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The Few, the Proud, the Marine Who Turned my Day Upside-Down

NovellaSometimes Novella can be a little b…rat.

I do a lot for the girl. To be quite honest, if it weren’t for me she wouldn’t even be here. I try to deal with her nonsense and take it in stride, stand by her and help her to keep moving forward, but sometimes I just want to tell her to shut her back-talking mouth and go to her room and sleep for a day or two.

She sleeps a lot, actually.  Far more than most kids her age.  She never seems to get enough, though.  Not to the point where I can look her over first thing in the morning and say, “Yes, she’s well-rested and ready to jump into the world!”  She always seems to need just one more hour- maybe two- heck, why not half the morning?  I’ve got laundry, committee-work, grocery shopping, gift-buying/making, house cleaning nothing to do.

My morning started with a delightfully tense disagreement with Novella over breakfast.  She was having one of her entitlement episodes and complaining about when I ought to get the groceries.  Needless to say I left the house in a rant-ready mood.

I was driving along my normal route and looking out for Lincoln Town Car, my nemesis, just waiting to catch him doing something I could really sink my teeth into.  Instead I ended up behind Pah Pah, a grandfather and a marine (at least that’s what his license plate indicated).  I didn’t mind driving behind him in the least because he clearly knew how to drive on a one-lane, 45mph road, and did not feel it necessary to slow to a crawl when a blonde jogger young enough to be his daughter something caught his eye (three guesses as to who would do such a thing…).

After awhile the road opened to two lanes (it does this only for a short distance) and something amazing happened.  Pah Pah moved aside to let me pass him.  I wasn’t even riding his butt or anything, and he wasn’t even driving that slowly, but he moved aside anyway.  Regardless of your feelings on the military, I think we can all agree this man is a gentleman of the highest caliber.  Honestly, this is like the guy opening the car door for you on your first date.  No, it’s definitely better.  It’s like open the door, take your coat for you at the crazy expensive restaurant where you order off a private menu with a decadent ice cream and chocolate specialty dessert thrown in and then put your coat back on you when it’s time to leave and open the car door again before whisking you away to dance all night (up to you how you interpret that last bit).

And I really needed that today because I was horribly late getting out the door and it was all but certain I wouldn’t make it to class on time.  This small, selfless act, so void of all that LTC is full of, restored my faith in humanity, and in my ability to handle it.  I got Short Story (another work in progress) to The Professor on time, and didn’t even mind her disdain over how unsatisfactory (in her view) my progress has been in developing the little rascal (okay, I minded, but I didn’t let the minding last).

And wacky, lovely things continued to happen all day…

the coupleI went to Sam’s Club and got the closest possible parking space to the door, a nirvana I have never previously experienced.  While shopping I watched a 50-something in years but 20-something at heart couple rummage through a display of Axe products to make sure they found the one he uses.  He.  Uses.  He had blue hair, a tattoo on his forearm, looked pretty trim and was decked in black jeans with crosses on the back pockets and a black button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up just below his elbows.  It’s possible he was wearing Chuck Taylors.  She sported a short crop with a faux-hawk that was home-tinted red, lots of eye makeup and a black leather jacket.  And a tiny powder blue change purse.  I loved these people.  See?  Faith in humanity.

When I got home I discovered a new truck had pulled up to work on a rental property across the street.  A decal on the rear window read, “HOME IS WHERE THE RACE IS.” Be still my heart.  I almost approached the guy and said, “You’re a runner?  So am I!  I love racing!” which is totally not like me.  I do not, as a rule, talk to neighbors.  I didn’t today, either, but I thought about it.

I also actually got to run today, in perfectly chilled weather, with no stopping at crosswalks, breathing fumes, dodging glass and/or roadkill, or horn honks (okay, one honk, but that was during the walk from the busy main street to the subdivision street, and it’s another weird ‘n wacky tidbit because that’s never happened to me before, either) because I discovered a subdivision route that suited me wonderfully.  I finished before dark and only got barked at once (by a dog, no human barking today).  On my way home I almost freaked because some large, winged creature- owl, hawk, or other such- swooped from one tree to another directly in front of my windshield, and then showed up in the treetops of my neighborhood as I walked to my front door.

This is what the windshield encounter looked like from my POV (though without the dangling raw bait, baseball bat, and SWORD- what the f…).  And the creature only flew past once (if you’ve got time to play Entice the Hawk in your backyard/upstairs window all day, surely you can set aside a little editing time?  Six takes sounds sufficient to me, but what do I know?  I can’t even tell a hawk from an owl).

Some days are like this, I guess.  I told Novella all about it but she was too wrapped up in her own melodrama to take much notice.  That’s okay.  She probably just needs a good night’s sleep.  I’m sure she’ll appreciate it more in the morning.

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5 thoughts on “The Few, the Proud, the Marine Who Turned my Day Upside-Down

  1. You’re too funny! I love the description of the couple at the store and how it restored your faith in humanity. Also enjoyed the account of seeing the runner at the rental property. I had the same sort of elation when I saw a “26.2” sticker appear on the bumper of a neighbor I’d lived near for 3 years and never spoke to. Did I approach her? Of course not! Neighbors are scary and we don’t talk to them! 🙂 Eventually we spoke and now run together often, so perhaps it’s worth speaking up to the neighbor? Also, are you sure you and said truck driver are thinking of the same kind of race? Could be embarrassing if he means NASCAR…

    • Hahaha I thought the same thing!! In my neighborhood that is a distinct possibility- however I saw no additional NASCAR indicators (well, other than living in this neighborhood), no checkered flags or other such, and the guy had a traditional runner’s “look,” if that means anything. Of course I could still be totally wrong. I may have to find out…your story gives me inspiration- though I don’t know how my other half would feel about me running with another guy!

      Thanks for your kind words on the post- I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! I just love having other runners (and writers and ranters- no favoritism here! {Whew! That was close! Can’t afford to lose any followers NOW}) to chat with and learn from. Thanks for reading!

      • Oh yes, definitely ill-advised for the sake of the other half! I agree, it’s great to share our stories, and great job being diplomatic. Followers are good!

  2. I was definitely entertained by your post. You have a way with words. I am a lover of running too, been doing it for over ten years and it is still the one of the best things in my world!

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