While my husband is on an eating tour of Texas (also known as Visiting His Family), I am the family chauffeur.
Really. I’ve been all over. In the past two days, I have driven:
- Son to work
- Daughter to trick-or-treat at friend’s house
- Youngest son to friend’s house
- Son from work
- Youngest son from friend’s house
- Other son to work
- Daughter to birthday party
- Daughter from birthday party
- Son from work
Shockingly (not), I haven’t received a single tip or payment from any of my passengers.
None of my kids drive yet and, yes, that skill is way overdue. Soon, hopefully, soon, they’ll be driving, too, though, of course, that involves its own set of issues.
Today, after I dropped my daughter off at a birthday party, I decided to make the most of my freedom and so I headed to Marshall’s to celebrate by browsing the discount merchandise. After shopping, I headed back to my car and found an older woman standing near the trunk, gazing around with that look I recognized. She could not find her car.
She held her key fob like a divining rod and I paused and she said, “I can’t find my car.” I said, “What does it look like?” and she said, “It’s white.”
Well, so is every other car in Southern California (except for mine). I said, “Well.” Then, “What direction is it pointed?”
We stood shoulder to shoulder, peering at the white cars. I offered to drive her around the parking lot so we could check every white car–she looked frail–and she said, ” No, but if you could just stay here. I get anxiety and I know I parked here by Sally’s and I shouldn’t have even come–I’m not feeling well at all–but I wanted a refund.”
I said, “What about that white car?” I pointed and said, “Let’s walk that way and check. Click your key and we’ll see if the lights go on.” I took her hand and we walked a few feet and heard a the familiar “beep” of a car being unlocked. We both said, “I hear it!”
So, we walked a few more steps and then I said, “Click it again” and she did and it was coming from the right, not the left where we’d been headed. I turned and saw the flashing taillights.
“There it is!” I walked her over to the car and she told me she’d been having so much stress–she’s moving from a two bedroom into a one bedroom, but the two bedroom hasn’t sold yet and she’s signed paperwork for the one bedroom and she’s not feeling well at all and I said, “Are you going to be okay driving?” and she assured me she was driving straight home.
And I almost hugged her–she struck me as the kind of lady who needed a hug–but instead I just rubbed her shoulder and said, “Drive safe, okay?” and then I left her.
I prayed for her as I drove away and hoped that she got home safely.
Getting old is not for the faint of heart, especially in a parking lot full of white cars.