Business Trippin’


If it wasn’t for my husband, I would be a recluse. I would be a little crab curled up in my shell, only bothering to come out for food and fresh air. I might live in a treehouse, high enough to spy on the people in the area and with a specialized system for getting groceries from the ground to my treehouse kitchen, trained monkeys. The bananas would never make it up to me.

If it wasn’t for my husband nudging me out of my comfort zone and into the world (making me go to work, family reunions, Kohl’s), I would never take any risks. Lately, leaving home poses a risk. There is a shooting on every other street corner. Bodies are washing up in the river. Drugs and money are passing through grimy hands to flow through more veins than there are craters on the moon.  Without him here, I am much less inclined to go out into the world; if only it wasn’t for that nagging issue of a paycheck.

It’s a scary world to navigate with rocks hidden just under the water and pirates hoping for a crash or leak at the very least. I would avoid it all, fine with reading about it in a book. That is life experience enough for me.

If it wasn’t for my husband, I would eat more broccoli and drink less home brewed beer. I would have nine cats and drive a green Smartcar. The cats would ride unrestrained, in the passenger seat, on the dashboard and stretched out along the back window.   I would have a bumper sticker that said, “Jesus is my co-pilot” with “Cat” scrawled over the word “co-pilot”.

Things would be different, that is for certain.  Life would be lonely with only cats to share it with, albeit with 9 pairs of almond shaped eyes and a Smartcar.

Perhaps I would be more reckless with less to lose? I have the world by its toe when we are together. Pirates and hidden rocks be damned. Two more nights until flies back home to this madhouse and the woman who loves him.

Unsolicited Advice

“It’s Jack,” a tiny girl with black pigtails shouted as she burst through the door.   

“Mama, it’s Jack.”

“What, hija?” Her mother asked, slipping into her native tongue.

I was sitting by the woman and took the opportunity to inspect my hand.  It brushed against something gooey on the couch that came away on my fingers.  As inconspicuously as possible, I tried to wipe the mysterious residue back onto the couch. 

The child spoke quickly in a combination of Spanish, English, and overly excited little girl gibberish.  She flapped her hands and danced back and forth as she tried to explain what happened.   Her mother grabbed her by the shoulders and calmly asked, “What happened to Jack?”

This was all the magic that it took for the girl to regain her senses and speak clearly.

“His batteries died and he’s stuck in the road,” she blurted.

“Oh my God,” the woman exclaimed and brought her hands to her face.  “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

The child escaped her mother’s grasp, ran across the room, and pulled herself onto the table where she began dancing and singing in Spanish.

I wasn’t sure what to do, rush to catch the girl if she fell, investigate the Jack situation, or pull out a bottle of hand sanitizer for a fresh start on the visit.  Not wanting to be rude, I sat and did nothing.

Meanwhile, the woman snapped into motion.  She jumped up and ordered her older daughter to find Jack and bring him back.  She lured her younger daughter off of the table and gave her a snack, and returned to sit next to me, unruffled from her activities.  A minute later, a laughing boy in a wheelchair rolled inside propelled by his older sister.  His little sister saw him and screamed, “Jack!”  She ran to him and hugged his arm.  

Just like that, all was well again.

My best advice when in the storm of conflict is to do nothing, just wait, especially when the conflict belongs to someone else.  People have the answers to their own problems; sometimes they just need the tools, time, or motivation to take the action that is right for them.

Keeping it real on a Friday: Distracted Driving

As I drove to the office, I glanced in my rearview mirror to merge to the left. I grew distracted by an errant grey hair amidst my mane of black. I began to plan the strategic removal of the single grey hair. When I took another glance in the mirror, I saw a rusty SUV smash into a little white car behind me. I stared at the mirror in shock and then turned to look out my passenger window to see the SUV race past me and through the changing yellow light. The little white car was left with its trunk peeled off like a potato skin to reveal a colorful Vera Bradley duffel bag, neatly packed inside for a weekend getaway. Red pieces of brake light skittered across the road between braking cars, trying to avoid the wreckage. The white car skidded to a stop with the bumper hanging on by an invisible thread. When the turn-lane light changed, I eased on the gas and slowly rolled by, trying to catch a glimpse of the driver’s face inside of the white car. Perhaps seeing the driver’s shaken face would compel me to take action and call 911 or chase down the SUV and make a citizen’s arrest. Much to my disappointment, I couldn’t see the driver and I didn’t feel compelled to do anything more than speed off to work to quickly pluck a grey hair in the parking lot.