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good actions bad feelings

An ethical dilemma regarding football tickets occupied much of my yesterday. Should I have been upset? Should my daughter have been upset? How can a simple act of generosity result in so much heartache?

But first, an update. My new digs are charming, near-spacious, and 100 kms closer to downtown than my last ones. My books are up, my rugs are down, and I am almost caught up on my laundry. I have bought groceries, had my bike tuned, found an okay neighborhood bar and coffee shop, acted badly at a gas station, got a parking ticket (first of many, I am sure), and made an actual enemy. In short, I'm starting to feel at home.

More on moving week next time. Today my theme is generosity and stress. A friend offered free tickets to yesterday's Argo game (that's it there). I am not a fan but my daughter Thea said she would be delighted to go, so I drove uptown to meet my friend and pick up the tickets. All good. Yesterday was game day and I was on my way to Thea's to deliver the tix when I found myself stuck in film festival traffic. It got ugly. People were lined up to see who was going to get out of the long limousines. I fumed. Thea texted me: WHERE ARE U? I texted IN TRAFFIC! She texted: THE GAME WILL START SOON!! and I texted I KNOW I KNOW!!! (If you think I was being dangerous, texting and driving, all I can say is that you don't know film festival traffic. I had moved 0 feet in the previous ten minutes.) I'm sure she was not angry at me, but there was a sense of "Geez Daddy" in her texts. And I know I was not angry at her, but still there was an edge in my feelings -- a sense of having gone to some trouble for not much reward. And I got to thinking about how much happier we would both be if there were no football tickets and we were home doing our small daily things, and how a simple generous impulse can result in a lot of stress.

When you are stressed, it helps to have a villain to focus on. The mayor, the Prime Minister, the guy yelling at you for parking your moving van in the only available spot (which is how I made my enemy. Sooo cool). In this football ticket saga there was no villain -- except maybe George Clooney or whoever was in the limo, and he probably didn't want to be here either. It goes to show you.

Thea and her friends arrived in time for the game and had, apparently, a great afternoon. I don't know what I will do the next time anyone offers me a freebie.


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