NJ Beach Bar: Schmidt Happens

I was buzzing around the beach bar like a bumble bee that smelt honey, one more shift to go and I was home free- 5 days of vacation!  From table to table I flew serving up guests, grooving to the reggae beat and soaking up the surrounding scene as it escalated from slightly intoxicated to good-n-toasty.  On one trip back to the register, I did a double take of a blue tee shirt.  (See above pic) I chuckled in a way that made my shoulders move up and down as I read: ‘Schmidt happens.’  “Now that’s funny,” I said and snapped a picture saving it on my phone as my screensaver.

The next day I realized I didn’t have to DO anything, I could just BE. I set my beach chair close to the water and pulled out a book given to me earlier that day. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is about a computer science professor who is diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.  He has three kids under the age of 5 and his task is to write one book that encapsulates a lifetime of lessons.  In one chapter, Randy tells a story about taking his niece and nephew out on an excursion. He pulls up to his sister’s house in a brand new convertible.  Before the kids could get in the car his sister gave a lecture on good behavior and keeping Uncle Randy’s new car extra clean.  After his sister is done, the kids turn around to watch their Uncle remove the lid to his big gulp and pour soda all over his back seat.  The kids looked on in shock.  Randy explains in the book that he was demonstrating an important life lesson here, basically that “Schmidt happens.”   

I paused and chuckled here, imagining the reactions of the kids and of his mortified sister. I looked out into the ocean and had to admit there was a small part of me that felt sorry for his car. Did he really have to defame it to prove a point? I openly admit that my Jeep Wrangler is the one material possession in my life I’m attached to, I couldn’t imagine pouring soda all over it without flinching in pain. I sat like that for awhile; just being with this story and pondering my own life experiences as the tide washed over my feet and then drew back taking some sand with it. 

 Three nights later, my 88-year-old grandmother, younger brother Seawolf and I went out to eat.  Seawolf was driving my Jeep. We got into an argument over parking, I wanted him to get closer to the restaurant for my gram’s sake and he wanted my backseat squawking to stop. He won and walked 6 blocks to the restaurant.  After dinner on our walk back to the car, my grandmother told Seawolf that she really needed to go the bathroom.  We still had 4 blocks to go.  I suggested she stay behind with my Aunt and we pick her up.  When we got to her the door swung open and I could smell what happen. But worse yet was the torture and embarrassment on my grandmother’s face, I wanted so badly to take it away.   The next morning my grams came sheepishly over to me, “Thank you, I’m so sorry.” The tears welled in her eyes, “Tell me, how is your car?” I smiled and whipped out my phone showing her my new screensaver. I said, “Grams, ‘Schmidt happens”.  

Tee-Shirt Turth,

A Warrior Princess




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