It’s the little things that get you

The other day while I was in the bathroom, the button popped off my shorts. Great. OK, I thought, not a big deal. I’ll just zip them up as high as they will go and pull my shirt down around my waist. I should have been fine.

As I walked back from class, the situation turned out to be more of a hassle than I had hoped for. The zipper kept coming down, and since I didn’t have a belt on, my pants were creeping down as well. They wouldn’t stay up! I kept trying to pull them up and tighten the zipper, but it wasn’t working. Now I was in a mad dash to get back to my apartment before I was walking around in my boxers. I thankfully made it back just in time before they fell all the way off.

This got me thinking: How could something so insignificant like one damn annoying button significantly affect what I did thereafter so much? It makes me ponder things.

For one, it emphasized the fact of what little control we have over things. This button just decided to come off when it did and in turn send me into a 10-minute craze to keep my pants from falling down to my ankles. It’s stupid and funny and unimportant-I know-that one little thing can cause so much turmoil in my life, but it still strikes me as profound and scary. I don’t know if I believe in fate, but the idea of not controlling my own life does sort of alarm me.

Secondly, I have been trying to arrange plans for this summer so that everything works out perfectly. I’m planning on enjoying my first summer in Miami by moving off campus, which has been a challenge in and of itself. In order for me to do that, my parents are demanding that I secure an internship first, which has turned out to be a whole other headache.

On top of that, my parents are planning to come down to help me move in my new place and bring my car as well, so they need to know ASAP that I have the job. And then there are classes wrapping up and finals and projects. It’s that time of year when it’s all thrown at you at once. Pressure. Stress. Chaos. I feel like screaming.

What if something small or stupid occurs to screw it all up for me? Some nothing, little happenstance that turns out to be my summer’s demise? Devastation does not even begin to tell you how I’d feel if that happens. How do I make sure that everything runs smoothly? There’s no way.

That’s the kick out of life I suppose. You never know what’s going to pop up out of nowhere. Something may turn out for the best or for the worst and you won’t know until it’s over and done with. We keep on going and hope that everything works out, without thinking about anything negative. I guess it’s habit for people to think that way or else we’d all go insane.

But remember that when the annoying little buttons of fate do fly off in your face, it’s not necessarily the end of the world. Just another item to add to life’s long and unexpected To-Do list.

Derek Bramble is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and theater.