So I’m pretty much done with holiday gatherings this year. This weekend, I drove about 250 miles from one end of Los Angeles all the way to San Diego, through traffic, getting lost around DTLA while picking up the oldest son, and then the next day, missing the pay kiosk on the toll road.
Me: It says 1 more mile before the Pay Station. I need to stay in the right lane and exit.
Hubby: Just keep going. You’ll see it up ahead.
[2 miles later.]
Me: Great. I missed it. It’s wide open from here to the next 10 miles.
Hubby: Oh. Guess you did miss it. They’ll probably send me the bill in the mail.
Me: Yup. And you pay for it, not me. That’s what you get for always expecting me to do the long-ass drives while being the backseat driver…
I actually used to love driving but mostly while I’m alone. I like being able to listen to my music or audiobooks or record myself plot my stories. But with other people in the car, especially those who love being backseat drivers, it’s not fun at all. But I’m also a terrible passenger so that’s why I end up driving… even if it’s all of seven hours.
One thing I noticed with talk that crops up about my writing with family is that I usually get things like, “I have a lot of stories inside my head…” to which I now reply by default, “get a ghostwriter.” I think the longer one writes, the less one wants to talk about writing… And then there’s always the classic question, “So, do really make money from your books?”
And the bad news…
While it was nice to see old friends and family (second degree and beyond) this weekend, it wasn’t nice to discover footage on my phone that my son took (he wanted to film his time with distant cousins he’d just met that day) of his cousins bullying him, knocking him to the ground and pouring water all over him after the girl his age took his hand and led him to where the other two boys were waiting.
Hubby had thought that the kid had simply played too much and it was perspiration (yeah, that it soaks right through), and because I’d been talking with my cousins (the kids’ parents) during that time, I didn’t know it happened until I was viewing the footage he’d shot on my phone hoping to see the world from his point of view.
And it sure wasn’t pretty. Newflash: there’s nothing cute about bullying.
I ended up bowing out of the steamy office box set even when I knew I’d say goodbye to the buy-in. I don’t care. I’m done with box sets and playing nice. I’m just going back to writing where I feel the safest and where I can process the “ugly” much better.
My mantra for 2018 will be this: Success is the best revenge and best to make it sweet af.
It’s long overdue.