Flying High


This post is brought to you courtesy of three Bloody Marys and a Xanax.

A few weeks ago, I spent an entire hour ranting to a friend of mine about how much I hated everything and everyone. I don’t think I took a breath the entire time. At the end of my diatribe, she looked at me and calmly said, ‘I think you need to get away for a few days.’

Truer words were never spoken.

Turns out when everything and everyone in your life is bugging you, the problem is probably you.

And so began my Big Adventure.

As you may recall, my best friend lives in Ormond Beach. It’s a beautiful little town on the east coast of Florida, just outside of Daytona. Unfortunately, the closest airport into which one can take a direct flight is Orlando. Home, as I’m sure you are aware, of Disney World.

Because I was using frequent flier miles, there were scheduling limitations. My departure options were something like 4:45am, 5:47am, 10:00am, 5:00pm and 9:00pm. Like any normal person, I chose the 10:00am flight.

What. Was. I. THINKING???

When I got to the terminal, the waiting area was RIDDLED with squirming, screaming, crying children!

SIDE NOTE: They could have saved themselves a lot of waterboarding trouble and just stuck Khalid Sheikh Mohammad on a fucking flight to Orlando at 10:00 on a Saturday morning; he’d have given up Osama Bin Laden in less than 20 minutes.

Did I ever mention that I hate children? No, seriously. Aside from a very small handful of them (you know who you are,) I have ZERO tolerance for children under 10 years old. They’re intrusive, they have no manners, they’re demanding, and, most of all, they’re loud. Really loud. I blame their hapless parents, of course.

I found a modicum of comfort in the fact that I had enough frequent flier miles to upgrade to first class…until I realized that the only thing that separated my last row seat in first class from the first row of coach, which happened to house MOST OBNOXIOUS WOMAN ON THE PLANET (and her two temper tantrum-throwing children,) was a sheer curtain.

So, as if a plane full of screaming children wasn’t torturous enough, I had one of those over-the-top, nowhere-near-as-cute-as-she-thinks-she-is, baby-talking, captain-of-every-cheerleading-team-since-she-was-seven bitches sitting right behind me. Her kids’ screams were decibels above what would be considered safe for humans to endure, but I would have preferred to tolerate those than her disruptively loud, sing-song attempts to entertain them.

LOOK OUT THE WINDOW! I SEE A PLANE AND A CAR AND A TRUCK AND A SKY!

LOOK AT THE BOOK! HERE’S A DOLPHIN! WHAT SOUND DOES THE DOLPHIN MAKE?!?

WHEN THE PLANE TAKES OFF, WE’LL ASK THE NICE LADY FOR SNACKS! WE’LL ASK FOR PEANUTS OR CRACKERS OR JUICE! DO YOU LIKE JUICE?? DO YOU WANT JUICE??? YAY, APPLE JUICE!!!

I SEE A COCONUT! I’M GOING TO PUT A COCONUT ON YOUR HEAD AND YOUR HEAD!

I wanted to shove a coconut down her fucking throat.

Her husband? He was 17 rows behind her on the opposite side of the plane. A stroke of genius on his part, I’d say.

It’s normally about a 2.5 hour flight from Philly to Orlando. Not today, tho. No such luck for this bitchy weary traveler. Just as every last hellion fastened their seatbelt, the pilot came on to tell us that something in the wheel well called the ‘grounding strip’ had come loose and needed more putty.

Yeah, you read that right. PUTTY.

Needless to say, I promptly ordered a Bloody Mary.

About a half hour later they told us we were good to go. Yay!

They started the engines and…wait…what?

‘This is your pilot. It seems the second engine wouldn’t start, so we’re going to have to pull into gate 16 and have the engine fixed. It should take about 60-90 minutes.”

Fortunately, the flight attendant, sensing that the other first-class passengers and I were at our wits end with cheerleader Barbie and her posse of screamers, wasted no time coming to take our drink orders.

Bloody Mary, please.

She brought me two, bless her heart. They were immediately used to wash down a Xanax.

She is my new best friend.

Sadly, my return flight is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Tragically, not only were there no first-class seats available at the time I booked; the only thing available in coach was a center seat.

On the bright side, my fear of flying will not be a factor on the return flight. A plane crash would be a welcome relief.

Penis Envy My Ass


We decided to go out to dinner with our son last night. During dinner, he received the devastating news that Phillies’ pitcher Cliff Lee was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique. You’d have thought he had just found out the dog had been stricken with cancer; he was practically despondent. Cliff Lee is evidently the lynchpin of his fantasy team.

I will never, ever, ever, never, never, ever understand men. Never. At least not the ones with whom I have the pleasure of sharing my life. Things like ample food supplies, presentable clothing, clean toilets, and…oh, I don’t know…INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS don’t even cross their minds. A fantasy baseball team setback, on the other hand? Well, that’s Earth-shattering!

For the record, it’s not even one of the fantasy teams where you invest real money to enter. It’s JUST ABOUT BRAGGING RIGHTS.

And that, my friends, is Reason #2,573 that I want to come back as a man.

No, seriously. I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than being a man. I mean, it was probably pretty stressful back in the Don Draper days when they were expected to be the sole providers, but Gloria Steinem swooped in and lifted that bag of bricks right off their chests.

Don’t misunderstand me; I love me some Gloria Steinem. I watch Mad Men every week and worship at her altar because I had NO IDEA women were treated so poorly prior to the women’s movement. That said, I think the movement benefited men at least as much as it did women; maybe even more. I bet Gloria didn’t see that coming AT ALL. Probably because she never had children she had to raise in addition to working a full-time job. In fact, she didn’t even bother to get married until she was 66 years old.

No wonder she was so fucking happy.

I have often fantasized about what it might be like to be a man. These fantasies began when I went to work in the corporate world about 20 years ago. Not for the reasons you may think, however. It wasn’t about salary or career advancement. It was about bathroom etiquette.

If a woman finds herself in the unenviable – nay, horrifying – position of feeling a gurgle in her intestines at work, a full-blown crisis management plan goes into effect:

  1. Make excuse to co-workers for sudden departure (‘I’m going to go grab a cup of coffee. Can I get you anything?’)
  2. Find most unpopulated ladies room (discovered in previous recon missions; located in male-dominated departments like shipping, mail room, etc)
  3. Scan for feet under the stalls.
    – If none exist (bliss!), proceed with ‘business’ as quickly as is humanly possible in the event that someone walks into the bathroom before the deed is done.
    – If feet are spotted (argh!), run to stall furthest from occupied stall, scan toilet seat for signs of past sloppy hovering, wipe seat if necessary (and it will be necessary, for women are pigs), cover toilet seat with that ridiculously loud tissue seat covering thing, sit and try to relax – silently! – until the bitch in the other stall finishes up. Pray that she doesn’t have OCD and feel compelled to wash her hands for seven minutes like she’s a fucking surgeon. Once she finally leaves, proceed with ‘business’ as quickly as is humanly possible in the event that someone walks into the bathroom before the deed is done.
    – If more than one stall is occupied, abort mission and make a beeline to second-most unpopulated bathroom. Try not to shit yourself on the way.

If a man feels a gurgle in his intestines at work, the plan is as follows:

  1. Make an excuse to co-workers (‘I’m going to go take a dump.’)
  2. Grab a newspaper.
  3. Head to nearest bathroom.
  4. Proceed with ‘business’ (feel free to take as much time and make as much ‘noise’ as is necessary.)

Freud had it all wrong. It’s not the penis we envy; it’s the lifestyle. It’s being able to poop without shame in a public restroom. It’s never having the words ‘does this make me look fat?’ cross your lips or even your mind. It’s being able to go about your day without having to worry about experiencing an unexpected wardrobe crisis because you coughed too suddenly or you laughed too hard or you got your calendar confused (yeah…that whole area is a disaster waiting to happen.) It’s being able to walk out the door showered, shaven and dressed 15 minutes after you get out of bed. It’s not having to juggle (or even care about) a social calendar or gift giving or family obligations. It’s having a personal assistant who practically chased you down and forced you to marry her (What. Was. I. Thinking???). It’s enjoying the countless benefits a woman brings into your life in exchange for taking out the trash and killing the occasional centipede.

Yup. Totally coming back as a man.

Kill Me Keratin (I’ll Still Love You)


I got my first ever Keratin treatment today. With the cut and color, it cost about as much as our first home’s mortgage payment.

Needless to say, it was put on my super-secret credit card.

After signing away the GDP of Chad, the stylist tried to hand me the receipt.

Stylist: Here you go.
Me: Are you fucking crazy?? Do you think I want evidence of this laying around the house??? If I divorce my husband one day, I’ll wallpaper my house with a stack of these. Until then, I’ll pass, thankyouverymuch.
Stylist
: We get that a lot.

I’ll bet.

To those of you with beautifully manageable hair who probably think I’m completely insane, shut up. You just don’t understand what it’s like to carry around a heavy mop of hair that, left to its own devices, would look like Edward Scissorhands’ hair. Only frizzier. Never mind that time I almost set it on fire trying to straighten it.

I was on the verge of tears when the stylist was explaining how this miracle product was going to change my life.

Stylist: You’ll be able to let your hair dry naturally.
Me: I don’t understand those words. I…I won’t have to…blow it dry?
Stylist: Nope. If you let it dry naturally, your hair will have a pretty, manageable curl. If you blow it dry (with your hands!), it will look like it looked when you used to straighten it. If you use a flat iron, it’ll look like Jennifer Aniston’s hair.
Me: I can’t even get my brain around those words. You realize that what you’re telling me is on par with me telling you that if you flap your arms you’ll fly, right???

A few hours later, I was telling a friend of mine (with a uterus, obviously, for no man alive – even a gay one – would understand, of this I am certain) about my huge expenditure, and she told me to enjoy it while I can because they’re about to become illegal.

Me: Wait…what?
Girlfriend: Yeah. They’re already banned in several states. It’s just a matter of time before they ban them here.
Me: WHY???
Girlfriend: Because they’re poisonous. The fumes that come off it when they straighten your hair are toxic.

I looked it up. Turns out it’s formaldehyde.

So, now I’m going to get hair cancer.

And I’m OK with that.

What? Stop judging me.

Don’t Take This Personally, But I Hate You


I vacillate between being mildly cranky and wickedly bitchy, depending upon the week.  I am also a raging cynic, to the point where I have officially begun to annoy myself.  That said, I like (almost) everyone I meet until they give me reason not to. Even then, I’m usually very forgiving, mostly because I have a terrible memory. Also? I’m very lazy and grudges are very heavy and way too much of a burden for me to carry.

There are, however, some people that I simply cannot tolerate. I would apologize in advance to any of you who may fall into any of the following categories if I wasn’t so busy waiting for you to apologize to me.

Muscular Dystrophy Association
The cashier at the grocery store asked me if I wanted to donate a dollar (or five) to the Muscular Dystrophy Association just before he totaled my bill. What kind of ninja charity drive is that?? This isn’t the first time it’s happened, either. I’ve had it happen at a few different stores for a variety of charities. You know what? I’m a pretty generous person. I make automated monthly donations to my favorite charities. I also do some Christian-like stuff behind the scenes, not because I’m a good Christian (for someone must be sacrificed – either by death or by marriage – for me to darken the doorstep of a church,) but because I’m a good person who was raised to carry crippling guilt. It’s one of the many burdens most Italian-Catholic girls are forced to bear.

But I digress.

We both know the dollar isn’t going to kill me, but really?? I don’t like being put on the spot like that in front of the other shoppers, even if they are strangers. Also? What’s going on at the MDA?? That sweaty Jerry Lewis raised millions (billions?) of dollars introducing all those D-List celebrities over the past 175 years. Shouldn’t they have found a cure by now???

Girl Scouts
I don’t know why you pushers are allowed to deal your crack out in the open like that. Are you not aware that there’s a terrible obesity problem in this country?? Also, freckles and turned-up noses? That’s just not fair. Oh, and don’t think for a second that we didn’t notice you doubling the price and halving the number and size of the cookies. You should just call them crookies, thieves.

Sporty Kids
Oh, you’re on the traveling team? How nice! Good for you! Your parents must be sooo proud!

Go to hell.

My kid was probably tortured by your kind because he was more interested in computers and cloud formations than anything remotely sporty. You didn’t see him standing outside the grocery store accosting your mom for cash so he could buy the latest MacBook, did you? DID YOU??? Go home and tell your parents to fund their kids’ extra-curricular activities on their own. They’ll make up for the lost cash when you get the college scholarships that my kid didn’t get because they don’t dole those out for Dungeons & Dragons prowess.

Intersection Beggars
Are you kidding me? How do I know you’re representing a legitimate charity? How much do you make each year standing at intersections guilting people with a PREVENT CHILD ABUSE label taped onto an old KFC bucket?? That goes for you, too, (allegedly) single-mother/homeless vet/unemployed person with a cardboard sign…and a cell phone. I’m tired of feeling awkward at the red lights because I refuse to feed your pill addiction. I’ve known people who had no discernible skills but managed to never be without a job. You know why? Because nothing was beneath them. Except begging for cash at an intersection. Get a job.

Bicyclists
I hate you with the heat of 1,000 suns. There. I’ve said it.

I don’t give a shit if the state considers your little toy a ‘vehicle’; stay the hell off the back roads. What’s wrong with you?? Not only is there not a shoulder, there’s a freaking drop-off into a ditch (or a creek or a ravine.) Do you seriously not notice the line of 27 cars behind you traveling at 4 mph?? No, no…that’s ok, take your time, dear! They weren’t looking forward to seeing their families after a long day at work. They don’t have to pee. Their kids aren’t hungry or anything. They don’t have anywhere to be! It’s all about YOU getting to enjoy the pretty road!  Never mind the 4,123 roads with shoulders, the dozens of county and state parks with bike paths, or – hey – even your own neighborhood, any of which would love nothing more than to host you and your fancy bicycle. No, you deserve to ride on the pretty back roads so you can show off the little dentist mirror you’ve strapped onto your helmet and your Team USPS knock-off uniform. Douche.

Inattentive Drivers
Green means GO, idiot. It’s one of the most horrendous intersections in the county and it has ticketing cameras. It allows about seven out of the 47 cars in line through before it turns red again. Your number one priority is to stare at the red light like a psychopath until it turns green, then hit the accelerator so that number isn’t cut down to four. Jesus.

Perfect Facebook Moms
Alright, this one’s a little tough, but here goes…shut the fuck up.

No, seriously. I love each and every one of you, but the constant chatter about the wonderful quality time you spend with your awesomely cute child(ren) is making me feel bad about myself. I don’t remember motherhood being a constant playdate with my kids – museums and parks and plays and parties and arts & crafts and whatnot. I remember being exhausted and feeling very under-appreciated. And screaming. I remember a lot of screaming. Mostly coming from me. Just once I’d like to see you post something like ‘OMG, I’da liked to slap the shit out of Johnny today. What a dick he is!’. Because, unless you’re heavily medicated, there’s no freaking way you don’t think that from time to time.

OK, so this week I’m may be leaning toward wickedly bitchy…

Happily Never After


‘True love isn’t easy but it must be fought for because once you find it, it can never be replaced.’
Prince Charming, Once Upon A Time

Meh.

A friend of mine recently posted that quote on her Facebook wall, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. In the interest of full disclosure, she’s finding her way through a break-up that caught her completely off guard.  She’s also under 30 and childless (a situation she has yet to realize is a gift from the universe,) so she probably still hasn’t had reality slap the Disney dream life out of her yet.

My response to her post was something along the lines of a suggestion to check back with Sleeping Beauty 20 years later for an earful about Prince Charming and what a load he turned out to be.

Bitter, bitter cynic…or realist?

Maybe a little bit of both.

I am married to a wonderful man. He’s hard-working, bright, funny and kind. He’s a good provider and he’s pretty handy. He’s also pretty easy on the eyes. Let’s just get that out of the way for those who may read this post and think I don’t love or respect him.

This isn’t about my husband, in particular. Rather, it’s about ‘true love’. Or what women expect from it because of those fuckers at Disney.  I think it’s high time someone gave all the single ladies a realistic glimpse at what they can expect once they find their True Love:

Disney: Whistling, dancing and singing will summon birds and woodland creatures who will help you with all of your household chores. It’ll be such fun!
Reality
: There are dishes in the sink and ants crawling around the filth on the kitchen counters. Dust, dirt and dog hair have joined forces to create colonies of dust kangaroos throughout the house. The dinner hour is looming and the fridge is empty. There are no birds or woodland creatures to help you. If one should appear, you’d eat it for dinner.

Disney: Prince Charming will risk his throne and/or physical well being to be with you!
Reality: Your TL may or may not come straight home after work, depending on how difficult a day he’s had. Poor dear. He works so hard. What’s that? You had a bad day, too? Oh, so sorry to hear it. What’s for dinner?

Disney: After traversing the forest and fighting off an army of rapscallions, Prince Charming will burst through the door, sweep you into his arms and plant a kiss on you that will make your knees weak!
Reality: Your TL will walk through the door grumbling about work, traffic and/or the price of gas, and make a beeline to the bathroom. The most you can hope for is a half-hearted peck as he buzzes past you, immediately followed by, ‘What did you have for lunch? You smell garlicky.’

Disney: Prince Charming will take you to the ball and you’ll dance the night away!
Reality: From time to time, you’ll be invited to a wedding. Your TL will whine like a little girl about how much he hates weddings. You’ll buy a dress and uncomfortable heels; he’ll wear a suit. You’ll dance with your girlfriends; he’ll sit at the table drinking the free alcohol. Once he’s had a few drinks, he’ll agree to grope dance with you.

Disney: Prince Charming will shower you with roses and gifts!
Reality: Your TL will become apoplectic when the credit card bill arrives each month. You bought more shoes????

Disney: Prince Charming will look at you and flash his smile; you will swoon!
Reality: Your TL flash you his ‘come hither’ look; your eyes will roll so far into your head, your eyeballs will cramp. Laugh lines? Puh. More like roll lines.

Interesting Factoid: 93% of men don’t know the color of their wife’s eyes….because they’re always rolled into her head.

That’s not to say that Prince Charming gets everything he bargained for, either, mind you. I’m sure 20 years and 40lbs later, he probably listens to his TL bitch and wonders why he didn’t just smother her in her sleep when he had the chance.

Time Machine


Dear 14-Year Old Me:

Don’t chase or even look at boys. They’re not worth the trouble. Also, they lose interest the minute they know you’re interested in them. Meanwhile, if you completely ignore them, they’ll follow you around like puppies. Freaks.

Listen to your dad when he tells you to speak Italian. Yes, the ‘Parlate Italiano’ sign on the kitchen cabinet is a little obnoxious, but he’s right about regretting not knowing how to speak it when you get older.

Stick with the piano lessons. There are few things more captivating than a woman playing the piano.

Take school more seriously. The teachers are awful and hideously dull, but if you suck it up for a few years, you’ll get to go to college. It’s way more important than you think it will be. If you don’t go, there will be a whole chapter of blank pages in your life.

Don’t fret about your little boobs. They’ll get mighty big when you have your first baby. Unfortunately, they’ll shrivel up and die shortly thereafter. Start saving $25/month for your tummy tuck and breast lift. Schedule it for the year after you have your last child, even if it feels selfish. Your husband will benefit from it at least as much as you do.

The Dorothy Hamill haircut is not for everyone. Work with your insane curls as best you can. One day a wonderful person will invent a straightening iron and it will change your life. Worship that guy.

Don’t pick at your zits. Nag your mother to take you to a dermatologist.

Don’t be afraid of dogs. They want nothing more than your touch. In return they will give you the only true unconditional love you’ll ever receive.

Participate in extra-curricular activities. Stay sporty. Get in the habit of doing some kind of physical activity every day – even if it’s just a walk. Otherwise, your upper arms will one day be the size of the thighs you now think are fat.

Don’t wear one-piece bathing suits; they’re completely unforgiving. When you get a bit older, a wonderful person will invent something called a ‘tankini’. Worship that guy.

A few years from now a smooth talker will walk into your life. His words will make you melt. They’re just words. He doesn’t love you. He lusts you. BIG difference. Also? He’s a liar. He won’t pull out.

Don’t be in a rush to get married. It’s nothing like you think it’s going to be. It’s usually more good than bad, but it’s no picnic. It takes a lot of work and a lot of patience. And, let’s face it, you’re lazy and have about as much patience as a grasshopper. Don’t have a relationship timetable. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Don’t let a man’s presence in your life define you.

Take your time with babies. Do NOT have one at 18. You’ll break her heart and she’ll break yours. Get a puppy instead. Hold off on babies until you’re 30. You’ll be better equipped mentally, emotionally and financially at that point. Also, in the name of all that is holy, make sure you’re in a committed relationship with a good man before you even think about motherhood. You won’t need a man to define you, but you’ll need one you can kick in the middle of the night because it’s his turn to feed the baby.

Cherish your kids. Make sure your eyes light up when they walk into the room. Make sure you tell them how important they are to you. Make sure they know how much you love them. Dropping the ball on that one will be the biggest regret of your life, hands down.

Don’t say things in the heat of the moment. Learn to hold your tongue for it can (and will) do way more harm than good if you don’t choose your words carefully.

Do what you love and the money will come.

Work hard and keep your moral compass calibrated; your integrity will come in handy as you get older.

Don’t underestimate the comfort a little bit of money can afford you. Respect the money you earn. Have fun and treat yourself every once in awhile, but save, save, SAVE.

Buy trendy clothes at discount outlets and classic pieces at higher-end stores.  Don’t buy cheap shoes.

Let your husband buy you the bigger (prettier) cubic zirconia instead of the diamond. No one will know the difference.

Appreciate the people who love you (even if they get on your last nerve).

Have at least one good girlfriend you can trust.

Don’t take life too seriously. Grammar and spelling, on the other hand? Take those very seriously. Nothing diminishes your professional credibility more than poor grammar and misspelled words. It’s way more important than you think.

When someone tells you a secret, keep it in the vault.

Laugh loudly and often.

Don’t worry too much about your nose, your complexion, your crazy hair or the size of your ass and thighs. Boys will judge you based on those things; men will judge you based on your self-confidence. I know this is going to sound crazy right now, but there are few things more sexy than a self-assured woman.

Don’t be in such a rush to leave home. Suck it up, be respectful, fly under the radar and save as much money as you can before you move out.

Don’t rent. Buy. Invest in real estate. Lots of it. It’ll get kind of scary for a bit, but it’ll still be the best bang you’ll get for your buck in the long run.

Like everyone you meet until they give you reason not to.  Give people the benefit of the doubt.

Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Learn from them and move on. That goes for others’ mistakes, too. Learn to build a bridge and get over it.

Don’t hold grudges. They make you ugly and chip away at your spirit. Pretty sure they cause wrinkles, too.

Don’t gossip; it’s ugly.

Remember that it takes two people to hurt a friend – the person who said something ugly about her and the person who told her about it. Defend your friends, but keep it to yourself.

You’re on the planet for a finite amount of time. You can either find joy in things or find reasons to be miserable. Find joy. It’s there, even if it sometimes seems like it’s not.

xoxo,
46-Year Old Me

Offensive Driving


So, I wrecked my car today. Not in the convenient sustain-a-minor-injury-and-get-a-little-settlement-that-might-make-Jack-feel-better-about-the-kitchen-renovation-and-maybe-even-agree-to-finally-redo-the-bathroom(s) way. No. Not me. I wrecked my car in the shit-I-hope-no-one-saw-that way.

Wrecked may be too strong a word. Bruised would be more accurate. I bruised my car. And my ego.

I was on my way to a home inspection. It was raining – the annoying kind of rain where the perfect windshield wiper speed is impossible to achieve. What makes it even more annoying is that my (piece of shit) KIA windshield wipers are now making a loud noise as they drag across my windshield. It sounds like a braying donkey. It makes me want to harm someone.

Anyway, I was on my way to the inspection and it was raining and the road was kind of curvy. I had only been to the house a few times and I wasn’t terribly familiar with the area. At one point (JUST before the bruising occurred), I thought I had missed my turn, so I glanced to the right for just a second. Unfortunately, at that very second, the road curved ever-so-slightly to the left and, before I knew it, I was sideswiping a tree. Or something branchy.

Ugh. How embarrassing.

Fortunately, there was no one else on the road at the time. And I say ‘fortunately’, not because I could have hurt someone, but because there was no one to witness my stupidity. Yes, I am aware that my priorities are a bit askew.

I hadn’t even missed my turn, which disappointed me a little bit, to be honest. Somehow it would have made me feel a little bit better to at least have been right about that. Because I do so LOVE to be right.

So, I pulled up to the house and parked on the street, opened the driver’s side door, noticed that I had turfed a bit of the yard (classy!) and stepped out of the car…into mud. In clogs.

I kind of just wanted to go home and go back to bed at that point. Instead, I sloshed over to the passenger side to take a look at the damage. I was afraid to look at it. Auto body repairs can be pretty costly and I’m already on Jack’s short-list of People To Smother In Their Sleep because of the kitchen rehab that’s pretty much dashed his hopes of ever owning a Porsche.

When I got to the passenger side, I was pleased to see that there were just a few minor scratches on the side of the car (the really faint kind that can easily be buffed out), the mirror was knocked in (but it’s the kind that folds in, so no biggie, right?) and the door handle was intact except it was missing the little black cover thingy from the part you push with your thumb to open it.

‘No problem,’ thought I, ‘I’ll just go to the area near the tree that accosted me, find the little black cover thingy and pop it back on. Jack will NEVER HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT THIS.’

I had left my purse and briefcase on the passenger seat, so I grabbed the door handle to open it…and it broke off in my hand.

Shit.

ShitshitshitshitSHIT.

I should probably tell you that, IN SPITE OF WHAT JACK SAYS, I’m an excellent driver. No, really, I am. I can bob and weave through traffic with the grace of a gazelle. I am aware of (most of) my surroundings at (almost) all times, and if there were a Cirque du Soleil of parallel parking, I would be the showstopper.

Disclosure: I am utterly incapable of pulling into a parking space without looking like an ass. Weird, right? I mean, who has difficulty with that? It’s the easiest thing a driver will ever have to do. For some reason, I always end up cockeyed – I’m either completely diagonal or I’m sitting on (or over) the line. It’s gotten to the point where I stop the car, put it in park and glance over at Jack to see if he’s shaking his head before I turn the car off. He is ALWAYS shaking his head (slowly) and rolling his eyes.

Disclosure #2: I have a bit of a problem with potholes. I plow right through them. Every. Single. Time.

Jack: Seriously??
Me: Sorry. I didn’t see it.
Jack: How did you not see it? It was HUGE!
Me: I’m short. I have difficulty seeing over the hood.
Jack: …

Whenever there’s an issue with my car, I dread telling him about it.

Me: Honey, my car has a little shimmy.
Jack: You probably need your tires balanced.
Me: They just balanced them the last time I got my oil changed. It’s also pulling to the right. A lot.
Jack: Did you hit something?
Me: I don’t know why you always have to accu– oh…wait. Never mind.

I decided to text him rather than call him. I mean, he’s so busy at work and all. It had NOTHING TO DO with the fact that I didn’t want to hear his disappointed sigh.

Me: I sideswiped my car and broke the passenger side handle. 😦
Jack: Who did you hit?
Me: A tree. 😦
Jack: Is the tree ok?

True story. Is the tree ok?

Step back, ladies. I saw him first.