There aren't many moments in life when the planets align properly and the right conditions fall into place and you get to take care of business exactly the way it plays out in your mind. Sure, I have moments where I can be very quick-witted and think of great things to say without a blink of the eye...but it seems like whenever I am frustrated or upset, I always fumble (until about 20 minutes later, once the moment has passed me by and I'd just look pathetic).

Well, today, I decided to take my Mom to Valle Crucis to go to the original Mast General Store. We've been to the one in Asheville and I recently visited Valle Crucis and was immediately taken by the beautiful surroundings.

Most of the drive there is a 4-lane highway, but once you move away from Boone, the road narrows down to 2 lanes. I was stopped at the stoplight where this narrowing occurs. The right hand lane becomes a right turn ONLY lane. As soon as the light changes, this SUV come careening around me on the right and immediately cuts me off. Of course, my first thoughts were about what a jerk the driver was. But as I drove on, I realized he was most likely going to the Mast General Store too. And as I prepared to turn into the parking lot, he in the SUV directly in front of me. He parked really far out and took quite a while to get out of his car. I headed towards the shop behind the main store, with my mom and kids, but made sure to get a good look at him. I wasn't going to let this be another instant that just slips away from me.

Once we entered the main shop, I wanted to go ahead and get my confrontation with this man over with. So, I made a beeline as soon as I saw him. My Mom says it happened way faster than she expected! I approached the guy and said, "Hey, listen, I just wanted to tell you what a good job you did with your driving back in Boone. You know, when you illegally passed me on the right from the right turn lane you were in, jeopardizing the well-being of all parties involved? And it got you here SO MUCH FASTER than me! You were right in front of me as you turned into the parking lot here..."

Around that time he started to make excuses, something about how when he approached the light....blah blah blah....honestly, I was in the blind rage mode, so I don't remember looking at him or what else he said. I cut him off and said, "No...just no." I was about to explain that there was no excuse for breezing through an intersection from a turn lane, but my Mom started to pull me away. (Apparently I was starting to get louder.) Honestly, the only excuses I would've accepted would have been that his brakes were out or he was on the way to the hospital...not driving like an ass so he could poke around an old general store. I finished my conversation explaining that I have precious cargo in my car and I am protective as a result.

There's a line in the film Heart and Souls where Robert Downey Jr. (whose body has been taken over by a ghostly Alfre Woodard) says something like, "Don't mess with me...I'm a MUTHA!!"

Yep, that's me.

I've been wanting to write a blog about driving for a long time. But I've always feared that I would come across like a crotchety, old fart. I really enjoy driving. I am a good driver (Charlie Babbitt). And I guess I just expect the others to operate with the same knowledge of driving that I do. I need to lower those expectations! But I WILL revisit's simply too late for me to get off onto THAT rant tonight!

(PS--When I got back to Charlotte, I had another Towanda moment. I have a neighbor who is perpendicular to me whose flood lights shine on my house like a spotlight from the Heavens. Makes going to sleep very difficult. I went to that house and asked them to please cut it off. I mean, really, point your lights towards your yard...not the neighborhood!)

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The Hopeful Pessimist

I realize that I am not always the most positive person. I can succumb to depression and frustration just like anyone else. Sometimes I fear I am too cynical and jaded. But on the flipside, there are all too many occasions when I hope for the best, feel optimistic and positive and just set myself up for disappointment. Dammit. Then I feel foolish for putting myself on that position. Hoping for the best in people and in life can seem really silly when you feel so beaten down by things.

I recently had an old acquaintance really get under my skin...wanting to chat for hours on end. Very persistent in wanting to meet up. It had been years since I last saw him. Obviously much has changed.

It's no secret that while I am generally a confident person, I have insecurities about my weight. Childbearing wrecked me! And whenever I'd voice my insecurities, I'd get responses about how we've all gained weight and how I have an excuse because I'm a mom.

Well, I guess it's all good in theory, because when we met up, I was met with tons of excuses about hangovers and the list (of like two things that just got repeated over and over) that he needed to do. When I left, he couldn't even pry the cell phone from his ear long enough to give a proper "good-bye".

Upon my return home I sent an email to clear the air and say it's cool, my weight is an issue...I get it. But NO reply. No nothing...just "defriended" on Facebook.

It's been a long time since I've been treated with such little care and such disrespect. The one thought I keep in my head is that I can always lose weight, but he'll be a lonely, superficial prick forever. (Who is a tad on the doughy side these days and could benefit from some tooth whitening strips, a toothbrush or a trip to the dentist...they look like corn, honey.)

Unfortunately, this incident has left me feeling bad. I'm leaning towards thinking that socializing online is not the best idea, but heaven knows I'm not going to get out and socialize where I live now. I had decided not to let this hurt my feelings, but it's kinda like when a little splinter, you didn't even know you had, gets infected.

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