Karen Lomas
May 9, 2013

I was having a really good day until

The weather has been amazing for the time of year and as I was working today (very productive, pretty chuffed) I decided I would walk my puppy on the beach, in the lovely early evening sunshine. Big Mistake; HUGE!

I have decided that whilst my puppy is called Toby, and is a Retriever, as distinct from a Labrador, he is indeed Marley. Mad, uncontrollable and very embarrassing, AKA the dog in the book and movie, “Marley and Me”. So rather than a very relaxing experience, sunset, little paddle along the shore…oh, no! My dog not only stole a little girl’s biscuit, sending her plop into the sand, but then he stole a big gob-ful of someone’s fish and chips, right from under her nose.

By now, as you can imagine, I’m close to tears, mortified, absolutely sure that by virtue of the antics of my rampaging, testosterone-fueled crazy monster (well he would have looked monstrous to that little girl!) there will be letters to the local paper calling for dogs to be banned along our beachfront. Utter humiliation!

And then it comes to me that there’s nothing to be done. Truly, in the immortal words of my mum, there simply is no use crying over spilled milk. More brutally some might say, “suck it up!” and harsh as it is, it really is good advice. On the one hand it is so easy to let an incident in your day send you into a complete decline, slamming doors, growling at the dog (appropriate as that may be), and generally catastrophising, it’s also not too difficult to tell yourself; OK, that happened, I’m such a nutter for what I just did, but I had better just use it as a lesson.

First rule of being an utter plonker is, apologise! Most decent humans respond well to an apology, and if they don’t their anger isn’t caused by your actions, but by their inability to be accepting/forgiving. You’ll have minor prangs in your car in your time, and all being well the other guy will be just like you and concern himself over your well-being rather than going puce and road raging about a tiny dint in his bumper. If not, second rule, remain dignified; definitely no verbal or you’re sure to get a black eye and then you may well have good cause for tears. Always remember, it could be so much worse. Except right now if you’re Toby. He may just be on supper rations.

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