"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
July 8, 2013
Wearing a Trout around Your Neck
by Kathryn H. Kidd

Sometime around the end of May, I won a shirt of many colors on eBay. I like to wear shirts of as many colors as I can get, and I was delighted with the win — right up until the seller informed me that there had been a mistake. The vendor had already sold the blouse in question, and I could purchase any blouse in their inventory rather than the $9.95 blouse I had won.

Normally this would have made me happy, but I had already purchased every blouse I liked out of this seller’s vast collection. The only blouse left that was even marginally acceptable was a navy blue blouse with aspirin-sized white polka dots. Boring! But the seller hadn’t made the mistake on purpose, and I tried to be gracious about it all. Everyone makes mistakes — even on Planet Kathy.

Trying to make the best of things, I decided to look for a red scarf with big red stars on it. That way, I figured, I could wear the blouse and the scarf together on the Fourth of July. Then I realized that all my scarf rings are upstairs. These days, anything that is upstairs might as well be in Antarctica, so I ordered a whole collection of scarf rings so I would have one downstairs when the Fourth of July arrived.

But I didn’t have the appropriate nail polish. Never mind that after 37 years of marriage, Fluffy had never seen me in nail polish until our friend Rosie surprised me with a manicure when I was in the hospital in January. But when he saw me in nail polish, he decided he liked me in nail polish, and a new Kidd family tradition was born. Suddenly I had to have a nail polish that would look good with the new scarf I had ordered for the Fourth of July.

Crisis averted! I found one — also on eBay. It was called “Keeping Up with Santa,” a color that would also serve to double for a Fourth of July motif.

The scarf arrived. The scarf rings arrived. The nail polish arrived. All was well. At least, all was well until the scarf disappeared from the pile of belongings next to my computer.

“Where is my new red scarf with the white stars on it?” I asked Fluffy.

“No problem,” he said. “I took it upstairs.”

He took it to Antarctica, but it was “no problem.” Suddenly, it was apparent that Fluffy and I might have differing definitions of “no problem.” This sounded like a pretty big problem to me. But in the past few months, I have learned when to let things slide, and when to make an issue out of them. My wardrobe ensemble for the Fourth of July was definitely a sliding issue.

When I went to bed on the night of July 3, the last thing Fluffy said was that when he went upstairs to brush his teeth, he’d bring down my new red scarf with him. I went to sleep at peace. Then I awoke on the morning of the fourth, and he held my “red” scarf aloft. It was a terminally wrinkled, color-block red, white and blue scarf with a single white star on each blue block, just like — well, just like the Texas state flag.

I got four compliments on this wrinkled work of art. The men who complimented me probably would have given me the same compliments if I had been wearing a trout.

I hadn’t seen this particular scarf in years, probably because I didn’t like it and had thrown it in a bin in my closet. Being in a bin in my closet for many years no doubt explained many of the wrinkles. The remaining wrinkles were explained by the fact that the last time I had taken off the scarf, I had taken it off with an equally ugly scarf ring, and the scarf ring had squashed the fabric into an unforgiving knot.

But this was still an issue that needed to be let slide, because the high priests group in our ward was in charge of this year’s pancake breakfast, and Fluffy had to get there pronto. I put on the navy blue blouse. I put on the odious wrinkled scarf and the new scarf ring. My “Keeping Up with Santa” nail polish was on my fingernails and ready to go, and off I went.

As it turned out, I spent the next several hours inside the meetinghouse, breaking eggs for scrambled eggs for two wards. Most of the people I saw were men, none of whom even noticed that the scarf I was wearing was terminally wrinkled. In fact, I got four (count ‘em!) compliments on my outfit. I probably would have gotten the same number of compliments if there had been a dead trout tied around my neck.

The moral of the story is this: Don’t make a big deal out of small issues. Small issues are — well, little. The bigger a stink you make out of them, the more the stink is going to stick to you. The more you laugh at them, the better you’re going to look. Even if you’re wearing a dead trout.

Bookmark and Share    
About Kathryn H. Kidd

Kathryn H. Kidd has been writing fiction, nonfiction, and "anything for money" longer than most of her readers have even been alive. She has something to say on every topic, and the possibility that her opinions may be dead wrong has never stopped her from expressing them at every opportunity.

A native of New Orleans, Kathy grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana. She attended Brigham Young University as a generic Protestant, having left the Episcopal Church when she was eight because that church didn't believe what she did. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a BYU junior, finally overcoming her natural stubbornness because she wanted a patriarchal blessing and couldn't get one unless she was a member of the Church. She was baptized on a Saturday and received her patriarchal blessing two days later.

She married Clark L. Kidd, who appears in her columns as "Fluffy," more than thirty-five years ago. They are the authors of numerous LDS-related books, the most popular of which is A Convert's Guide to Mormon Life.

A former managing editor for Meridian Magazine, Kathy moderated a weekly column ("Circle of Sisters") for Meridian until she was derailed by illness in December of 2012. However, her biggest claim to fame is that she co-authored Lovelock with Orson Scott Card. Lovelock has been translated into Spanish and Polish, which would be a little more gratifying than it actually is if Kathy had been referred to by her real name and not "Kathryn Kerr" on the cover of the Polish version.

Kathy has her own website, www.planetkathy.com, where she hopes to get back to writing a weekday blog once she recovers from being dysfunctional. Her entries recount her adventures and misadventures with Fluffy, who heroically allows himself to be used as fodder for her columns at every possible opportunity.

Kathy spent seven years as a teacher of the Young Women in her ward, until she was recently released. She has not yet gotten used to interacting with the adults, and suspects it may take another seven years. A long-time home teacher with her husband, Clark, they have home taught the same family since 1988. The two of them have been temple workers since 1995, serving in the Washington D.C. Temple.

Copyright © Hatrack River Enterprise Inc. All Rights Reserved. Web Site Hosted and Designed by WebBoulevard.com