Coming unzipped.

Last week, my husband Michael and I were putting fresh sheets on the bed. He held up his pillowcase liner in one hand, a broken zipper head in the other hand, caught my eye, and we both doubled over in laughter. I leaned over, supporting my upper body on the bed because I was laughing too hard to stand up. Michael did the same, breaking out in a coughing fit like he does when he laughs uncontrollably.

I guess you had to be there.

Michael was the one to suggest the episode as fodder for my blog. He said, “There will always be new material.” He’s right. So here goes:

I don’t know what it is with my husband and zippers. His bad zipper karma dates back quite a while. Unfortunately, it doesn’t affect items that are old and worn.


When stuff gets old, you expect some kind of breakdown. Michael’s curse happens to things that are practically brand new. But not new enough to return to the store for a refund.


Only new enough that the damn zipper should work.

I can’t even count how many zippers he’s broken over the years. It’s gotten so that if I’m around   while he’s getting zipped, if he has the least bit of trouble, we both hold our breath, then I talk him through it as we monitor his progress.

“Slow.  Don’t force it.  Easy now.”

Then, if he gets it zipped, our faces light up like he successfully pulled the bottom block out of a Jenga tower.

Below is a list of current items he owns with broken zippers, and these are only the ones we can think of. There are many, many more, I assure you.

    • His long, heavy leather coat. The whole zipper had to be replaced.
    • My all-time favorite outerwear of his – a red Izod spring jacket. He looked so good in it.
    • His Land’s End rain coat. See – it’s not just the cheap stuff that suffers.
    • A green parka. OK – this was a little old, but you should see the zipper on it. It should have held together the likes of The Hulk. Or Jabba the Hutt.
    • Lunch bags, soft coolers, and the pillowcase liner. All now environmentally uncool landfill.

I think the universe is trying to tell him something.

Michael doesn’t really go for that talking universe stuff – that’s my thing. He probably thinks it’s plain old bad luck or an annoying coincidence.  I haven’t decided for sure yet, but here are some of my theories on the lessons bestowed by broken zippers:

    • Life happens.
    • Cold is uncomfortable. Deal with it.
    • If you usually keep your shit together, letting little things fall apart is OK.
    • Unzip. Open up. Deal with what comes in and see how you grow.
    • Keep your wife laughing.

I guess I’m not feeling too profound today. I can’t come up with anything better.

I know what will happen, though. As soon as I hit “PUBLISH” on this blog, the skies will open and the universe will shine down its wisdom upon me.

In the meantime, what do you think?  What’s the message from the universe on bad zipper karma?  Send me your ideas and I’ll blog about it. *

Until then … “Slow. Don’t force it. Easy now.”

Hey wait!  Maybe that’s …


*If you have trouble commenting on this post, you can send your ideas on the universe’s lesson in broken zippers to me at  Please put “Bad Zipper Karma” in the subject line. 

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