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Life isn’t fair (02/25/2007)
By Frances Edstrom

Big news! Life isn't fair.

Life isn't fair in a lot of big ways "” illness, death at a young age being two that come easily to mind.

But, the other day when I went for my annual physical, I was again reminded of all the little, some might say insignificant, ways in which life isn't fair, too.

For instance. Why does the doctor's office weigh you with all your clothes and shoes on, but make you take your shoes off to measure your height? Somehow I've gotten to this age and am still off-guard when it comes to a weigh-in. A sensible person would dress in light clothing and kick off her shoes, but I never remember in time. I have a friend who used to try to cheat at Weight Watchers, running a mile in a plastic suit and spitting into a cup every two minutes in the hours before her meeting. Of course, doing all that didn't make her any thinner, but there's a certain satisfaction to be had when the scale says what you want it to say.

And another thing.

What is it with men's hearing loss? When we had babies, the most strident, insistent wail in the middle of the night wouldn't wake him up. Although once I had awakened him with a gentle poke in the ribs, or by holding his nose, and reminded him it was his turn to get up, he was perfectly nice about it. By then, of course, I was awake and couldn't get back to sleep. Now, in our middle years, his youth spent with shotguns and rock bands has led to a hearing loss that the doctor (another male, who I am convinced is in cahoots) says is not so bad he needs a hearing aid. He just has significant loss in a certain register "” the exact one my voice falls into"¦by coincidence.

Why, I want to know, are you always remembered for your bad ideas and mistakes and never remembered for your great ideas? Same with witty comments. You make a good one, and two days later, you hear someone else getting the credit for it.

Sales. All the good stuff on sale is size 2 or 200. My youngest daughter has a mental block at sales, and is always trying to jam a pea-sized shoe on her average-sized foot, a la Cinderella's stepsisters. She's then horribly disappointed. I've tried to warn her. So what do they do with all that leftover stuff? Is there a country somewhere filled with Lilliputians and Amazons wearing the latest from the fashion world? Wouldn't it make more sense just not to produce so many things at the far ends of the size spectrum, and a few more in the middle?

Gas. Why is it the minute you fill up your tank, the guy comes out with the long stick that changes the numbers on the gas station sign, and the price is lower? Then by the time you need gas again, it's gone back up.

Parking spaces. Too late to pull right in, you see one as you're cruising past, right smack in front of the place you want to shop. You go around the block, and as you round the corner, see a kid who doesn't look old enough to be out of diapers - and I don't mean astronaut diapers (am I the only one who ever wondered about that?) - pull into your space. Then, after you settle for a place a couple blocks away, the kid tears out of the store, hops into his car and peels out just as you get there.

Wrinkles. Oh, heck, the word speaks for itself. 


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