As drivers, we all possess certain pieces of equipment related to the operation of our vehicles. A license is a good start. Keys are a necessary second. GPS comes in handy for new and distant destinations. We all understand the importance of plenty of window washer fluid and regular oil changes. Car air fresheners work as fragrant reminders of a tropical island while on the interstate. All these items help make life on the road safer and easier. But something’s missing.
My husband and I have been married for 20-something years. I thought I knew the exact number by heart; however, during a recent conversation, he corrected my math. I’d been adding an extra 365 days to the duration of our wedded bliss. That’s a whole year. This made me feel a little guilty, like I take our time together for granted, which I try not to. But I do, I guess, on occasion. Twenty-something is a long time, by anyone’s standards. Together we’ve weathered one baby’s colic and three teens’ behind-the-wheel instructions.
I grew up in an era where cool jeans came outfitted with a tiny red rectangular tag and a number somewhere in the 500s. The choices were straightforward — boot-cut or straight leg, stonewashed or regular. Mom jeans hadn’t been invented, because those of us wearing them weren’t moms yet. It was a simpler time — when jeans were jeans. They covered what they needed to cover and served as a practical staple in one’s wardrobe. Times have changed. Hip, fashion-forward folks make statements with their derrieres by way of fancy stitching, rhinestones and other gaudy adornments.
Yesterday, I accidently stepped on the cat’s tail, and she let me know I’d committed an error of a horrendous nature. I apologized profusely, of course, but she wasn’t in the mood to forgive. She doesn’t take kindly to tail endangerment. This isn’t the first time I’ve apologized to my pets — or conversed with them — far from it. When my dog is lying on the stairway landing and I have to step over her, I say, “Excuse me,” like I owe her that. I also speak platitudes to my animals. They are so pretty. So darling.
I do not consider myself an excellent driver. I am good, or maybe just OK — around a B-minus to a C-plus if I were giving out grades. I am not great at maneuvering into tight parking spaces or knowing when it is my turn at a four-way stop. I am unsure of the direction to rotate my steering wheel when parking on a hill. Despite my shortfalls, I do understand roadway etiquette, or the unwritten standards of protocol every license-wielding driver should abide by.
All right, enough is enough already. I give up. I’m throwing in the workout towel, hanging up my tennis shoes and reaching for a thick slice of pizza — with extra cheese, please. It’s become too much — diet and exercise, exercise and diet. I’ve been traveling the road to fitness for weeks now — my commitment is beyond monumental — and today I stepped on the scale see the same old familiar numbers staring back at me. Again. My scale has become a permanent fixture fixated on my failure to lose and even though they say numbers don’t lie, I’m crying foul. Something is amiss.
The hardest part about going on vacation is getting going. The energy and effort required to plan and pack can leave you weary and in need of a vacation — especially if you fulfill the role of predominant packer for your pack. At my house, vacation preparation involves about 2,537 unique tasks. My husband is responsible for a number of them — filling the vehicle’s gas tank, mapping our course on the atlas, carrying the cooler up from the basement and bringing the luggage out to the car. For those who are counting, that makes four.
There’s a buzz circulating in small-town USA, and I’m not talking about the anticipation of Justin Bieber’s upcoming birthday. I came across a new item at the grocery store. There, between the strawberries and pre-cut watermelon, sat an unassuming bag containing three fruits. At first glance, I thought they were apples because that’s what they looked like. Then I saw the label: “grapples.” I read the word with a short “a” so it rhymed with, well, apples. The association seemed pretty obvious.
My husband is not a frequent shopper. He avoids the hobby. Abhor is a strong word, but I think it’s pretty close to how my husband regards the in-store experience. You can imagine my surprise when he initiated the task last Saturday. We were out of town, at a weekend sports tournament with one of our kids, hanging out in the hotel between games, when he stood up from his chair and uttered the five words I’ve honestly never heard him say: “I’m going to the mall.” I would have accompanied him, but someone had to supervise our kid. So I sent him — alone. Innocent and inexperienced.
It’s been said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. From now until April 15, the majority of law-abiding citizens will be compelled to pay attention to the latter. I’m no exception. I pulled out my tax stuff last weekend and attempted to make sense of those pesky little things called numbers. I sat at the dining room table, accompanied by a heaping pile of receipts from 2013, and scanned each slip for business expenses and other tax-deductible items.