn’t really splitting himself evenly, because I’m pretty certain I’ve waltzed into “wrong timing” situations a heaven of a lot more times that the scenarios that would’ve been “right.”

I am going to end with the funniest moment of my new year with 8th grade. It was a prime example of awful timing for this kid, (maybe also a twinge of awful choice of words) but comedically, I must admit the timing was perfect. This student, let’s call him C, reminds me of a quote from Jim Morrison that says, “I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments.” He, like Morrison, does this … well, and we need to celebrate the genius of his obliviousness. So C and A were working on a project together. They were trying to find common ground and something to talk about that could connect their minds to creating a character. I happened to be walking around the room, listening for good conversations and ideas, and, if I would have been a fraction of a second later to their corner of the room, I would have missed it. But that’s the thing … even bad timing can be perfectly placed! So I walk into C (the boy) asking A (the girl), “Well, you have crabs right?”

This is where my head whipped around like it never moved before and an, “Oh my gosh did you really just say that?” look plastered over my face! The moment after it was asked, was the precise moment A turned purple with embarrassment, C started to present the blood blush creeping up his neck from realizing the way his words sounded like an STD accusation, and I started laughing hysterically. A few bits later, and C had clarified that he just thought A had interesting pets, so he’d taken a long shot to guess. In reality, it turns out she only had a pet hedgehog. Not crabs.

It’d be great to think about all the moments that really shaped you, changed you in regards to time … and then share so that we have the opportune time to live in your moment! Tick-tock!

Literarily yours,

Elle

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