No, I hate other people driving.
Does anyone take a driving test anymore?
I’m that person that screams when they drive. I swear, I can’t even drive around the block without some idiot pissing me off.
So, I’ve decided I need to pitch my idea for a new TV show to the networks. So You Think You Can Drive is sure to be the next big thing.
It’s another reality-competition show BUT no gets eliminated each week. Instead, competing drivers will square-off in a difficult, new challenge in each episode and be ranked based on their performance.
The catch is…. they’re really competing for the title of World’s Worst Driver.
The challenges will include some pretty daunting tasks. Like– driving the speed limit. Using a turn signal. Driving the right direction on a one-way street. My favorite is, of course, the most difficult… Driving one full mile without texting, talking on the phone, eating, putting on make up or — and this is the most challenging…. reaching down to feel around for that thing that just fell on the floor.
I think it will be an epic hit!
Of course all the stereotypes will be represented: Old lady that never drives over 10 mph, Drunk guy, Texting teen, Revoked license guy, Girl that’s always late for work, Bus driver on a controlled substance, Clueless singing preppie, Woman with too many kids in the car, I break at every street sign person and I break for wind man.
The show will be interactive, so viewers can tweet live comments on air, most of which will have to be censored; mirroring what they’d be saying if they were following the competitors on the open road.
I think viewers will vote too. The winner will have their car crushed by one of those big compactors, their license revoked by a real (retired) police officer and they’ll get a permanent tattoo on their forehead (preferably with a rusty needle) of World’s Worst Driver.
It will be bigger than Honey Boo Boo….
That is, before the child molester-thing.
A week ago we were blessed with a new addition to our family. Dudley is an AKC English Bulldog, fawn and white, weighing just over 17 pounds. He’s 9 weeks old now and a cuddly teddy bear. So far, he gets along wonderfully with our other furry kids, although Collins (our cat) has pretty much kept his distance.
Lord Dudley loves to explore. He loves to romp through the leaves and crawl under things.
His new sister, Belle, couldn’t be happier to have a new playmate. The two of them are constantly wrestling around— which is especially funny as Belle is growing by leaps and bounds. Belle loves to stand over him like an umbrella.
Cash prefers to sniff and lick Dudley’s ears… a lot.
His name has two Broadway connections, the main one being an obscure reference from the musical Mame. The second is from the musical, Something’s Afoot.
Though I doubt, Dudley will be appearing on stage anytime soon, he is certainly a little show off. In less than a week he’s stolen everyone’s hearts.
It’s 3:00 AM, no traffic and I pull into the empty parking lot. I park up front in the first spot close to the door. I approach the door that glides open, revealing a clean, quiet shopping metropolis just waiting for me. I nod, or say Good Morning, to the familiar faces of employees, busily stocking shelves and taking inventory as I move quickly through aisle after uncrowded aisle gathering the items on my list. Something in the produce department not on the shelf? No problem. There’s someone there, willing to get it for me from the back. The only other shopper in the store– and I swear, he’s there every time I go at this hour– is an older gentleman using one of those electric mobility scooters. I go to self check out, scan my items as a friendly cashier rushes over to assist and engage in a little small talk as they help bag my items. Then I’m done. This is the only way to shop!
I do most of my shopping at a local super store chain (grocery and department store combined) in the early morning hours and I love it! It’s a quiet, quick and efficient use of my time. I can do a full grocery shop and browser through the other departments (and always the pet aisles) in about an hour.
This particular chain has a great phone app that allows me to clip manufacturer coupons, store coupons and incentives AND form a shopping list for a quick and easy shopping experience. Store coupons (or sales) and manufacturer coupons are stackable for additional savings. If for some reason the coupon or discount doesn’t come up at the register, there’s always someone there to quickly correct it, no questions asked.
My receipt shows me my total combined savings over regular retail prices– and so far this year, I’ve saved over $2,800! I love this place.
That is, I love this place at 3:00 AM.
Yesterday, I went at 11:30 AM. What was I thinking? The store was crowded with typical shoppers that have no concern or awareness of anyone but themselves. Kids are screaming, wandering shoppers leave their carts blocking aisles; and I have to wait for the two retired gentlemen to wake up from their conversation about how bad the Bears are this year and move out of the way.
Oh yeah, the reason I had to go at this normal hour was two fold: There were two, one day-only coupons I wanted to use; and I needed to have a quick adjustment done on my eye glasses at the little in-house vision center. (If only they were open at 3 AM!)
I got my glasses fixed at the front of the store and headed into the chaos. Swerving, dodging and taking detours, I navigated my way around the myriad of confused shoppers blocking my path.
The special coupons I had were for 40% off a men’s outerwear and an accessory item. I wanted to get Michael a new heavy duty coat for work and for shoveling snow at home. I found a good Dickies brand coat under a sign that said Men’s Outerwear and 20% off. Perfect. The discounts would stack and I would get the $80 coat for about $38. I also picked up a pair of gloves, already 30% off, plus the extra 40% off.
Avoiding the crowded aisles, I headed to the back perimeter aisle to head over to the pet department. As I was passing through, I found some pet toys on final clearance, 90% off. As I was picking out a few, I happened to glance to my right. In the distance, coming towards me down the aisle was my 3 AM friend on his scooter. )Why was he here now?) Seconds after I spotted him, a woman on her cell phone crashed her cart into the side of his scooter. He wasn’t hurt but I’d bet he was a sailor in his youth, if you get my drift.
I was nearly done with my shopping and headed to pick up my fridge and freezer items, not yet too annoyed by all the people– I reach the dairy section to find: No whole milk. How does a store that size have no whole milk? They barely had any 2% milk, either but I refuse to buy that anyway. (Sugar is added to 2% milk to replace the fat, actually making it less healthy for you!)
So then, I move through the meat section, which apparently, at noon is a social gathering spot; reach the produce section to find the bagged, chopped salad shelves empty too. This really wasn’t going well.
I headed toward the registers to check out and in the center aisle where they display sale merchandise, I found the large jars of peanut butter on sale for $1.49 if you bought eight. Well, eight is a lot but it has a long shelf life; and we go through a lot of it with the dogs. Sell by date was October 2016, so in the cart it went. Shopping done– just had to pay.
I’m not sure if any of this is annoying or amusing enough for anyone to continue reading–BUT– it took me 45 minutes just to check out!
45 minutes to check out in an empty, self-scan checkout lane!
Well since you asked….
The peanut butter was really on sale for $4.99 not $1.49. I had to go get the sign to show them their mistake… They gave it to me for the lower price… but it took almost 15 minutes just to change the price in the computer, for me to get it at the posted price. Then the register wouldn’t give me the extra 40% off on the coat because it was work wear not just outerwear that they claim was excluded– but not listed on the app coupon OR the text message, I’d received. This was what got me in the store at that ungodly hour. I made them take it off my tally, I wasn’t paying that much. (The guy that had gotten in line behind me was sighing loudly and cussing under his breath at this point.) Then the gloves? Same thing. Only they couldn’t claim a reason why I wasn’t entitled to the discount, so that took even longer to figure out. The original attendant had just gone on break… and the replacement didn’t know how to do price adjustments. Suddenly, every self checkout was at a stand still because every one needed assistance. I was never more relieved to finally get out of a store in my life!
This is exactly why I try to only shop off hours or online as much as possible.
That would be the end of the story… except– stupid me, I forgot eggs. When I got home and started to make meatloaf, I discovered we were completely out of eggs. You can’t make meatloaf without them.
So— I was forced to drive to the nearby grocery– that I hate with a passion– just to get eggs. (I won’t name any names but the store’s a real gem.) And yes, it took me almost a half hour just to buy a carton of eggs.
P.S. — The meatloaf was delicious! <wink>
From the time we are children, it is drilled into our head that nothing in life is free. Everything has a price. You get what you pay for and vice versa. This is supposed to to teach us appreciation for things, as well as the importance of hard work (to get what we want) and success. If you want something bad enough, you’ll work for it. While this is true, it also places so much emphasis on material things and status that I think many people miss the really best things.
Ask yourself: what’s your favorite thing in the world? Most of the time, the things we come up with are free.
Reading a book, sleeping in late on the weekend, a walk on the beach, hugs or affection from children or pets….. these are things I think of and hear most often. Sure, you may have to buy the book, sleeping in may come with a sacrifice of time, if you don’t live near a beach– you have to get there, and children and pets are expensive to care for. That’s not the real point. When you look at it that way, you buy into a negative world view.
I find the things I appreciate the most; and are the most memorable to me, may be what you’d consider residuals.
I hate even using that word because depending on your comprehension of it, it may sound like I’m trivializing it.
Take going on a vacation, for example. Michael and I have found we really like to travel and have dream destinations and vacations we’d like to take in the future. Well, that’s certainly not free, you may be saying to yourself; but after it’s said and done, what was the best part of the vacation? What do you remember the most?
Yes, you probably remember: I went here, I went there; I did this, I saw that– What was really the most memorable part? Was it the plane ticket or hotel? Was it really the location or what you did? For me, I remember the planning and anticipation, and no matter how great or how bad the actual trip is; the very best part of it is time and connection Michael and I have. The experience is great but it’s the shared experience that’s the most memorable.
When the vacation is over, I always hate going back to the routine because then I feel this big disconnect… I crave that time together experiencing new things, connecting and not being easily distracted from the daily routine of life. I go through Michael withdrawal.
Our dogs have always had a good life but we really try to make it even better. Since we got Belle, our daily routine has changed, less time in front of the TV and more play time with Belle. Since I get so much time with her during the day, Michael usually plays with her while I’m writing or spending time with the boys. I’ll come down for awhile too and we play with her together. You can’t buy that quality time. Those are memories you don’t forget.
I love my quiet time too. An early morning cup of coffee before anyone else is up; feels so good and helps me start the day right. That’s free.
Those unexpected expressions of love from companions, children, pets and friends are also priceless and free.
Belle can be a real handful– then out of the blue, she calms down and crawls in my lap or licks my face. Free and priceless.
A friend messages on Facebook, calls or stops by unexpectedly— free and priceless too.
There are so many things to appreciate and cherish. The residual effects of life can be the most rewarding.
Sometimes we just have to stop, look and listen.
The best things….the free things are right there under our noses.
Let’s flashback to the old days…
She’s just a housewife,
A wife and mother.
She has the easiest job in the world.
Cooking, cleaning and playing with the children all day,
What an honorable and easy life!
I remember when it all started to change and women were belittled if they still chose to have a career and raise a family. They were called selfish.
I remember when families started to struggle to survive and it became more necessary for both parents to work, just to financially keep their heads above water.
I remember when there was an increase in single parent families and the mom (in most cases) or dad had to be both the bread winner and the sole parent.
I remember when the terms stay at home dad and stay at home mom came into popularity. They called these parents lucky, lazy or unmotivated.
It’s funny how public perceptions change in a matter of a few years. It’s sad how judgmental we are as a society.
Just a housewife. Think about it.
I know there are some people at there that totally know what I’m talking about. Others, probably have no comprehension.
I realized, myself, when we got our boxer puppy Belle just how difficult it must have been for my own mom to take care of the house, the shopping, and us all at the same time. With the new one in our house, the whole schedule changed. Cooking and cleaning and house projects had to revolve around Belle. Children, two or four-legged, need attention, structured activities and protection. Turn your back for a moment and anything can happen.
My Mom was a teacher when my sister and I were small. We had a babysitter whose house we went to when my Mom went to teach. When my brother was born, my Mom took a break from being a career girl and became a stay at home Mom for a few years.
As we got a little older and started helping out doing chores, my Mom returned to work full time. I never stopped to think how much help we really were to my parents by doing those simple, regular chores. I never appreciated how stressful it could be. I also never appreciated how time consuming and difficult it must have been running a house and raising three kids. So for that, I say a heartfelt, Thank You! — I get it now.
There aren’t too many housewives around anymore. Those that are, I salute you. You are the least appreciated– unpaid, full-time employees in existence.
I am participating in National November Writing Month and the challenge is to write every single day. National Writing Month was created as a way to challenge writers to complete a project, to network, and to publicize their work.
I’m actually participating on two levels, attempting to write a blog post every day and writing a complete novel in a month.
Working title: Muse Me
At the end of October, I asked for at least 30 people to help by each submitting a person, place and thing that I have to include in my novel.
So far I’ve written 16,929 words!
Since I’m writing free form and using the submitted words for inspiration, the storyline is still taking shape. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a rambling road and sometimes I find clear moments that will definitely define the structure of my finished draft. Not too much I’m ready to say right now except that it is a mystery of sorts and primarily takes place in Georgia.
Nine days into November and I’ve written a new post every day. Right on Track! The more I write, the more the ideas keep flowing. Some posts take several days to write with research and finding my particular angle on the topic. I usually have several posts going at once.
Friday I hit a milestone for this blog hitting over 15,000 views!
My blog has been viewed in 122 countries around the world!
I’m nearing my 150th blog post and I’m currently in a record run (for me) with new blog posts for 12 consecutive days.
I hope you enjoy what you find here. Comments are always welcome and encouraging!
Let me know what you think!
It’s a typical day. Seems pretty ordinary. I’m outside and walk around the corner of the house to see our front gate standing wide open. A momentary panic suddenly washes over me and I rush into action. Where are the dogs? Did they get out? Where they stolen? Who left the gate open and why? Must find the dogs!
Sometimes, I’ve been so startled, I sit up abruptly in bed. I check and the babies are sleeping soundly. I usually can’t go back to sleep and I get up. Not so much because the dream rattled me but more just because I’m fully awake.
The dream has many variations. Usually it’s the front gate but some times it’s the back one. The seasons in my dream may be different but not necessarily the current one. Sometimes its even the house door standing open and I’m worried the cat got out. (Collins is an indoor cat but has gotten out on several occasions.)
We all have reoccurring dreams that haunt us, don’t we?
Does it mean what seems most obvious?
Yes, I can be overprotective of my kids. Yes, sometimes we find our gate is standing open. I don’t have the dream regularly, months can go by sometimes. I’ve had variations of this dream for at least ten years, when Cash and Roxie were just puppies.
The dream always stops with me discovering the gate, thinking I’ve got to close it and wanting to check on the babies. They never actually get out in the dream and I never actually close it in the dream.
I had this dream Friday when I was napping with the babies. That morning, the front gate was standing wide open in real life. This time in the dream though, it was the back gate– it wasn’t just open, it was like someone had driven through it destroying it completely. A new variation.
So I know what triggered the dream– but does it mean something deeper?
I researched online, more than a dozen dream interpretation sites; all saying pretty much the same thing. I couldn’t find anything specific (dogs getting out, etc.) beyond focusing on open gates in dreams.
In dreams, an open gate is interpreted to represent a transition, a change, or a new chapter. It could be a change in awareness or level of maturity; a passage from one phase of life, or from one situation to another. A closed gate symbolizes ones inability to overcome or not ready to move on. Gates represent obstacles in life. If you walk through then you are moving on, if you close it or it is closed, you aren’t ready or maybe you are afraid you aren’t prepared for what’s to come.
To relate this to my life– when I first had this dream, I was working in a job that while rewarding in many ways; was limiting my professional growth and creativity. Now, as I continue my search for the right job, I know that I don’t want to be in the same situation again. Interviews have not yielded a job offer. I’ve toyed with ideas of some options but nothing has presented itself as the right thing yet.
So if I was to interpret the crashed gate, I’d have to say it might mean there’s no turning back. I’ve evolved beyond the past and I’m ready for something bigger.
But what exactly?
It’s something to ponder, for sure.
Or, maybe it’s just what it is at face value:
A Dad’s fear, protecting his furry children.
It’s been quite a roller coaster. I’ve had a lot of changes to get used to, a lot of decisions to make; and most of all, I’ve had to get reacquainted with parts of me I’d forgotten, locked up or ignored.
There have been a lot of feelings going on in my head and it’s not always easy.
It’s called being human.
I’m about as human as they come. I could never be accused of being a robot. I tend to wear my passion for whatever I’m doing, on my sleeve; and as a result, I may come off a little intense and dramatic.
Out in the real world it is expected that you behave with a certain amount of coldness. Sometimes you’ll hear it referred to as: professionalism and decorum. This requires you to bottle things up and not be completely honest. That lack of honesty, my friends, is one of the biggest failures in our society’s increasing isolation. Real communication is becoming obsolete.
Time and time again, I have watched people sit completely stone-faced and not express themselves– when I know they have definite opinions or feelings on the matter. It’s really hard to watch. How do you interact with that? I know, I’ve tried it– how should I say it… in the name of civility… and I usually fail miserably.
One of the biggest realizations I’ve had to face is that the feelings and responses to the things around us aren’t always going to be considered appropriate. We have to be okay with that. I think of all the people that medicate just to avoid feeling and I never want to be in that place.
We can try to ignore and avoid our feelings… even feel guilty about them but then how much are we really living? How much are we really experiencing life? It’s not always necessary to express all our feelings to other people but we at least need to acknowledge them ourselves. Appropriate or not, our feelings are real— if only to us. The people with whom we engage have those feelings too. Everyone deals with things differently… the important thing is that they are dealt with and not ignored.
It’s far too easy to become numb and go through the motions of living.
It can happen for a number of reasons:
- We’re too busy, obsessed or focused on one thing; ignoring, or refusing to deal with everything else,
- Afraid to become emotionally involved; of being used or hurt,
- Lack of self confidence and feelings of inadequacy; fear of being judged,
- Expectations of professional demeanor, void of expression; always holding your cards close,
- Purely for self preservation; protecting your self, job, relationships or image,
When we allow ourselves to fall into any of these patterns, we start living a life without. We alienate ourselves and our selves. We may find the temporary protection we need to get through any given situation but if this becomes the way we deal with every day life, something is missing. We can become lost.
Life is joy, celebration and happiness— anger, heartbreak and tears. It’s connecting and sharing those feelings with others that make us human.
It’s important to feel things.
It’s important to express things.
It’s most important that we not lose who we are in the daily routine of survival.
Take away these human traits and what do you have left?
A big blank. A life without.