What I Want My Daughters To Know About Love, Dating And Relationships


Love is a many splendored thing. Love makes the world go ’round. Love will keep us together. (Tell that to the Captain…Tenille just dumped his ass.)

I would never claim to be an expert on love, even after 21 years together and 17 years of marriage. I think love is like that green goo they used to sell at the toy store- it’s hard to pin down and it can get pretty messy. It can also be a whole lot of fun.

Love can bring pain, especially when the other factors that make a successful relationship are missing, and love can bring joy.

And while I am no expert, I have had enough experiences to have learned a few valuable lessons.

Here, in no particular order, are my thoughts and advice on love, dating and relationships (heavily influenced by the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You” which should be required viewing for all women):

1.Men and women are different. We think different, we feel different, we see the world differently. We’re physically and physiologically different. Not better or worse, just different. Expecting a man to view things the same way you do, to perceive things the way you do, or to respond to things the way you do, will lead to nothing but misunderstanding, frustration, and pain.

2. Allow a man to be a man. Do not try to feminize him. You will not like the result.

3. Adam and Eve were the first humans to fall in love. When Adam saw Eve for the very first time, he exclaimed, “At last!”

The man you choose to love should look at you and say “At last!”

Not “You’ll do.”

Do not manipulate or cajole a man into a relationship with you. You may get him to marry you, but you’ll always know how you got there, and that’s not a good feeling. While you will tell yourself you’ve won because you got the ring on your finger, you’ll know you will never completely have his heart.


4. Communication is the key to any good relationship. Communication is not only words. Many men don’t like to use words, they use their actions to communicate. If the man’s words and his actions do not match, listen to his actions- they always tell the truth.


Believe what he’s not saying. He’s telling you everything you need to know by what he does and does not do.


5. Men are pursuers by nature. If they want you, they will pursue you. You don’t have to pursue them. That is not to say that you should sit by the phone like some 16 year old girl in 1955, never being assertive or asking for what you want. It just means that if you are doing ALL the pursuing,


6. Before entering into any serious relationship, you should be educated and be in touch with who you are, what your values are, what your passions are and where you want your life to end up. That way, he will know who he is entering into the relationship with, and won’t feel blindsided by your sudden desire to be true to yourself, and you won’t feel like you’ve compromised yourself to be in the relationship.

Which brings me to…

7. Compromise. Compromise and the ability to do so is integral in any relationship. There are no winners when someone always tries to be right or to get their way. It’s okay to give in and let the other person have their way, and it’s okay to stand firm on your principles when you feel they’re being violated. Otherwise, there will always be middle ground to be found.

Compromise DOES mean: Listening to the other person’s perspective on an issue, validating their feelings and working towards a solution where everyone feels respected.

Compromise DOESN’T mean: One person makes all the concessions.

8. Be yourself. Any time you feel you have to be someone other than who you are for a man to like you, you are involving yourself with the wrong man. You cannot pretend forever, and it never feels good to know that the person you are with only likes you for who they THINK you are. That is not to say that you should not try to improve yourself, expand your interests because you want to support his interests, or try to put your best foot forward. I sat through more subtitled kung fu movies than I can count, but I never claimed to love them. I endured listening to Morrissey, but made my feelings crystal clear about his inability to sing on key. But you should listen to the music you like, watch the movies you like, eat the foods you like, and not feel the need to hide them.

9.There’s no such thing as a happy ending, unless you count two people dying at the age of 100 holding hands side by side after 80 years of adventures, babies, kissing and companionship. An ending, by definition, is a moment. A wedding is not a happy ending. It is the beginning of a committed life together. A divorce may be a happy ending if you have chosen poorly. A marriage is not a happy ending, it is a series of choices that you make every day. Happiness is a fleeting emotion, but you must choose to be content, regardless of circumstances.


10. A good man is not necessarily the right man for YOU.

Somehow we as women have convinced ourselves that if a man is a good man, we shouldn’t let him get away. The reality is, there are a lot of good men who we are not compatible with. Being a good man, with character, is the starting point of determining viability of a relationship, not the ending point. Some GOOD  people just aren’t good TOGETHER. It isn’t a commentary on them or on you, it’s just the way life works. If you are self-critical, dating or marrying a man prone to inflexibility or criticism isn’t a good fit, even if he is a great guy- he can go be a great husband to someone who won’t let his criticism get to her. If you have a strong, intense personality, probably a nice man who hates drama or conflict isn’t a good match. He is better suited for a more easy going woman, while you need someone who will not be easily pushed around and will keep your respect.

11. If it’s not working as a dating relationship, it certainly won’t get easier once you’re married, with a baby depriving you of sleep and a mortgage to pay. People tend to become MORE of who they are over time, not less. Incompatibility or discord will not improve with A) a diamond ring or B) a baby.

12. A man worthy of you will always want the best for you, not the best for you as long as it doesn’t interfere with HIS needs, HIS desires, HIS ideas of the way things should be. He will encourage you to pursue your dreams because he knows a fulfilled YOU will be a better partner.

13. A man worthy of you will appreciate you for who you are, not only what you do for him.

14. If he doesn’t make you laugh, the tough times are really gonna suck. Same goes for if he takes himself too seriously.

15. Don’t ever let a man make you feel desperate for his love or affection. If you find yourself doing things that are out of character, unhealthy, degrading, pathetic or otherwise humiliating, you need to pick yourself up, brush off your knees, and start walking.



17. You teach people how to treat you.



19. Each relationship is an opportunity to learn. Learn about yourself, learn how you want to be treated, learn where you need personal growth, learn about how to love others the way they need to be loved, not the way you want to love them. And if that relationship ends, take all of those lessons to make the next one better.

20. People are unique, and each relationship is unique, but there are some things that are universally true-

A successful relationship is based on two people with similar values who are working towards one common goal, treating each other along the way with a mutual respect.









It Never Rains In California- Unless A Family From Seattle Is There For Spring Break (Northern Cal Pt 1)



Napa Valley- one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Have you heard? They’ve been in a terrible drought. In the month of January they had .08 inches of rain and unseasonably warm weather.

The solution to a drought? Send a family from Seattle in desperate need of warmth and sunshine for a week’s vacation. The rain will follow.

Last year for spring break, we went to the Oregon coast. It looked like this all week:


This year, following a pretty dreary winter here in Seattle that has led me to nearly overdosing on vitamin D supplements and buying myself a “happy lamp,” I decided that heading further south was the solution.

Funny thing-in the weeks before we arrived in Northern Cal it was warm. Two days after we left, the city of San Francisco, known for it’s foggy mornings and cooler temps, hit 80 degrees. The day we got there? High of 56 and raining. The highest temperature the entire week we were there? 60 degrees.

It’s a gift.

My kids didn’t really care though. There was a pool and a hot tub, so they were in it. Rain or shine. In fact, one morning they came back from the hot tub and I asked, “How was it?”

“Painful,” Parker answered.

“What do you mean?”

“The hail hitting me on the head hurt really bad.”

Jeff said, “At least you have hair to protect you.”

Plus- we are from Washington- we aren’t afraid of a little rain.

Thankfully our first full day was dry. The rain was supposed to come back the following day, so we decided to make the most of it by packing in a bunch of outdoor activities.

First up- California’s version of Old Faithful- the Calistoga Geyser.


The nice thing about this geyser is that it goes off every 5 minutes, so there isn’t a lot of standing around waiting for it to happen. The bad thing about that is that after the second time, the fact that steaming hot water is being shot 60-100 feet into the air from deep inside the molten core of the earth begins to lose its impact.

Eh, there goes the geyser again.

We moved on.

This isn’t just a geyser, however, it is also a petting farm. I got pretty excited when I saw these signs. A guard llama? Fainting goats?! How exciting!


Here is the guard llama:


It appears to be guarding its spot under the tree.

How I imagined “fainting goats:”



These goats won’t faint.

100_0695 Photo courtesy http://tanoryland.blogspot.com/2007/07/sonoma-day-7.html

The goats did like to fight, though. As they butted horns, Jeff started yelling “Kumate! Kumate!”

Every time I got near the fence, these two goats would go at it again.

Jeff said, “They’re fighting over you.”

I said, “Yeah, I have that effect on goats.”

One goat kicked a baby goat out of the feeding trough causing it to fall in spectacular style. I shouldn’t have enjoyed that as much as I did.

I told Parker what happened and pointed at the goat that did it. Zoe disagreed, telling me it wasn’t the same goat.

“Well all of them look the same.”

“That’s racist.”

“I can’t be racist against a GOAT!”

So after about an hour at the geyser/farm, including a picnic, we were done. We weren’t scheduled for our safari tour until 4, and it was only about 1. We decided to go to the petrified forest.

Me: We need to turn on Petrified Forest rd. Parker do you know what petrified forests are?
Parker: No
Me: It’s when old wood turns so hard it’s like rock.
Jeff: Like What Cialis does.

So we toured the petrified forest. That took about 45 minutes. We still had a lot of time to kill, so we drove back to the resort, spent 15 minutes playing ping pong and pinball. (Just call me the pinball wizard.)

We headed back up the hill to Safari West. http://www.safariwest.com/

I have to say, this was probably my favorite part of the whole trip.

While I’m not a pet person, I love seeing the exotic animals. Our guide was entertaining, and I think the kids really enjoyed the experience.

You take a giant old jeep reminiscent of Jurassic park to tour the grounds. There is one bench seat on the top as well.

Some of the animals come right up to vehicle.


We saw wildebeests (“I’m so hungry, I just gotta have a wildebeest”), Water buffalo (“everybody’s got a water buffalo, yours is fast but mine is slow”), rhinos, antelopes of all sorts.


1538638_10152322173749089_7200453269321392577_n1483401_10152298275599089_1019736696_n Zebra!


Oh my it’s a giraffe!

If you’ll notice, in the background of the giraffe picture, there are cabins that can be rented for overnight stays. I can’t imagine how cool it would be to go to sleep with giraffes and zebras wandering around outside your door.

After the driving portion you go on a walking tour. There is a bird sanctuary area that is filled with some of the most colorful birds I have ever seen. One of the cranes thinks she’s a person, and likes to interact with you while on tour.


1965015_10152298275459089_1048692922_n Parker wasn’t so sure what to think of this.


This bird was not a fan of mine:

1897880_10152298291814089_1316944513_n“Whatchu lookin at?!?”

And then proceeded to do some sort of mating dance/fight sort of thing.

As the tour came to an end, we noticed that people were streaming in to the courtyard from the cabins. Apparently they do a nightly barbeque for those who are staying on site. We were hungry, and not allowed in, so we headed into Windsor to look for something to eat.

We ended up at Johnny Garlic’s, one of the restaurants owned by local celebrity chef Guy Fieri. The other option was his BBQ/sushi fusion restaurant. We figured this to be a safer bet.

When the kids menu arrived, I found it pretty amusing that all of the activities were Guy-centered: color in the picture of guy, see if you can answer these questions about Guy, draw your own face on an outline of Guy’s head.


The food was okay- interesting for sure. They were out of fries, though, which seemed weird for someplace that serves fries with nearly every meal. I got something called “volcano chicken” which had some sort of spicy sauce. We had ordered appetizers of deep fried artichoke hearts and mozzarella sticks with pepperoni inside of them, so by the time my food came, I was feeling a little gross.

One of Guy’s kids attends the same school as Jeff’s niece, and we hear that the Guy on TV is the Guy you’d meet on the streets of Santa Rosa. Love him or not, at least he’s genuine to who he appears to be.

We had a pretty full day for our first official day in Northern Cal. The rain was coming back, though, so the plans for the next day were going to have to be indoors…

In the next blog- Parker takes on the streets of San Francisco.











Parenting- It Sucks When You Know You’re Sucking At It


First, let me say that I am not writing this so that those who read it can tell me I’m wrong, reassure me that I’m a good mom and not to be so hard on myself. I don’t really want to hear that. Sometimes, you’ve gotta cop to what you’ve done, and how you’ve screwed up, and deal with the fallout. Sometimes it’s time to be real.

I’ll be the first to admit it- I have made a lot of mistakes as a mom. A LOT.


Some of those mistakes are from trial and error. Some are from personality flaws of mine. Some are from not understanding that just because 4 kids are growing up in the same house, doesn’t mean they should be parented the same way.


I was unkind to my daughter today.


I didn’t mean to be, but before I knew it, things were coming out of my mouth that made her feel terrible. As I have sat here thinking about why I said the things I did, much of which was truth contained deep inside the ugly delivery, I know that the root of all of it is a deep love for her and a fear and frustration with myself that I haven’t parented her in the right way, I haven’t given her all the tools she needs to succeed in this life. And I don’t mean just financially, I mean to be a whole person, a self- reliant person, one who is unafraid to face the world. I know that it’s mostly my fault. I know that I have no one to be angry with but myself.

I’ve had this strange parenting style that is a combination of fierce love, wrapped in a prickly outer shell. I’m not a soft parent. I’m not good at affection or affirmation. (That’s not just in parenting, that’s in my life in general) I thought if I was too soft, my kids would be wimpy, unable to deal with the harsh realities of life. So I taught them to “suck it up.” Be tough, so you can’t be hurt. I’ve been teaching survival at it’s most basic, with no path to thriving.

In the back of my mind, I feel guilty for not being softer, for not being more nurturing, so I give leeway where I shouldn’t. I do more for them, instead of requiring them to do for themselves. (Currently I am in a battle with myself over whether or not I’m going up to Zoe’s room to put her clothes away for her. She’s 10. She’s perfectly capable. And yet I feel compelled to do it. ) I feel guilty when I ask them to help, even if what I am asking them to do is clean up their own messes! So I often do it for them.

Somehow I have managed to raise kids who can suck it up and not cry when they fall and scrape their knee, but don’t know they’re perfectly capable of getting themselves a Band-Aid.

I have created independent thinkers who aren’t independent doers.

I have inhibited their personal growth in an attempt to assuage my own parental guilt.

Somehow I have never quite figured out how to balance encouragement with expectations, discipline with self discipline, nurturing not through coddling, but through creating opportunities for self sufficiency.

It probably doesn’t help that I have four very different personalities (The kids, not mine. I only have two), at 4 different stages of life and development. As a result, I am often all over the place with how to handle each child’s needs.

I’m harsh when I should be kind, enabling when I should be fostering self reliance, distant when I should be engaged. I have been lazy instead of proactive.

I do for them to gain love and respect, and then wonder why they are uncertain about which steps to take. In doing for them I have undermined their ability to build confidence in themselves.

When I don’t understand where they are coming from, I lash out in frustration, and then require less than nothing from them as my penance for losing my temper. “How can I ask them to clean their rooms when I just hurt their feelings? I’ll make it up to them by doing it for them.”

I do it not to hear the complaints. I do it because I am tired of having unfulfilled expectations. I do it because deep down, I feel I owe it to them as an apology for all of my failures.

I’m no dummy. I see it all for exactly what it is. I have read enough books to know that the greatest way to build self confidence in a child is to help them learn to do for themselves. Somehow I have emotionally bought into the idea that I am showing love through doing things for them, even though my head knows it’s simply not true. The greatest way to love your kids is to help them develop healthy personal habits, self-control, self discipline and a sense of responsibility for themselves and their community.

I just can’t seem to figure out how to get that idea from my head into my parenting.





I Managed To NOT Crash The Family Truckster. This Time.


I meant to write this yesterday, I really did. However, yesterday I was a walking zombie. I had about 45 minutes around 1230 where the caffeine kicked in and I was able to function, but in general, I was pretty useless.

Today I’m still in recovery mode, but I have high hopes for getting things done.

We got back late Saturday night from a 9 day trip to Northern California. Notice my use of the word “trip” and not the word “vacation.” Vacation is what I call what I will be doing next month when my hubby and I head to Vegas for 6 days of eating and lounging by the pool in the warm sun with a book in one hand and a cocktail in the other. THIS was a trip.

In the coming days I hope to get my thoughts together enough to recap the entirety of our trip, but for today I will tell the tale of the car rides; 30 plus hours of driving with three kids in the back. I know what you’re thinking: isn’t that supposed to be a 12 hour drive each way? You would be correct.

We took two days to drive down to California. Our initial plan was to leave Friday morning, get to Ashland, Oregon by the afternoon, and have a nice relaxing evening. Instead, we found out that Zoe’s crush’s last day of school was Friday, and Nathan had some sort of presentation due. (Honestly, what teacher schedules a presentation for the Friday before spring break?)

We decided to leave after the kids got out of school. Leaving at 130 on a Friday afternoon sounded reasonable. We envisioned missing Seattle traffic, perhaps dealing with a bit of Portland traffic, but still getting to Ashland by about 9 or 10.


We hit traffic north of Seattle, and it didn’t let up until we got south of Olympia. What had taken me 75 minutes the weekend before to drive to Zoe’s soccer tournament, took over 3 hours. The rain was relentless. The drivers were skittish. We didn’t get to Portland until 7 PM.

Because Jeff has a team that works events in Portland, and it’s part of his market, he knows the area pretty well. He often stays just off the Jantzen Beach exit, which is right past the Columbia river (the river is the demarcation of the boundary between Washington and Oregon.)

The following is an excerpt from our conversation about where to stop and eat:

Me: Can you think of a place in Portland to eat?
Him: Hooters
Me: They don’t have good food do they? I mean if you ignore the boob factor is the food any good?
Him: I can’t ignore the boob factor.
Me: You have to. I need to know if the food is worth it if you take out the boobs.
Him: I tried to take out the boobs. They don’t like that.

I made an executive decision NOT to take the children to Hooters for dinner. We ended up at BJ’s instead.

You can only imagine the amount of innuendo in that conversation.

We didn’t get to Ashland until nearly 1 AM. We had waited 25 minutes for a table at BJ’s, and then had a leisurely meal. Halfway through, we both realized we had made a colossal mistake. My realization came when I googled how many miles it is between Portland (the northernmost city on the I5 corridor  in Oregon) and Ashland (the southernmost) and calculated the number of hours it would likely take to get there.

You might be asking, well, why didn’t you just stop earlier? That would be a reasonable question, however, I had already booked and paid for our stay at a hotel in Ashland the week before.

The next morning we had the complimentary breakfast, wandered the town a bit (It’s a very cute town, I recommend visiting) hit a Starbucks and hit the road. We got a late start again, but we weren’t in any hurry.

Saturday’s drive was pretty uneventful, until we got to the area where you get off of I5 and get onto HWY 20 headed to Clearlake. At first it was scenic. And then it was torturous. That was one of the most winding mountainous roads I have ever been on. There is no shoulder at all. There is either hillside or cliff edge. I had to roll my window down because I was starting to feel car sick. The next day when we were discussing sights to see, I made a firm stand that anything we went to do would not include going back on that road. We talked with friends who live in the area about the road, and they say they will usually take the longer more southern route to I5 to avoid traveling that road.

So when the day came to finally leave and head back home, I was thankful that I was taking Jeff to Sacramento, thus avoiding the road from hell. He was flying out of Sacramento to head to a conference in Vegas, and I was driving the rest of the way home with the kids.

We left the resort at about 930, and spent the next hour trying to find a Starbucks that wasn’t inside a Target or a grocery store. Preferably one with a drive thru and easy on/easy off access. In our area, that’s nearly every exit. Turns out the wine country isn’t that way. I was becoming desperate, knowing that my caffeine addiction has rendered me a slave to a morning cup of coffee. I know that if I don’t have caffeine by 11, I likely will develop a headache that will last all day. With a long drive ahead of me alone with the kids, I was starting to panic.


We finally found one, and all was right with the world again.

By the time we hit Sacramento, we were ahead of schedule, and I was still contemplating ambushing the kids with a trip to Sutter’s mill.

Jeff had entered the info for the airport into my Nav, and we saw the signs to the airport. We were close. And then the directions told us to get off at J street, which I thought was a bit strange, because that was the exit I had taken to go to downtown Sacramento for a conference several years ago.

“Don’t you think it’s strange that it’s taking us into this residential area?”

“Yeah, sort of. But I put it in, so it has to be right.”

I looked at the destination that was entered. It said, “Sacramento air… Quality management.”

He had started typing Sacramento airport, and the only thing that came up was this place. He didn’t look closely. It was taking us to a building in the middle of downtown.

We pulled over and he looked at his phone map. He about flipped his lid.

“It says we are an hour away.”

“That’s not possible. It’s the Sacramento airport. How can the Sacramento airport be an hour away from Sacramento?”

Turned out his phone still thought we were in Napa.

After we got back onto the freeway heading north, I remembered that I used to see the airport all the time when I would drive from Southern Cal to Washington every year. He didn’t think that information was helpful at that point.

We dropped him off with plenty of time for his flight, but as I looked at the directions to Sutter’s Mill (south on 5 for 9 miles and then east for another 30) I decided to scrap the gold mine and see how far north we could get.

Within about an hour, we passed through the spot where I rolled my car 5 years ago on our move back to Washington. I had been driving, as Jeff had already gone ahead of us to Seattle, and I had all 4 kids with me. We walked away with barely a scratch. This was the first time I had driven through since it happened and I felt my anxiety level rise in my chest.

caraccidentJan 2009

The accident had happened at night, and we were driving on a beautiful sunny day. It was difficult to exactly pinpoint where it had happened, because during the day it looked so very different.

The weather on Saturday was so nice, the first really nice day of the trip. It was perfect driving weather, and I had my music going, singing at the top of my lungs all the old classics.

We made a couple quick stops, but we were making great time. At our second stop, I calculated how long to get to Portland and the idea started formulating in my mind that we could make it the whole way. I brought it up to the kids, and they were all for it, particularly Parker, who was thrilled at the prospect of having a whole day at home before having to go to school on Monday.

We stopped off for dinner in Salem, Oregon at about 730. I could have made it to Portland (barely) with the gas in my tank, but Zoe had to use the bathroom, and it seemed like an easy place to stop. After getting food, I drove across the street to the gas station. Nathan got out to get something from the mini mart. I hopped out, swiped my card, and suddenly heard a voice behind me saying, “How are you doing tonight?”

My first thought was, “I’m being approached by some creepy guy begging for money or preying on women.”

Then I turned around and saw that it was the gas station attendant.

“Oh my gosh! I forgot I’m in Oregon!” I yelled. He looked quite startled. “I forgot. I forgot I’m not supposed to do my own gas. I’m sorry!”

He said, “It’s ok, you can do that part.”

I looked at the screen and said, “I don’t know what to do now.”

He stared at me like he was unsure if he was dealing with a lunatic.

“How much gas do you want?”

“I need it filled up.”


I got back in my car. The attendant walked over to another car.

Zoe said, “He looks like Chris Brown. And he just checked you out.”

“He doesn’t look like Chris Brown. And he did not.”

“Yes he did. You were looking down at your phone and he looked over here at you.”

“He was probably afraid I was going to jump out again and start messing with the nozzle.”

After the gas was done pumping I drove over to pick Nathan up in front of the store.

I said, “I forgot we are in Oregon. You’re not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon. I think I freaked the attendant out.”

Zoe said, “And he LIKED it!”

I laughed, “He did not.”

Zoe said, “He did too, And he looked like Chris Brown.”

“He did not. I think he might have even been Hispanic.”

Parker chimed in, “He’s Chris Brown because his name is Chris and his skin is BROWN!” And then burst into a fit of giggles.

Nathan said, “That’s racist. What’s wrong with you people?”

Parker whispered loudly, “You have a date with Chris Brown at 7! Don’t be late!” Everyone started laughing.

I chuckled, “God help me if I was single and you people were trying to help me find a date.”

About 15 minutes later, it started to rain. Up until this point it had rained maybe a total of 5 minutes all day. Within seconds it went from nothing to a complete and total downpour. I was driving in the far left lane, and suddenly I had zero visibility. Zero. That is not an exaggeration. I had my windshield wipers on the highest setting, and still I could see nothing. I began to panic, because, well, I couldn’t see the road ahead of me, and there were cars behind me. I slowly made my way over to the far right lane. There was a huge amount of water already pooling on the roadway. I figured anyone who wanted to go fast in this was welcome to, but I was not that girl.

I started to notice that part of the problem was that my windshield wipers were smearing. While the rain was heavy enough to require the highest setting, I actually had more visibility at the second highest setting because it wasn’t smearing the whole time. That was not my favorite time to figure out that I need new windshield wipers.

After about 10 minutes of white knuckle driving,


the rain eased up and I could start to breathe again.

As we traveled through Portland, however, we had another very close call when a car, going way too fast, tried to cut over without enough room, nearly hitting a car and the FedEx truck in front of us. Zoe, Nathan and I all shouted at the same time. “WHOA!”

That could have been very bad for all of us, especially considering that part of the freeway is a very high overpass.

I held my breath as we crossed the bridge back into Washington. I hate crossing bridges. Once we were on the other side, I felt like I was going to cry. I had made it through that scary rain squall, survived a near catastrophic collision and I was tired, but at least I was in the same state as my bed.

Unfortunately, that was not the last of the rain. That part of I5 is two lanes on each side with a median in between. As the rain picked up again, coming down in heavy sheets, I found myself in the spray zone of a giant oil tanker. Between the water coming down from the sky, the water coming up from the road and the spray coming off the rear wheels of this giant rig, my less than useless windshield wipers could not do a thing to help me. If I stayed behind the truck I was getting sprayed. If I stayed to the left of the truck, I was getting sprayed.

I attempted to move past him, and instead of helping me out and letting me pass, he sped up, so that I was completely getting covered in water. I tried again, same thing happened. I was terrified and frustrated and pissed off. I didn’t know what to do. Finally, on my third attempt to pass, I got through. The whole time I was praying “Jesus help me!”

I flipped the guy off as I went past. I know, Jesus isn’t happy about that part. But Jesus had a handle on the whole “making water do what he wanted it to do” thing.

Soon I was upon another truck, this time a two-trailer semi. Nightmare.

how I feel when passing a semi

I made several attempts to get past, and once again, the truck would speed up as I tried to get through. There were moments when I thought, “I’m not going to survive this.” I’m not exaggerating.

I’d like to take a moment and say, I appreciate truck drivers. They move stuff around so that I can have it. They drive in dangerous conditions, long hours, with little sleep. I get that. I do. But for the love of God, could you guys please remember that you are giant compared to our cars. Just because you drive in these conditions all the time, doesn’t mean we do. Driving fast through the snow and/or rain, kicking up water onto our windshields, and then not letting us pass, well, those are just dick moves. You don’t own the road. Since you’re the experienced drivers, perhaps you could make it safer on the road for the rest of us instead of more dangerous. Thanks.

Eventually another lane appeared, and I moved over. Having that lane separation made it possible to pass. I began to mutter, “I hate this f’ing rain. I hate it. I’m moving. I can’t live here anymore. I am so done. Done. D O N E. Done with the rain. Stupid state with your stupid rain.”

The rain began to ease around Tacoma, and then the rest of the drive was dry. By the time I got near my house, I had decided I deserved a treat for making it through that harrowing drive without dying or killing anyone. I stopped off at McDonald’s just after midnight and ordered a hot fudge sundae with nuts. When I got up to the window to pay, the kid working said, “Hey, so, we’re out of nuts.”

I stared at him, blinking, attempting to keep my eyes from tearing up.

“Of course you are. Fine. I’m sure I have nuts at my house I can use.”

I must have looked as much the disaster as I felt, because the look he gave me was similar to the gas station attendant, only a little more frightened.

So, 4 near-death experiences (5 if you include the almost-scuffle over the gas nozzle with the (not really) Chris Brown lookalike) in one day. Luckily, the sun is shining today. It’s pretty much the only thing preventing me from putting my house on the market and running away to anyplace where it is sunny most of the time. Rain is only romantic in the movies.

I guess I’m staying. For now. But I think I’m pretty close to hitting my limit. Pretty darn close.