Archives

The Lesson of Driving

I have been given the task of teaching my nephew how to drive.  Well actually, his grandmother (my Mom) taught him the basics, I just have to make sure he has expereince in traffic so he can get his liscense and not wreck when he starts driving. Sounds simple.

I am not sure how my parents managed to teach us how to drive and still have a liver left. My nephew has done very well, and yet by the time the lesson is over, the only thing I want to do is go to the liquer cabinet and pour something straight, forget the rocks.

Maybe it’s because it’s my new car that is being driven. Maybe because it’s my car. Maybe because I am old and drive like an old person. Maybe because I understand just how fragile life is and how in a second everything can change.  Maybe I need to drink before the driving lesson. But being the driving instructor scares the crap out of me.

The key to being a good and successful driving instructor is to let ever let the student know that you are scared. And no yelling. Ever. The last thing my nephew, or any young person learning to drive, needs is to hear me yelling “STOP!!’ or “TURN Here Now!!” The poor kind would have a heart attack and kill us both. I have found that a calm instructor makes a calm student.  And most of the time it is fine, as he is very good student. But in those moments when he does what all young drivers do…I take a deep breath, find something to hold onto, press my foot hard against the floor (like that makes him press the breaks faster??) close my eyes and say nothing. When we get home, that is the time to tell him, that the proper way to handle that next time.

I have to say that I am proud of him, driving now. We drove last night at dusk, in the rain, with quite a bit of traffic. He did good.

So we drive around the neighborhood. We go to the grocerystore and the post office. We drive to d whatever arrends need to be done. And at the end, he learns to drive, I enjoy and nice tall one and we both have a sense that we have accomplished something.

and that is what is important.

Advertisements

The Friendhsip Contract

I Will hate the same people you hate, and re-like them as you do.

Unless it is some jerky boyfriend. Then I reserve the right to not like him, but pretend to like him for your sake. And I will secretly hope a piano falls on his head. I also reserve the right to make faces behind him when you are talking to him, or “accidently” kick him under the table.

I will always be honest about how you look.

I will never let you leave the house for work/date/social event if you do not look great. I will not ever be mean about it, but I will make sure you never leave the house in anything that makes you look fat. I will also always tell you if you have something stuck in your teeth or have something hanging out of your nose. I will also tell you if you have “that leak” around your time of the month.

I will always know your cycle

and have appropriate feminine products at my house and in my purse so you are never stranded without. I do reserve the right to make fun of you for still using maxi pads.

I will keep your secrets

and only joke about them when no one is around…or when no one will get the reference.

I will have your favorite snacks at my house

If there is a break up involved I will haul ass to the store to make sure I have your favorite ice cream, chocolate snacks and alcoholic beverage beverages.

Help clean your house when it is dirty.

When you are going through a rough time, are super busy. I will come and help clean your house. I will also help set up then clean up after parties.  I will also co-chair all of your parties/events with you. And if your house is not available for your events, my house will be open.

But I can always ditch you

if there is a chance for incredible, hot, amazing sex. Especially if it is with that hot guy that I have had a crush on forever. But I must make it up to you by telling him you are my best friend, that I love you dearly and I must give you appropriate details the next day.

I will help you pack and Move.

This is a big part of the friendship contract. Anytime you move, no matter how many times, I will be there to help pack and move it. I will help you move out of the boyfriends, out of the bad apartment with bugs, out of the bad roommate situation. I will hate it, especially if you have not packed much before I get there, but I will be there.

Buy candy that your kids sell for school.

And wrapping paper, and jewelry, and popcorn and…whatever. All of it, until I have a closet of useless stuff that your kids of sold. I will also take care of your kids if you die.

Drink with you.

I promise to be there with wine, beer or whatever adult beverage of your choice for whatever occasion is needed. I will also pay for your drinks and or dinner if you are broke.

I will watch your pets while you are on vacation,

No matter how strange, big, weird or unfriendly they are. I will come over and feed your dog, change your cats litter box, talk to your snake, make sure your hamster, goldfish, iguana, bird are all OK. But I can make fun of you for having such weird pets.

We borrow each others clothes.

All the time. And if I really like a sweater of yours, I can always keep it in my closet and you can come and visit it on occasion. And even though we still call it your sweater, you will understand that is really is mine now.

Hold you hair back when you get sick,

And put a cold rag on your forehead and help.you in and out of bed. Whether it’s the flu or a bad hang over, I will be there.

Listen to your problems, over and over and over.

And over. But I will give you a kick in the pants when you need it. You have the right to be shitty for a certain period of time. But beyond that, I will tell you when you need to get it together.

I will defend you to anyone who does not like you.

And I will refuse to like them. Ever.

Tell you to keep your Susie-Stalker crazy self in a box.

It’s Ok to be Susie-Stalker with your best friends, but not to that hot guy. Keep it in a box and stay in your lane.

Facebook stalk the guys you like with you.

And I will agree that they look hot and the things they “Like” are compatible with yours.

Check on your boyfriend after a fight for you.

When you have a bad fight and you want to check and make sure he is either at his house, his guy hang out bar, or the office, I will drive by his stomping ground and report back to you.

Pick you up at any time of the day or night

When you are too drunk to make it home, when you are sick, when your car dies in the middle of nowhere.

Not get mad at you for taking me for granted.

If you don’t say thank you, don’t call me back or disappear because you fell in love, I promise to pick things up right where they left off when you resurface. It would be nice if you did send a text or email every now and then just to touch base.

I will listen to you lament about your latest crush and/or broken heart.

I will help you plan drunk revenge schemes and promise to hide the bodies in the trunk until we bury them. In the words of the Dixie Chicks, Earl Had to Die.

To never let you leave with that hot guy, no matter how hot he is, in a bar.

I will hunt you down and take you from his car if I have to to make sure you do not end up a headline on the news. We girls have to watch out for each other.

Helping Friends Get Published – Pay it Forward

When you are blessed, lucky, fortunate, I believe you should “pay it forward.” You must give back.

No matter what we do, how old we are or what our circumstances, we can always help someone else. Doing random acts of kindness has long been said to not only help others, but ourselves as well. There are many benefits including making us feel better emotionally, boosting our immune system, helps us be less isolated, promotes goodwill and fosters friendships. It also keeps us humble in realizing just how lucky we are. Paying it forward also increases gratitude, both for the giver and reciever.

The famed sociologist Georg Simmel declared that gratitude is “the moral memory of mankind.” If every grateful action, he went on to say, were suddenly eliminated, society would crumble. It is part of our humanity as well. Get rid of gratitude, compassion and empathy are sure to follow. We need gratitude and the help of others.  The saying no man is an island is so very true. 

No matter how harad you work, you cannot have success without other people. Whether they supported you morally, financially or emotionally, we could not do it without them.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine contacted me about a publisher she was working with who was looking for some new fresh writers in my catagory. I jumped at the chance to have a publisher look at my work. Now things look good and are coming together rather quickly. This is so very exciting as I did not expect interest this soon. So, when she said she was looking for good science fiction writers yesterday, I sent out notice to my groups. The result is that I never know how many friends I have that writer science fiction! And after submitting several friends information to her, she said that if she likes their writing, she will put them on the fast track for publishing just as she has done for me.

If it wasn’t for my friend submitting my writing, I would not be publishing this soon. And now I have the chance to do the same for others. And it feels good.

But it is not just about feeling good. As I look at my life, it seems that good will, love and care for others is a cycle.  For example, my mother stayed up watching over me after a particularly bad day a few weeks ago. She gave her love to me through thaty action. Now as my sister needs a home away from home which to stage her next career move, I watch over her and make sure she has what she needs. It’s a beautiful cycle, and we could not survive as a society without it.

To me, life is a series of cycles, some better than others. As a a writer, it is so very exciting not only to have an opportunity to have my book published and distributed because of a friend passing my information along, but it is also so very exciting to do that for other writers as well. And when my friends and I all have books on the New York Times Best Seller list…we will celebrate each others success. And still, pass it on to others so they too can have the chance given nto each one of us.

Paying it forward just seems like a natural step since I have been so fortunate. Helping others helps ourselves, so helping cannot ever be truly altruistic. And that is fine, as long as everyone benefits. But always give back. Always help when you can. Because the life we have can change in the blink of an eye, and you never know when it may be you who needs the help. So when karma comes to visit, make sure it’s pleasant.