Do We Really Need That Kind of Karma?

I’m not really a big believer in karma. If what goes around truly comes around, then people who work hard would not have to struggle financially, and those who sit back and do nothing would not reap the benefits of others’ hard work. xNo, I think life if more random than that. It’s more in line with what Omelette learned in pre-K: you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. Yes, there is an element of cause and effect, but good deeds do not always bring about rewards just as bad deeds are not always punished.

Philosophical arguments aside, Roostler and I had a bit of a run-in earlier this week with karma. Well, it was more of a run-in with each other over the issue of karma. And it all boiled down to two cases of soda.

School has started for Omelette, and that brings about the return of homework and after-school activities. Her first homework assignment was to copy her spelling words five times each. The teacher had given her a sheet of handwriting paper on which to copy the words, but somehow in the process of packing up to go home for the day, Omelette had lost this sheet of paper. Now, we have notebook paper at home, but Omelette insisted that the homework had to be completed on this special kind of paper. So we decided we would go to the store in search of handwriting paper. In the process, we also decided to stop at the gym down the street to sign up for gymnastics class, Omelette’s choice of after-school activity for the year.

Knowing that these errands had to be completed in a timely manner so as not to disrupt the rest of the evening, I was pushing for everyone to get out the door, and as usual, was the only one concerned about getting ready to go. Early Bird refused to retrieve her shoes from under the table despite being told to do so repeatedly. Omelette was playing with a toy piano instead of locating her shoes, which had been carelessly cast off upon her return from school. And Roostler was sitting in the armchair making no effort to get his own shoes on.

After barking at Roostler to get off his tush, taking the piano away from Omelette, and awkwardly reaching under the table to get Early Bird’s shoes myself, we were finally headed out the door.

Our first stop was the gym, where we learned there was a class available for Early Bird’s age group. This resulted in ten minutes of discussion on the logistics of taking two kids to back-to-back classes and whether or not such logistics would work with the addition of Hatchling in October. Having not reached a resolution, we signed Omelette up and made our way to Target where we walked all over the store and found every kind of paper but the one we needed.

By this time, I was thirsty, so I told Roostler to load the kids up while I got a bottle of water. When I got to the car, he asked me if I wanted any Coke or Dr. Pepper.

“What? I just got water,” I replied.

“Someone left their Coke and Dr. Pepper under the cart over there,” he said.

I looked, and sure enough, there were two cases of soda under a cart in the nearby cart return.

“Maybe I should take them back in,” Roostler suggested.

“Why?”

“Someone is going to come looking for them, and they will be all hot when they do,” he explained.

“Whoever left them is probably long gone and not to likely to return for a couple of cases of soda,” I returned.

“I should return them anyway. They’ll be no good out here in the heat. Besides, we had something good happen to us earlier, and I want to keep the good karma coming.”

True, after numerous financial setbacks, we had finally caught a break when our insurance company had decided to work with us on replacing the broken window in our car. But, returning the soda cases was not going to solve the rest of our problems. All it was going to do was delay dinner even more and leave an irritable pregnant woman in the car with two impatient kids, one of whom would begin to scream “Daddy come back” as soon as he left.

“Look, Honey, I appreciate that you’re a nice guy, but your timing is terrible. We haven’t had dinner, and we still have to find that paper.”

In retrospect, it really would not have been a big deal to return the soda. We still would have gotten the paper and made it home in time to complete the assignment, have dinner, and get the kids to bed. And though I don’t believe anything good would have come of it, one good deed couldn’t have hurt. Well, not that much anyway.

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