Wednesday, July 18, 2012
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
I was about six years old the first time I consciously attempted to perform a good deed. At the time, I was obsessed with having a “hut”. As my family wasn’t into camping, a tent was not an option. My solution was to throw a canvas drop cloth over my bike in the carport. I thought it was simply divine. I was hanging out in my hut one day, contemplating life, when I heard footsteps. I crawled out to find a neighbor girl coming to tell me her dad had died. I felt so bad and wanted to comfort her. I offered to let her sit in my hut. She declined and left, and it was a good six years before I felt the urge to do something nice. One Saturday morning, I woke up feeling the love. I looked across at my sister, Mickey, and hit on the perfect good deed. Every Saturday, we had to change the sheets on our beds. I decided the nicest thing I could do for my sister would be to change the bed for her. There was one only problem in my plan – Mickey was still sleeping in her bed. I was twelve, and she was nine. I told myself she was small enough for me to gently lift her onto the floor, change the sheets, and gently lift her back onto the bed. Imagine her wonderful surprise at waking up to a freshly made bed! It didn’t quite come down that way, though. Mick was curled in a ball in the middle of the bed. I pulled off the top sheet, gathered up the corners of the bottom sheet, and dragged her to the edge of the bed. There was no gently setting her on the floor. She kind of went thud, since I was not the muscle-bound brute I thought I was. Needless to say, Mickey’s reaction was not on the delightful end of the surprise spectrum. My mother, on the other hand, must have called everyone she knew to tell them what I had done. Now that I am a mother, I can understand. At the time, though, not so much. It would be a very long time before I attempted another good deed.