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01/15/2013 11:18 am ET Updated Mar 16, 2015

No Fair! Life's Little Injustices... And How To Cope With Them

By Leigh Newman

Recognizing a few of life’s little injustices is the first step to getting past them. Columnist Leigh Newman explains.

1. The fact that 99.83 percent of the times that you get your front-door key copied at the hardware store for your very important houseguest (say, a mother-in-law visiting for the first time in 10 years), the shiny new duplicate will not work. The only way around this is to get six keys made as insurance. Consider this an investment in your sanity instead of a tax on your patience.

2. You had the argument with the claim representative and, as it turns out, insurance won’t cover your wig because you lost your hair to cancer, not an explosion in your house. Forcing you to realize, yet again, that your soul cannot be broken by rude trained-to-be-heartless employees and for-profit-only logic, and that somebody you love somewhere will still get very, very drunk with you if you hang up the phone and re-approach this tomorrow.

3. On the two days a year that you get to take a nap in the middle of the day, the neighbor’s kids will get a new Roman-candle set from their Uncle Duncan.

4. Pimples after age 40.

5. Age spots before age 40.

6. Possibly even more unfair: You get a $500 gift card to a glamorous skin-cream store from your husband -- due to all the pimples and age spots. You have never, ever gotten a $500 gift card to anything and save it for one year, trying to use up all your crappy drugstore creams before going to have this amazing face-changing experience, because you may be 41 but you are not wasteful. You book a date for a skin assessment. You go in. The store has closed; the entire chain has gone bankrupt. How to cope? Know that you are not alone. This has happened to me (numbers 4 through 6).

7. She likes all your friends. You like her. But she doesn’t like you. Which can be dealt with by remembering that she can’t say or do much about it for fear of your friends not liking her.

8. Getting a parking ticket for being two minutes late getting back to your car. Which clearly violates the understanding we have with the Mighty Powers of the Universe, which require a tiny bit of kindness from even the grimmest meter maid. But which can be fixed by using this app that lets you pay your meter on your smartphone without leaving your meeting.

9. Nice haircutter. Bad haircut. You feel too bad to ask her to fix it. Ask her anyway -- nicely.

10. Your friend takes up knitting and instantly produces the world’s most perfect snowflake sweater. Unbeknownst to her, you have been trying to knit for years and have bought all kind of books and patterns and hooks -- all of which have ended up in a horribly tragic tangle of overpriced yarn. Admit your envy, celebrate her triumph, pay her to knit you some socks.

11. Your parents name you Blueberry -- and they’re not even hippies.

12. Bedbugs.

13. Lice.

14. Bedbugs plus lice.

15. Your boss hires his college buddy with no experience, but a lot of rockin’ kegger stories from -- yes -- last weekend! Do not, under any circumstances, convince yourself that if you hang out and do eyebrow-burning shots with this new favorite employee you will avoid having to doing his work later. You will just have to do it hung over. Remain sober. Print résumé. Send.

16. Your dog likes your friend better than you. Which is why God invented bacon.

17. The novel you’ve been waitlisted for at the library for six months finally came up. And it happens to be missing the last page. Which is why God invented bacon double cheeseburgers.

18. Nobody in this house changes lightbulbs but you! (Crash.) Nobody in this house changes lightbulbs but you!

19. Though you are clearly the best at something (eggnog) and you’ve done it 1,378 times, by some terrible fluke of nature, you pull a McKayla Maroney when the people from next door come over and you forget the order of the egg whites and yolks and somehow end up with frosty glasses of ice-cold dairy glue. However, unlike McKayla with the Olympics, you will get another chance to leap over this psychological vault and whip up a mind-blowing batch the next day -- hopefully for some beleaguered, deserving person who least expects it, like the postman… or your spouse… or yourself.

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