Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Serendipity: "fortuitous happenstance" or "pleasant surprise"

I love the word “serendipity”. I love to say the word “serendipitous”. It is my absolute favorite $5 word.

I think it always will be.

As far as I’m concerned, witnessing or rather feeling a moment of serendipity is about as close as we come to real magic here on earth. “Magic”, in turn, is another word I love. But let’s face it, it’s been cheapened by the pink, fairy-princess business and all those Disney Mongers…you know who you are…

But I digress…

On to a moment of serendipity…

It all started back in November, November 30th to be exact, at my sons’ elementary school’s holiday boutique.

I was standing over the display table of a local, trendy, jewelry-artist-come-school-boutique-vendor in our school’s Multi-Purpose Room (MPR). In keeping with the spirit of giving, I was about to order a custom, stamped plate necklace for myself. I was trying to decide what word or phrase I should have stamped on the rectangular, gold plate. Hot Mom was standing next to me.

“Look at this,” I held up a sample piece that the artist had on display. “How about this one?”

#SorryNotSorry,” Hot Mom read the stamped plate hanging from the necklace and giggled a little. “That’s cute.”

“I think it’s funny,” I smiled broadly.

SorryNotSorry…a kinder gentler version of “F-You”. I am sold!

I made up my mind and the local, trendy, jewelry-artist-come-school-boutique-vendor was writing up my order in no time. She handed me my pink invoice.

“Alright,” I turned to Hot Mom. “What do you need?”

“I’m done. I was looking at this bench but Handstand Mom talked me out of it. She said she could find a better one at a flea market or a consignment shop and paint it for a lot cheaper.”

“Of course, she can.”

Freakin’ Handstand Mom can make anything look good…for nothing.

“What else do you need?” Hot Mom asked.

“Well, I wanted to get those lunch boxes for Vince and Nick,” I had a short, check list of items to get through in the MPR.

“The PACK-iTS!?! They are right over here,” Hot Mom walked me over to the vendor stand.  “I love them… I have this one for baseball games and this one for wine and these ones for the boys’ lunches…” Hot Mom was pointing at or picking up almost every sample on display. 

Jesus Christ. Is she getting a cut of these things?

“You know, I’m surprised you didn’t get ‘Self Care’ on that necklace since it’s all you can talk about.” Hot Mom changed the subject back to my previous purchase.

My eyes widened. I made a small yet audible and completely overly dramatic gasp.

“You’re right! How did I not think of that? I have to change my order!”

And so my order was changed to Self Care to capture my current life slogan. The words and concept that my Dearest of Dear Friends (DODF) had introduced to me several months before, at a time when I was feeling a little lost and awfully low:

“Focus on Lizzie,” she told me. “Take care of YOU. Do what is important to YOU. Say ‘NO’ sometimes. Put your needs first sometimes. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Figure out what it is you can do to make you happy. That’s all you can control in life, really. Do some ‘Self Care’.

And I did. You can figure a lot of shit out just by doing Self Care.

Fast-forward to December 29. The season of giving has come and gone and I realize I have received no custom, stamped, Self Care necklace in the mail. It was not meant to be a gift for someone else so I’m not terribly concerned… but I want my freakin’ necklace.


I first contacted the local, trendy, jewelry-artist-come-school-boutique-vendor via her blog, which made me want to buy even more unnecessary objects to adorn myself with but I resisted…though I did make several mental notes!

A few days later, I sent her a text:

Hi XXX! Hope you had a good holiday. Checking in on the status of my stamped ‘Self Care’ necklace that I ordered at the school boutique. Thanks. Liz Pieri

To which she replied:

It’s shipping this week. I had to remake all of your (school’s) orders the ups store I was shipping from was stealing my packages.

I chose to overlook the run-on sentence and feel sorry for XXX.

I responded:

What a nightmare! I hope you are compensated and not too discouraged. Looking forward to receiving. Happy New Year!

Fast-forward to January 10.

My DODF was bracing for impact. Something she and her husband had been wanting and working for, for years and years, seemed to be slipping further from their reach.

I went to my mailbox and there, among the bills and countless solicitations, was my necklace. Back inside the house, I dropped the stack of mail on the kitchen counter. I excitedly ripped open the package and stared at the necklace for a while.

This isn’t your necklace. It never was.

DODF sent me this text, upon receipt of her necklace in the mail:

U just have no idea how lucky I feel to have u. Thk u.

And to DODF, I say, BACK ATCHA!

Alas, I do so love serendipity. 

And that Self Care shit works!!!

And if you are a big, fat nerd like me, curious about the origin of the word serendipity, get your Wiki on here:

DODF and me, circa '03. We date back to '89.