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Fickleness

19 October 2006

My parents had a tendency to dream out loud. Things like, “We’re going to buy this actual house right here. See this room downstairs, this will be your room, Imperatrix. It has its own bathroom, and when you have friends over, you’ll be able to hang out in the downstairs family room without your younger siblings bothering you.” Or, “We’re going to buy you this car.” Things of that ilk. It turns out that when this is done consistently to a kid, they stop trusting the promises those adults tell them.

I decided that I wouldn’t prey on my children’s hope in that way, ever.

I also believe strongly in hubris. Enough that I probably could write a This I Believe essay on it. Seriously. Here’s my definition of hubris: If someone makes a self-assured statement about something out loud and to others, then they have put themselves at risk of failing to achieve that very thing. There is a maliciousness to Fate that never backs down on a dare. For example, “I know I breathed in that carcinogen in the lab, but it was too small a breath—not enough to do any damage.” Or, “That job for entertainment director for the Carribean cruise line? I’ll get it. No problem.”

Now, I have found that not many other people in my world have this strong belief of the negative power of hubris. So they keep talking. And I keep cringing. And when I finally accept the assurance that something will be a done deal, and we talk at dinner with the girls about something as if it will probably happen, and I think I can finally blog about it, … well, what do you know? Hubris sends me an email and says, “Surprise!”

Pardon me while I go sulk.

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