The Rule of Contrary

doctorThe other day I went to a doctor for an ongoing problem that’s been troubling me. The day I went to see him, I felt fine! He said, “You know, 95% of my patients report feeling great on the day they come to see me.” I began to think of this as the kind of occurrence I’ll call “The Rule of Contrary.”

I don’t know about you, but there are days when I look in the mirror and say, “I really need a haircut.” I procrastinate until I’m so annoyed with the hair in my eyes and the rest of it out of control that I finally make an appointment and … you guessed it. On the day of the haircut, I arrive with my hair looking the best it has in months!


Last week, in an effort to clean out a drawer, I threw away a name and address of a chiropractor I had been saving for, oh, probably 6 papers on deskyears, never needed. The following day, a friend called and said, “Do you still have the name and address of the chiropractor I gave you a long time ago? I lost the contact and can’t even remember his name … I want to go see him.”

When I approach a tollbooth, I naturally look for the one with the shortest line. Ah, there’s one with only one car! Lining up behind it, I sit patiently for several minutes, realizing that the car in front of me does NOT have the EZ Pass he’s supposed to in this lane and is waiting for the police authority to let him through the toll.

EZ pass

In the theater, I take my seat, waiting the dimming of lights, the start of the overture. How lucky am I! The seats in front of me are empty. Oh, but here comes a couple to claim them. The gentleman, clearly over 6’3″, sits in front of me (I barely register 5’1″). As I look around, I realize that of all the audience members within my vicinity, the one who is the tallest is sitting directly in front of me!

In the supermarket, I carefully choose the line with (a) the fewest customers, (b) a bagger for faster service and (c) someone at the

People waiting in line with shopping baskets at grocery store

register who looks like she knows what she’s doing. But, beware … The Rule of Contrary is activated when the customer preceding me has forgotten an item and needs to leave her spot to comb the aisles for it, or has left her rewards card in the car and must retrieve it, or can’t locate her credit card. Sometimes, the roll of receipt paper gets stuck and a manager has to come over to fix the machine.

So, I carry on and try to stay calm. Isn’t that why I meditate? Ommmmmmmmmmm

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