Hubris. Definition: excessive pride or defiance towards the gods, leading to nemesis. See also: bad karma. I try very hard not to anger the gods; my husband was sick with this weirdly tenacious virus, for the better part of a month, and all the while I kept dosing myself with vitamin C and oil of oregano, and ensuring I had proper rest and liquids, because I did not want to anger the Virus Gods. So far it’s worked and I am suppressing all thoughts about my superior immune system, instead just thanking the Virus Gods for looking past me this time. Hopefully.

But hubris is a real thing, as any mother who has boasted about her angelic newborn sleeping through the night or young toddler who potty trained completely by eighteen months knows. Everything you say can and will be held against you by the gods and all those things you silently judge others for will certainly come to pass.

And so it is that I have angered the Toothpaste Gods, for writing my last post. Early this morning when I went to brush my teeth before yoga, I noticed the tube of toothpaste – that had been squeezed from the bottom AND middle – was very sticky. It was 4:30 in the morning, so I blearily wiped the excess toothpaste off the tube, wondering who made such a mess of things. Only a few hours later, when I went to brush again, I noticed something strange. The tube had come apart at the seams.

Never in my four decades of diligent brushing has such a thing occurred so I can only think that this is due to my excessive pride. You think you can just squeeze the toothpaste tube any way you like? We shall see about that. I wasn’t even sure what to do with this situation. Should I keep using the toothpaste by scraping it out, like someone brought up during the Great Depression? Should I duct tape the whole tube back together? WHAT HAPPENS NOW. It didn’t even occur to me to throw out the half-used tube, probably due to my Scottish heritage, but when I got back from teaching this morning I noticed that it was in the garbage, my husband probably thinking that such a thing would not send me into a spiral of “we just wasted $1.75” shame. But we did. We might as well have thrown seven quarters in the trash.

Let me tell you, I am taking this “for best results” thing seriously. When I wash my hair with coconut oil shampoo, if it says for best results use the matching conditioner, you had better believe that I AM GOING TO USE THE MATCHING CONDITIONER. Who knows what might happen otherwise! Maybe my hair will fall out, maybe it will change colour, maybe it will become so dry it will spontaneously burst into flames, I don’t know and I am not going to tempt the Hair Gods.

Speaking of tempting fate, yesterday I was preparing to leash up the dog to take him for his daily constitutional, when I got a notification from my neighbourhood Facebook group. Normally I don’t really give the neighbourhood group more than a cursory glance; more often than not, it’s just an advertisement for a local business’ craft night or happy hour, or information regarding a new building or redevelopment plan. Lately, though, it’s been a bit more interesting – there is a bobcat with two cubs residing in our neighbourhood. In our urban neighbourhood. The latest buzz was a video of the bobcat in a yard, only a few blocks from my house, in the middle of the day. Since my usual walk meant that I would be strolling past that particular street, I wondered if maybe I should skip it. One look at Barkley’s fuzzy face changed my mind; after all, we were probably not going to get attacked by a bobcat when there are so many rabbits and squirrels in the neighbourhood. What self-respecting bobcat would attack a person and a large, chubby dog walking along a busy street? The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, I told Barkley, who looked at me and nudged the leash in my hand. Off we went and we are still here to tell the tale.

In other Borderline Stupid Things I Have Done Lately, I picked up a book at the library that was on the “hot new picks” display. It had a picture of a dog on it, so, like I might have done 40 years ago, I immediately picked it up. It has a dog on the cover. I took it home even after reading the back and with pertinent information about the storyline. People, the next time I think that it might be a good idea to read a book about a dying dog and her extremely lonely owner, gently remind me that this is never a good idea. I am not a person who enjoys books about the compassionate ending of a sick dog’s life; there is more than enough sadness in the real world, we do not require it in the literary world. Or, I do not require it. Now I am reading What She Left Behind, which I understood from reading the back cover that it would be about Germany in the Second World War. Again, not a happy topic, but one I still feel is an important one, particularly in this day, age, and political climate. However, the back cover reviews were about a different book by the same author. This one is about, oddly, a woman committed to a state insane asylum against her will; not a cheery topic by any stretch. I am trying hard not to think symbolically or read too deeply into my unintentional book choice, because I certainly do not want to anger the Fictional Novel Gods.


  1. I’d be right there with you trying to salvage the toothpaste. Maybe we knew each other in our past lives in the Great Depression.

  2. bibliomama2 says

    WHO JUST THROWS OUT PERFECTLY GOOD TOOTHPASTE??? I would have, like, squeezed it all into a cup or something and then dunked my toothbrush in the progressively grosser goop for… you know what, Rob did the right thing. Was it the dog with the octopus on its head or something? I’ve been studiously avoiding that one. And god knows that in this house we do, say, and avoid saying anything that might anger the Baseball Gods.

  3. It WAS that book – Lily and the Octopus. It was touted as a “must read” and well, it’s a must read if you want to be super sad about the short lifespan of pets.

  4. The toothpaste gods have hunted me down. I don’t know how many times the tube has split for us. Such a gooey mess. I toss them.

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