Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's Christmas time and it's shitty...

James was at the bar getting a round of drinks for their annual after Christmas-party unwind. He watched as Ed yawned, Alice checked her phone and Carrie smiled at everyone. How many years had they all been together playing out just that scene? And was this the last one? Alice's husband Eric had an offer from a company that was based out of Chicago. If he took the job they would be moving on. One more Christmas tradition over.

Ed took his drink as James came back to the table, "Why so glum, chum? Did you get stuck introducing yourself to Mrs. Patterson over and over again?"

"No, just the once this year. And she almost got my name right. Almost."

Carrie laughed, "She means well. And you know she has to hate these parties. She doesn't know us, she doesn't work with us. She doesn't ever stop by the office except for the party, it must be a really long night for her as well."

"Ah, our little Christmas Angel spreading her good tidings. It's so lovely. Now pass me my drink so I can have one last toast to calm before Christmas Eve with my mother. The guilt over Eric's interview is thick. You would think Chicago was Mars for how much she is complaining."

"Okay, so back to my question, why are you looking so down? It's Christmas merry, merry, and all that jazz."

"Honestly? I'm just not a fan of Christmas. Never have been."

Carrie looked shocked, "Seriously? How did I not know this?"

"Well, one, you love it enough for everyone and two it's not something that is really socially acceptable to own up to. People call you a Grinch or bah humbug you and then laugh it off like you must really be joking, but I'm not. If I had my way I would skip from Thanksgiving right to New Year's Eve without anything in between."

Alice reached out and patted James' hand, "Bah humbug, you old Grinch."

The friends all laughed.

"I'm not the only one you know. Look at Christmas music. At least half of it is horribly sad melancholy stuff. And Christmas movies? Someone is always miserable!"

"But when you were a kid you loved it right?" Carrie asked.

"Not really. I sort of think we all wish our childhood Christmases were as fabulous as the ones we saw on TV. Well except for Miss "I met Santa" your's tops that. But for the most part it was a lot of build up, a whir of activity and then a let down. So much hype for ten minutes of frenzy. Then a half hour before the first gift broke. And a few hours after that the first drunken family fight of the party.

And as an adult you can't just say, I hate Christmas, for fear of the vapid Barbie and Ken dolls from Fox and Friends swooping down on you with garland and wrapping paper and forcing you to admit you LOVE Christmas."

"Enhanced Decoration..." Ed deadpanned.

Alice laughed, "Can you just imagine? We will light you up! And then they actually string little twinkle lights on you?" She laughed again, "Okay, I might be a little drunk..."

"I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that suicide rates skyrocket in December." Ed started before Carrie cut him off.

"That's actually a myth, they are highest in the spring not in December, but..." Carrie realized she was about to Wikipedia her friends, "Well, anyway, it's a myth."

"Okay, but even without that lovely little bonus, it's still awful for a lot of people. People who have lost family members or don't live near them. The money you spend. The pressure to make a perfect holiday. You get a sweet spot when you are a kid, if you are lucky, where you aren't responsible for any of it happening, but then once you are an adult you are either nostalgic for when you were a kid, or trying to create some sort of impossible Hallmark Christmas for your kids. It's just not that great. And like I said, I think most of us are nostalgic for something that never even really happened."

"Saudade." Carrie said.

"Bless you." Alice giggled again.

"It's a Portuguese word. It's not really translatable but that's what it sort of means. Being nostalgic for something that never happened." Carrie held her hands up in an 'I give up' gesture. It wasn't her fault she knew all of these random things. Years spent in libraries when she was growing up. Free books and someplace to stay warm and dry to hang out when she and her mother were on their own and Mom was at work. Spending time alone at the halfway house was just depressing.

Ed leaned back, "Okay so we have a true believer, a non-believer, and me and Alice. Where do you stand on the subject, my dear?"

Alice looked around the table, "I like it. I don't love it. And James' is right. The music can be super depressing, like even songs you think are supposed to be happy aren't. I'll Be Home for Christmas is all about how she won't be home at all. And then there are the sappy stories people tell just to get you to cry, angels on the side of the road and stuff.

But I love a twinkle light. And Eric is fabulous at gifts. And, well, if he takes this job we have decided that it's time to start our own family. And I would be lying if I didn't say the thought of seeing Christmas through my child's eyes didn't get me a little misty."

"Yeah, but you are a little drunk." James laughed.

"True. And holy shit, if I get pregnant this could be my last Christmas with drinks for awhile. Now I need to think about this again." Alice smiled and put her hand on her stomach, "Can you even imagine me as a mother?"

Carrie nodded, "Yeah, I totally can. Though I'm going to be more than a little pissed that you are living so far away when it happens. I might have to join your mother tomorrow with the guilt. I'm really going to miss you if you move." Carrie wiped a little tear away, "Okay, maybe I'm a little drunk too." Alice reached out and squeezed Carrie's hand.

James pointed out the friends each in turn, "Okay, true believer, non-believer, wants to be a believer and you?"

"I've been a little of all of it. When I was in college I dated this girl who loved Christmas. Like Carrie levels of love. We went out and did everything. The lights, the caroling in the park, Christmas plays, everything the city had to offer we did. Then she went home for break and I went home for break and she got back together with her ex-boyfriend, mistletoe you know, who could resist. So I spent a few years just hating the holiday. Everything made me think about her and how pissed and hurt I was. After awhile the specific hate of the holiday faded but I never could say I liked it.

Then a few years ago I started work at this company that had the world's worst Christmas parties. I mean truly bad. Cheap booze, the owner's wife drunk and condescending, everybody just dying to get out of there but staying because they had to and then a co-worker invited me out for drinks afterwards. I almost said no but figured why not, it really couldn't be worse than the party. And it was the best part of my day. Maybe my whole holiday season. It was relaxed and funny and the booze was better. It was just a great night. And ever since then I've sort of made my peace with the holiday. It's all about friends sitting around sharing their world. A little island of calm in a storm of tinsel. So I kind of love it now."

"Aww...." the other three said in unison.

"So if you'll excuse me I really need to meet up with those guys..."

Alice threw her napkin at Ed, "Snot!"

Alice's phone buzzed, "Oh there's my ride. Thank goodness for sober husbands! Merry Christmas, everyone! See you next week!"

The friends all made their goodbyes and headed for home. James was thinking maybe Ed was right, maybe he just needed to look at the holiday a little differently. It could be enjoyable. It didn't have to be a pocket of misery dressed up with a bow. His cab pulled up to the corner and he slid in to the back seat and then he heard Judy...

"...Someday soon, we all will be together...If the fates allow... Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow... So have yourself a merry little Christmas now."

He laughed so loudly his cabby thought he picked up a crazy man.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Just like in the movies...

Gretchen sat outside drinking a glass of champagne. She was going to need to go back in soon and give her toast. She was the "Best Maid" after all. She still wasn't thrilled with the title but what were you going to do? She wasn't Maid of Honor, that was the bride's best friend. And even though she was the groom's best friend Best Man didn't quite work. And Best Woman sounded just as bad as Best Maid. So Best Maid it became.

Always the Best Maid, never the bride. Always the best friend never the girl friend. That was the truth of it.

If this was a movie this would be the moment. As she sat on the steps looking at her glass of champagne Teddy would walk out and sit next to her and say...

"Hey, what's up? The party's inside."

Gretch jumped and then laughed, "Hey, Pete. I'm just thinking about my toast. I have one tonight and then another tomorrow to do. Why a rehearsal dinner and wedding toast? Who ever came up with the idea of multiple toasts anyway?"

"Champagne salesmen?"

She laughed, "Probably true." she took a sip of her drink and then held it up to watch the bubbles crawl along the glass to the top.

Pete watched her for a second, "You okay?"

She gave him a small smile and shrugged her shoulders, "This is really it, you know? After all of these years, this is it."

"You were still holding out hope?"

"No, not really. Well, maybe. I thought I was over it, you know? I really did. But I guess maybe part of me is still 12 and still waiting."

"Spin the bottle at Janine's birthday party."

She laughed again, "Yes, that moment. When the bottle landed on me and he kissed me and I thought everything changed."

"And it did."

"For me. Sure. From there it lead to my 16th birthday where I thought, this is the time he notices me. This is where it changes. Instead he got together with Cathy Downing. Then junior prom, the first time he saw me in my dress with the hair and the makeup and I knew that would be the moment the music would swell and he would see that I was perfect for him. Instead he and Cathy were Junior Prom King and Queen.

Senior year Homecoming, he and Cathy had broken up over the summer so this was going to be the time. He and I were going as friends but I was sure he would change his mind. He did. He and Cathy got back together and I ended up needing a ride home because he forgot about me. Thanks, by the way, it was very gallant of you to come to my rescue. I remember cramming in to the back seat of your Mazda. Yards of tulle, I looked like a sad birthday cake. Who was your date again?"

"Lynette Johnson."

"Yes! Lynette! She just wanted to go to Jamie's party and was not happy with the detour to take me home first. I can remember her stage whispering to you about a cab!"

"Yeah, that was my last date with Lynette. She hooked up with George Gorston at that party and that was it for me."

"She wasn't good enough for you anyway. Mean little thing."

Pete laughed, "Maybe. She never liked playing side kick to The Three Musketeers anyway."

"Is that what she called us?"

"Among other things, yeah."

Gretchen sighed, "I spent my entire teenage years waiting to act out my John Hughes movie moment. And it never came. He never saw me as anything more than his best friend. And I really thought I was over all of that and fine. Right up until he called to tell me he needed to see me that he had realized something really important and he had to talk to me about it. I knew he was engaged to Shelly. The wedding was being planned. I had the save the date card and registry information. It had been years since I had even thought about those moments. But that call..."

"Yes, I remember we had lunch the day you were going to get drinks. You couldn't concentrate on anything on your plate. Too nervous about seeing him that night. I knew what he was going to tell you and you kept trying to get it out of me. You were playful and teasing and just wanted to know what the big surprise was. I should have told you. When you called that night so mad, I wished that I had warned you. But I didn't think..."

"You didn't know what I was thinking. How could you? Why would a rational person think he was going to tell me that he realized that I was the one instead of the one he wanted to be his Best Maid? And honestly after all of these years why would I even want him to say something like that? You know? In the movies you see the moment where the star crossed lovers finally end up together. She leaves her betrothed at the altar or he does and the happy couple rides off in to the sunset together. But what sort of people do that? I mean, Shelly is awesome. If he could leave someone as wonderful as that why would I want him? And why would he want someone who wished to break someone else's heart like that? Movies never talk about the details. That happily ever after only means for a few minutes until the reality of what they've done sets in."

"That's why they are movies. Real life is messy."

"True. And I am happy for him. I really am. And I do love Shelly, she's great. And they are going to have beautiful babies and a perfect life and I will be Auntie Gretch and you will be Uncle Pete and everyone really will live happily ever after. Right? But for now I just need to give up that one last John Hughes wish and go inside and make a toast to the happy couple. The Best Maid's work is never done."

With that Gretchen stood up and started inside, "You coming?"

"Just a minute, I need to check my messages."

Pete watched her straighten her shoulders and walk back inside. Prepared to give her toast to the boy who held her heart since 6th grade. Spin the bottle wasn't the only game they played at Janine's birthday party. There was also 7 Minutes in Heaven. That time it was Pete and Gretchen that had been paired. And they spent 7 minutes in a dark closet while Pete wondered if she would ever stop talking about Teddy long enough that he could kiss her.

He'd spent the last 15 years playing that game. Maybe tonight would be the night she would notice.

Catching up...

I spent this morning watching my soaps. They aren't the daytime soaps like GH or OTL or AMC like they used to be. They are the night time soaps. The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Nashville. But still soaps. And as I started with The Originals I was hit with a few things.

First off it's the first time I've sat down and watched since our trip to New Orleans. It was really cool to be able to see places and know exactly where they were filmed. Especially the scenes in the cemetery. I stood where they were. I know which family tomb they were near. Which also reminded me that I haven't posted those pictures or written those blogs. So I have a little more catching up to do.

But then there was this scene. Two characters kissed after weeks of building. It was very romantic and swoony. It didn't matter that both of the characters were male so I had no one to really put myself in the place of, it was a swoon worthy kiss for me. Then in the next episode there was another great kiss. This time it was two characters that I don't really care for, but still nice kiss. So I started paying attention as I watched my other soaps. What makes for a swoon worthy kiss.

It's not the gender of the people involved. Two guys, two girls, a guy and a girl, a swoon worthy kiss doesn't depend on that.

It's not if I like the characters. The kiss can be really great even if it's not "people" I like.

It's not if the tension has been building forever. There was actually a couple that finally got together that have had great tension for a year on one of the shows, and the kiss was...fine. It was fine. Not swoon worthy though. And these were characters I had been hoping would become a couple. So I was swoon primed. But the kiss was just fine.

So what is it? What makes a kiss a swoon kiss for me?

And finally I decided it's not the kiss at all. It's the hand.

When the hand comes up and cups the cheek. Then the kiss happens. That's my swoon point. Doesn't matter who is doing the caress either. The girl, the guy, the other guy, each swoon worthy kiss had that hand come up. It was that tender moment as the kiss starts that did it for me. Is it the extra touch? Is it the level of intimacy that is implied by someone touching your face? I'm not sure.

I know everyone has their favorite movie and TV show kisses. The hair being swept off the forehead then a soft kiss just there. Very tender, very protective. Sweet, but not a swoon point for me. There is the thumb across the lower lip. The touch before the kiss. Like they want to experience your lips in all ways, not just a kiss. Very lovely. But not a swoon. The back of the neck hold, closely related to holding the hair if the person being kissed has long hair. It's a possessive sort of kiss. More passionate than protective. More sexy that sweet. But not a swoon.

And the really funny thing is that it's not how I prefer to be kissed in real life at all. My real life swoon is something totally different. But if you are writing a TV show and want me to swoon when your characters finally kiss have one of them reach up and caress the cheek of the other, hand curved along the jaw line as they lean in for a sweet, soft, romantic kiss.


And I will get to those blogs and pictures. Eventually. Because as I was watching those soaps I had an idea for a short story as well. So on the horizon, pictures from trips, blogs from trips, a short story from soaps, Christmas posts, and who knows what else...

Busy busy busy....brain.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The mine field...

She wasn't sure she knew the path anymore. At one point she could walk it blindfolded. Deftly avoiding the land mines hidden there. Not calling attention to herself. Walking past the sleeping giants without waking them. Able to scratch the hounds behind the ears without getting chased or bit. But now she wasn't even sure if she could remember which paths were safe and which would leave her bloody and torn by the end.

She remembered when she was younger and she could dance across the field like a gazelle. Never setting off an explosion. Never falling in to a trap. Too small and light to ever risk being acknowledged by the sleeping giants waiting to wake and pounce. Playing with the hounds without fear of their powerful snapping jaws. The years of magic. Of invincibility.

Then came the years where she wore her dark armor tightly around her. Where the monsters were scared of her. The power she wielded was immense. The hounds eyed her suspiciously but only growled low in their throats. But the giants knew what she did not. That it would fade. Her dark armor would shed and she would be vulnerable again. They waited...

The years of her young adulthood were the most fraught with dangers. Young enough to feel invincible. Still holding memories of when she was not threatening at all and memories of when she was left alone in her darkness she felt untouchable. She came to the battlefield armed with "TRUTH" and "KNOWLEDGE" she was the bright and shining knight. Then the first misstep. The first landmine. Dragging herself from the path to nurse her wounds she wasn't sure how to make it to the end. But she knew she had to. The pain receded enough that it was replaced by anger. How dare she be hurt! She would fight again...only to be bloodied and bruised once more.

After a few years she learned to carry with her rocks. Light enough to throw far away from her but heavy enough to trigger an explosion where they landed. They were to be used in case of emergency. When the hounds came. When they smelled her fear or vulnerability and she had no way out. Tossing a stone away from her, causing the explosion wasn't noble, but it worked.

But mostly she learned the path. Where to step. When to step. To never let her guard down. Where the most dangerous parts of the battle were waged. How to stay away from the trailing vines that would capture you and drag you deeper in to the woods. When she brought companions she taught them to walk behind her. Stepping only where she stepped she protected them. Then there was the day her companion pulled her back from the edge of a newly dug trap, she knew she had found someone who could walk the fields with her forever.

It had been years since they had first joined forces and walked those fields battling the hounds and the giants together. Understanding that the victory feast in the middle of the battle only marked the beginning of the most dangerous time. When bellies were full and minds were muddled with drink, this was the time the smallest misstep could cause the largest of the battles. The bloodiest wars were waged on the way out of the battle field, not the way in.

They had been fierce companions. Each having the other's back. Watching for hounds and giants and traps of all kinds. All while walking on the safe path. Using distraction and each other to pass safely through. They had learned to fight as a pair. To ease the burden of the other. And to nurse wounds on the fly when an unexpected hit came. Could she do it on her own?

It had been years since she had tried. Did she still have it in her to be alone in battle?

She took a deep breath and took to the field....

"Merry Christmas! Oh we were so sorry to hear that Tom had to work. We were surprised he didn't work harder to spend the holiday with you. There is no trouble brewing I hope?"

"No trouble, it was just his turn this year. Oh is that your famous stuffing I smell? Can't wait to have some!"

Step one...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

This is where is gets tricky...

So the end of the year is rapidly approaching. Doing that look back thing at what I did, what I didn't do, what I want to do and what I should just let go. Marking off the goals I reached and ones I missed. Thinking about the things that are perpetually on the list and things that have finally either been done or been deleted as "nice ideas but..." items.

Which then leads us to 2015. What do I want to do for 2015? And I thought...what about a year where I set no goals? Where I write the number of blogs I write, I read the number of books I read, I work out the amount I workout, but I just do those things. No lists. No numbers. No measurements. No goals.

How would that look? Would the complete lack of structure be the one last step in to slothdom? Or would the freedom from arbitrary goals and numbers be the moment of pure clarity to show what I really want to do?

Would a year without any goals be freedom or chaos?

There would still be the normal "things that have to get done" to do lists for days and weeks but no over-riding goal toward those things. No "In August We Shall Do a Brand New Thing Every Weekend" type lists. No Goodreads read all the books list. No Blog a Day in May. Nothing like that. Not even lose 10 pounds by summer. Just life. Done when it's done. How ever it's done or not done.

The way I figure a large number of people probably live all the time.

No goals.

No gold stars.

Just doing.

But then I thought...

Isn't that a goal?

Not to have any goals for an entire year really is a goal in and of itself right? I mean it's an overarching one, but it is totally a goal. It's something I would turn to each time I thought I was slacking, I would think, "Oh I need to...." and then I would think, "No, I said no goals this year." And I would be right back on working toward a goal.

A goalless goal.

So as soon as the year ended and I made it all the way through without any goals set I would have reached my goal of no goals and all of a sudden the year would have been a year with a major goal. And would I have failed or succeeded?

Clearly I need more coffee to work my way through this one...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Teacher won't you teach me....

You all know I believe that the Universe talks to us. Lets us know what we should be paying attention to, right? I had one of those moments this week. Or I should say two moments that lined up together. One of my teachers posted that he was tired. Tired of giving out love and not getting it in return. That he was feeling empty. Used up. Done. This dovetailed on a post I had been reading about an equality issue where someone commented that it wasn't their job to make people understand the issue and that they were tired of it falling to them. It's not their problem that other people don't get it so why should they be the ones to constantly have to explain things. They weren't their parents so it shouldn't fall to them.

I get the sentiment in the why me post. I really do. Sometimes when you are talking to someone about something like equal rights you think, "Why do I need to tell you this? Shouldn't you already know this?" And I get the extra burden this particular person felt because it was a lifelong (or at least as long as they had been out long) issue. They had spent a good chunk of their lives explaining why they deserved the same rights as everyone else. And why should they have to do that? Shouldn't it be obvious?

Well yeah, it should be. He's right. Absolutely right. However, it's not. Not to everyone. So that then leaves a gap between those who know and those who don't. Those who get it and those who haven't. Those who understand and those who are ignorant. And who will teach if it's not the people who already have the knowledge?  Because someone will. Someone is out there pushing their version of the truth. Whatever it is.

Fox News. MSNBC. Bill Maher. Ann Coulter. Bill O'Reilly. Chicks on the Right. Slate. Matt Walsh.

Do you think any of them ever think, "Oh no, I couldn't possibly tell one more person what I think!"

Not very likely.

So if any of the names on the list made you cringe it's up to you to fill a void. To say to people around you, "This is another way of looking at that..." To show a different way. What you believe to be a better way. A kinder way. Those that know, teach.

And it might not make a bit of difference.

Which is when you will get tired.

What I will tell you though is what I told my teacher when he said he was tired. Just because the person he was talking to at that moment didn't seem to be getting his message and not returning the love, the person next to the person he was talking to might have been. And then they went out and spread that love to someone else. All because of him. Because that's the way love works. You give it out and it goes where it needs to. You might not have any idea where that influence lands, but it does land. And when your tank is empty and you are feeling like you just can't possibly give another drop think about that. Think about the fact that you have given so much that it's out there growing even now.

I don't know if it helped him or not. I hope it did. Because he needs to keep going. Because what he has to share is important. Just like the rest of us.

No matter how tiring it is. No matter how bleak it looks at times. We need to keep saying, "Hey, here is another way of looking at that." And offering up love instead of hate. Kindness instead of anger. Compassion instead of judgement. Keep filling up each other's tanks. It's important.

And yes, I still have teachers. All of you are my teachers. Every person in my life is here to teach me something. So I am lucky to have friends and teachers all in one package. I'm grateful for that.

And yes, I know this was a little more woo woo than I normally go with my posts, but sometimes I just need to remind myself that it's important to keep going. To give what kindness I have to give. To not get discouraged and bitter. So welcome to my pep talk. I hope it helped you too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wrong turn...

She finished her errands early and thought she would surprise him with lunch. How long had it been since she had done that? Just shown up at the office with picnic in hand? Too long. Way too long. So why not today? And with that she meant to turn right.

She turned left out of habit. Heading back home instead of toward his office. Dang it. She was in the middle of downtown so turning around meant navigating all of the one way streets in a circle to get back to where she started. She hated when she did things like that. Not paying enough attention. Always distracted. What was wrong with her?

As the voice in her head started in on how she was always messing up she took a deep breath and remembered what her therapist had taught her. Even if it's a voice inside your own head that doesn't mean it's right. She wasn't always messing up. She wasn't always distracted. In fact she was so organized that errands she thought would take her all day had only taken half of the day. She had worked out a plan and followed it exactly. She was really very organized. She ran a business. She was raising kids who never went hungry or had to go to school in dirty clothes. She was really very much in control of her life. 

Okay that was much better. She was fine. There you go, six months of therapy paying off. As she was giving herself the much needed pep talk she missed her turn. Again. 

She had to shake her head. Okay, back two more streets now and then she would get to the on ramp for the freeway. Seriously, who misses the turn twice? She really couldn't navigate her way out of a paper bag. She was going to be one of those old ladies who had to give up her car keys. But she would have to do it at 37 instead of 73! This was just like the time she forgot the plane tickets and they had to go all the way home to pick them up only to realize once they got back to the airport that she had left her driver's license in her other purse. Two trips back and forth to the airport and almost missing the flight. Would she ever learn to be more prepared? Who messes up the same thing twice? 

Deep breath. This wasn't just like that. Not at all. She had forgotten the plane tickets because she thought he had grabbed them when he was in the office. And her driver's license had been moved when the baby threw up on her purse and she had to switch bags quickly. It wasn't like she had just forgotten things carelessly. She was trying to get the baby ready, the packing finished, and everyone out of the house on time. It wasn't carelessness. It was just being overly busy. And why were the tickets her responsibility anyway? Neither of them had double checked before they left, that didn't make it her fault. And in the end they had made the flight on time. Because she had insisted they leave plenty of time to get to the airport in the first place.

This time as she worked through the negative thoughts she sat through a green light. The honk from the car behind her woke her up just in time to see the light turn yellow. Crap. That was inconsiderate of her. Now who ever was behind her was probably going to be late. They had places to go, and it was probably their lunch hour and they only had limited time. She had wasted their time. So inconsiderate of her. She was so self centered.

Okay, now that's not fair. She was distracted, sure. But was it that big of a deal? Really? It would be another 3 or 4 minutes of their time. That was all. Everyone has zoned out at light before. It's okay. If they really were that pressed for time they wouldn't be trying to drive through downtown at all. Nobody gets anywhere fast downtown. It was okay.

She looked at the clock on the dashboard. It was probably too late to just surprise him with lunch now anyway. It had been a good thought, but by now he would have already grabbed something to eat and anything she brought would just be a waste. Spontaneity was never her strong suit. So many things could go so wrong. Something as simple as dropping off lunch could turn in to a nightmare of missed connections and bad timing and even one memorable case of food poisoning. So really why bother? Though she tried. Because she knew it was important to him. It was one of the reasons why he wanted a divorce. She just was too stodgy and set in her ways. Not fun enough. 

But it was impossible to be fun and spontaneous and still be organized and together. You couldn't have both. Not while raising kids anyway. Schedules were so important. Sure a quick weekend get-a-way would be fun but there was soccer practice on Saturday and a homework project due on Monday. So in her mind you put those things aside for a few years. You could still have fun. You could still do things. They just had to be planned. That didn't make them less fun, that just made them different. They would have years together after the kids were grown. Heck, even once they were old enough to fend for themselves more they could go back to the spontaneous things he liked so much. Though honestly, she never really did.

Selfish. She had been so selfish. Only wanting to do the things she liked. Never the things he did.

No, that wasn't true at all she had gone along with all of his crazy ideas at the beginning. She loved how happy they made him. But once the kids came and work picked up and then she started her own company she just needed more structure.

Because she didn't love him as much as he loved her.

No, that wasn't true either. She loved him deeply. But she had to balance the kids and work and marriage and why was it always on her to make things work? Why was she expected to give up what she wanted to do just so he would be happy?

As she headed toward home she realized that voice in her head, the one she had been arguing with, the one the therapist had told her wasn't always telling the truth. That voice. Well it wasn't right. And it wasn't hers. And she didn't have to listen to it anymore. Eight months after the separation, six months after starting therapy to fix what was wrong with her, twenty minutes in to a wrong turn she heard her own voice loud and clear. He could get his own damn lunch.