Friday, February 21, 2014

Windshield washer

On my drive to work this morning, I watched a driver in a car next to me roll - yes, as in crank - down her window, reach her arm out and over, and splash what looked like Gatorade on the outside of her windshield.

Of course, I can't be sure if it was Gatorade, or windshield washer fluid in a Gatorade bottle, as her regular method of windshield washer fluid distribution.

It's a little scary how much the two things look alike? What if a passenger mistook it for Gatorade, and took a sip?! Or what if she forgot?


It got me thinking about solutions we use when we're young that we'd never even consider as we get a little older. I can remember the floor of my first car getting a small rust hole on the driver's side. My "solution?" A thicker car mat.

In high school, I had a friend who drove a VW Bug. Not one of the fancy new models that was released in the late 1990s. I'm talking about a car right from the 1960s in his driveway. The engine was where the trunk should have been, and the front seats backed right up against the backseat. I was the only friend short enough to ride in back.

Most of the car worked well. (Except for the parking break...the car did slide down a steep driveway into the road.) One part that was a little iffy was the defroster.

So one night, three of us were driving to the movies, and the windows were getting a little foggy. The passenger tried to turn on the fan; our friend the car shook his head and handed her a sponge.

"Wipe the windshield," he instructed.

She leaned forward and wiped down as much of the windshield as she could reach. Then handed the sponge to me so I could take care of the rear windshield.

I'm not sure any of us would be OK with that solution today - but we made it to the movies.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


This just in: I'm single on Valentines Day.

More breaking news: I'll be single after my 40th birthday, too.

What's really surprising? I'm perfectly OK with my singleness.

I rarely talk about dating here - and this post is no different. I'm not talking about dating, or even how I handle not dating.

I'm here to talk about how much it seems to bother other people that I'm single.

I really am OK with all the links to articles about how to be single when I'm 40, or what people have learned being single in their 30s, or how to handle V-Day solo. My personal favorite was this one (Joe wasn't impressed, though - typical guy).

I'm OK when friends ask what is new, and I try to talk to them about Stella & Dot, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, or selling my house - or anything. I'm thankful some listen, and it's really OK that some don't. It's even OK when some immediately ask, "Are you seeing anyone?" As if every other accomplishment pales in comparison to the lack of romantic love in my life.

"What's that? You cured cancer?! Great. Were you able to find a date for that wedding? No? Well, don't worry - you'll find him when you least expect it. Maybe you should just focus on yourself for a while..."

Anyone else find it ridiculous that someone would offer "focus on yourself" as advice to someone who obviously already is?

The condescending smiles and encouragement are fine. Welcome actually.

They don't make me sad. They don't make me angry. I don't feel inferior, or inspired to marry the next guy who comes along.

The advice makes me smile. I remember (fondly) the times in my life when I was in a healthy, happy, committed relationship. I know how good that can feel - and what a blessing it is to find someone you love, who loves you back.

I'm happy for my friends who I know are happy - and who I know want the same for me.

But of course - not all the advice comes from those in happy, healthy relationships. Not all of it is about me being happy. Sometimes it's about the advisor trying to make himself feel better by making me feel bad.

Then I'm grateful. I understand how precious love is, and how easily it's lost. I know that no matter how much of an "expert" you think you are, you're never more than one big misunderstanding away from being single next Valentines Day.

So, to my friends who truly want me to be happy - Happy Valentines Day. Thanks for showing me what love is really all about.

To the others....maybe you should just focus on yourselves for a while.