Osmond, The Ship's Comfort Owl
In November of 2009, I got in a minor car accident on the way to Court. We were driving down main street, and a kid pulled out in front of me. It was so quick, there was no way to stop. He turned toward me, so I couldn't swerve away. My airbag didn't deploy, I wasn't hurt, he wasn't hurt, and we couldn't have been going more than 20 miles per hour when we collided. But, I had a passenger riding with me.
Two full years later (the week before the statute of limitations on her personal injury claim ran), my passenger served my husband at home with a lawsuit, on a Friday. Lame. I was pissed off and anxious. I was trying to be a nice person that day, inviting her to join me at a hearing, and this is the thanks that I received. Lame. She couldn't give me a call at the office, and let me know it was coming: "Sorry Leslie, I know it sucks, but your insurance company won't help me out with my neck pain, so I have to sue you. I hope you understand." Hand deliver it to me rather than Andrew? Extremely lame. I felt betrayed.
Saturday morning, Andrew and I were meeting some long time friends and their two kids at the Springs Preserve, a nature preserve in Vegas that displays the coolest elements of our desert. I raged about the lawsuit on the drive over, fretting. When we went to buy tickets, the Preserve was soliciting donations. In return for a donation, they would give you a little stuffed white horned owl.
"Meet Osmond, Look how cute he is! Totally worth a donation," said the young lady in the ticket booth.
Andrew donated, took the white horned owl and handed him to me. "Here! Here's an owl to comfort you. Now, stop being grumpy."
I took the little owl, and stared him in the eye, challenging him to try to comfort me. Osmond looked back at me with his crooked beak, silly lopsided horns and sleepy eyes that seemed to say "There, there, it's okay. Tell me aaalllll about it. I will make you feel better" Just like your mom said when you were an indignant, injured child.
It seemed like a fair trade: anxiety and rage traded for one small, stuffed white horned owl. Why not? And you know what, he did make me feel better. If only all litigants could be issued a comfort owl, litigation would be much more pleasant. Over time, he just became a part of the family because there are many things that make me angry and/or anxious. Andrew decided that Osmond would be handy in almost any circumstance. So, we invited him to join the full time crew, and there he stayed.