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Does pride really come before every fall? At times it seems so
by Cathy Wood
Jun 24, 2014 | 256 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’m not sure if pride goes before a fall – for me it’s usually talking on the phone while holding a coffee cup and avoiding one or both cats as I’m walking up the stairs that does it -- but I do know that pride contributes to a tumble out of your porch swing.

See, when you tell folks you fell out of your porch swing, they immediately think either you were on your third glass of wine or you are a lazy homeowner who neglects important safety inspections of potentially dangerous furniture.

But pride is the culprit here. Not just one instance of pride, but a whole succession of unwarranted prideful thoughts.

It started on Mother’s Day weekend. My daughters and grandbabies were coming to visit, and as usually happens when company’s coming, I wanted the house to look nice. And as also usually happens when company’s coming, I got into a cleaning frenzy where nothing’s safe. That’s how I found myself on the porch, contemplating the swing that had been clean enough for me to sit on just the previous day but now seemed dirty beyond belief.

So with a fierceness I usually reserve for rooting against any Nick Saban team, I attacked that porch swing, cleaning-wise, and restored it to something approaching its original pristine condition.

Was I a little too proud of my hard work? Did I hope someone would walk by and say, “Oh my goodness, that is the best cleaning job ever!”? Did I secretly believe my gleaning white porch swing was the prettiest on our street?

I think we all know the answers. Prideful thoughts nos. 1, 2 and 3.

Proceed to a month later. This is when karma exerts her universe-balancing tendencies. Or luck and coordination fail me. Take your pick.

It was a gorgeous spring day – sunshine, warm breeze, blue sky. I was walking home from the salon in downtown Corinth where I get my hair cut and feeling good because my hair looked fantastic. I can say this with total modesty because I look in the mirror every morning after I’ve fixed my hair and I know it looks the same as before I did anything and sometimes worse. I am not a hair person. But for one day every two months or so, after I go to the hair salon, I’ve got the smooth and shining hair of my dreams and I take full advantage of it.

So on this rare gorgeous hair day, did I walk around town hoping people would notice? Had I planned lunch out with my husband and dinner out with friends to get full mileage out of my professionally styled ’do? Did I incorporate extra hair tossing into every conversation I had on my way home?

Yes, yes and yes. Prideful thoughts nos. 4, 5 and 6.

Now we come to the fateful moment that day when bad decisions and misplaced self-congratulations exact their due. As I rounded the corner to our house, I saw my husband standing behind our magnificently clean porch swing.

As I bounded up our front steps – hoping my hair was glowing in the sunshine – I noticed he was watching Smart Cat (so called because she gets us to do things for her, such as go outside) stretched out on the cool concrete. Feeling jaunty, I jumped up onto the swing and twisted around to tease her and see how many hair compliments I could get out of my husband.

But before he could tell me how good I looked (I know that’s what he was going to say), the chain on a corner of the swing slipped out of its eye bolt and I ended up flat on the floor with the porch swing dangling in front of my face, a huge weird sort of headache and my husband saying: “Don’t move. Don’t move. Wait, you have to move so the swing won’t hit you.”

He then got Smart Cat back inside and me to the emergency room. The good news was that I didn’t have a concussion.

And more good news: My hair still looked great.

(Cathy Wood is a freelance writer living in downtown Corinth. She contributes to the Daily Corinthian and Crossroads Magazine.)
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