The Best-Laid Plans

I’m sick and while the pleasure I would get from writing my whole blog about my ailments is enormous…the show must go on.  So today, instead of writing about having a sore throat that feels as if flaming fire pokers have been shoved down my throat until those round, gobbledy-gook things in the back are en fuego, I will write about the best-laid plans of mice and men.

(By the way, in case you’re interested, the saying, ‘The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.’  is adapted from a line in To a Mouse by Robert Burns. “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”  I’ve always thought that last part sounded like something I heard a taxi driver once yell at a bike messenger.  Who knew it really meant ‘often go astray’ in Scottish?  I thought it was a curse word.)

Last night, I watched Dan In Real Life courtesy of Netflix and the last line of the movie stuck with me.  Steve Carell was talking about the best-laid plans and how we’re always asking one other, “What’s your plan?”  or “What do you plan to be when you grow up?” 

Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised.

I guess I’m not the only one who appreciated this line.  In 2007 it won an award for one of the best movie quotes of the year.  (Writers by the way are Pierce Gardner and Peter Hedges.)

Plan to be surprised.  I love that.  Tonight I was having people over for dinner, but now I have the sore throat from hell and the dinner is off.  Plan to be surprised.  I’m  33, I’ve never been published, and everyone keeps reminding me that my childbearing parts are wilting.  Plan to be surprised.   The first black man is about to be inaugurated as our President, people are still watching reality TV, and somehow professional athletes are making millions while our poor teachers can barely scrape by.  Plan to be surprised.   And here’s the best one yet: there are actually people who think that the prophet Mohammad wants them to kill themselves as they blow up the infidels.  Plan to be surprised.  Oh and by the way, I live in Los Angeles???  Plan to be surprised. 

So I don’t know about all of you out there (and by the way, my readership is up-up-up so thanks for reading,) but these surprises are like being on a roller coaster.  Up and down and left and right, it’s crazy.  Sometimes when no one’s looking I throw up a little bit in my mouth.  I can’t help it.  Nothing goes as expected and making lemonade all the time is exhausting.  But hey, I suppose it’s better than the alternative, right?  Actually, I think that was a quote in the movie too.  I’ve got nothing – except the scorching fire in my throat, but I’m not going to talk about that.  Plan to be surprised.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Best-Laid Plans

  1. m

    Plan NOT to be surprised – that ‘scorching, knife points’ in your throat sounds like strep throat….go to a doctor please!

    PS Have you started taking any vitamins yet? Since you are often around kids (albeit not toddlers), you are exposed to a LOT of germs on a daily basis…..

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