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The Zipper

I have a favorite hoodie. It’s electric blue, has those funky little holes for your thumbs so you can pull down the sleeves if your hands are cold, it’s worn and full of doogle berries (those little bumps that appear after too many washings), and it also has a zipper with a mind of its own. And has had since it was brand new. Now come along on the following scenario.

In a tearing hurry, I slide the straight bit on one side into the little track on the other side and pull. Nothing, nada, niks nie, rien.

Mumble, grumble. Straight bit out, straight bit in. Jiggle. Nothing.

A glimpse at my watch has me flying out the door, left and right bits of the hoodie flapping in the freezing wind.

Safely in the car, heater at full blast, I try again and no problem, “rrrrrrrrr” and up it goes. I give it the death stare but there it lies, warm and comfy against my chest.

Next day is Saturday and with no exercise class I want to attend, I have all the time in the world. Little link into track, tag in hand and “rrrrrrrr.” No problem. Just for fun I unzip and go through the same process another three times. Still no problem.

Monday morning. Little link in, grab tag, pull, nothing. Jiggle, nothing. A glimpse at my watch has me once again belting out the door, left and right bits flapping away.

That night the Zipper and I had a serious talk while I inspected that bottom link. Yup, there was a slightly crooked little tooth on the one side.

“You do understand,” I said, “that I’m in a hurry in the morning. I can’t be late for Anna’s Pilates Class. She locks the door.”

“You do understand,” comes the reply, “that I don’t like to be rushed and yanked about and I have a crooked tooth.” (That last bit somewhat defiantly….)

Ouch. I sat back and looked at my faithful old hoodie. And thought about marriage and family life, especially on school days.

One big zipper with a Mom side and a Dad side. Not enough time for each other and yanking and pulling and getting caught in that crooked tooth and blame flying every which way. And all the little zippers with their own small crooked teeth. Where’s my missing library book, it has to be turned in today; I need a permission slip for that field trip; I can’t find my shoes; I don’t have clean socks; I need money for lunch; who’s picking me up from school; can I go to Suzie’s house after school; did you make the cupcakes; can I bring the school room hamster home tonight…..

Breathe – breathe – deep. Not so you can get more air to yell more loudly but because you can’t yell while you’re breathing. Breathe out slowly as you walk towards your “not so” beloved partner for the moment. You might want to smack him, in fact you might want to kill him but instead you are going to take two seconds to hug and kiss him goodbye.

Life is full of surprises. He might not walk back through that door tonight and you will always remember that your last words were in anger.

Then, back to the little zippers and it’s amazing how quickly you get that under control when you are calmer. No, I don’t know what your life is like; I haven’t walked the proverbial mile in your shoes. But I do know that yelling and screaming and blaming and impatience and anger and temper solves nothing.

So why not breathe and take the calm approach. And gently pull up that zipper.

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