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I bet I’m not the only one who sometimes gets a little anxious or jumpy – impatient even – while waiting for something.  Or someone.  I’m a mostly good-natured person, but I find my patience continues to wane the older I get.  Hmmm, I wonder how I’m going to behave when I’m elderly…Lord willing I live that long.

On Saturday I forced myself out of bed a little earlier than usual.  I’m heading out of town for a few days later this week (woohoo…road trip!) and I knew my car was overdue for an oil change.  I also had a spa appointment later that afternoon – hmmm, maintenance time for both my car and me, too funny!  I knew I needed to get the oil change out of the way first thing, otherwise there was a slight danger I’d procrastinate getting it done yet again.  I know very little about cars but I DO know ya gotta change the oil regularly.   Thankfully I use synthetic oil so I only need to change the oil twice a year.

Now, if there ever was an evil vortex where time slows to a painful crawl, it’s at Jiffy Lube.  And no offense to the nice people who work there, for they are very friendly and personable and do their best to get customers taken care of quickly, but for me I’d rather scrub my bathroom floor 10 times with a toothbrush.  I just DREAD waiting for my car to be serviced.  I feel like a complete sitting duck stuck in a frozen moment of time.  And for a while now they have had these windshield repair guys who “piggy back” and inspect each car’s windshield while it’s getting serviced.  I think they are sub-leasers or something like that.  So not only do I have to sit and wait for my car to be serviced, but I now have some other dude trying to sell me on getting the tiny rock dings and chips in my windshield replaced.  It just feels creepy and weird to me.

Typically I bring a magazine from home to pass the time, as the reading material provided is usually not very appealing to me.  This time I’d forgotten, even though I put the latest Marie Claire right smack on my dining room table near my purse so I wouldn’t forget.  Oh well…thank goodness we have phones, right?  I checked out stuff on Facebook, texted a few friends and even immersed myself in some email newsletter reading.  For the last couple of years I’ve been reading and dabbling a little in learning about Arctic/circumpolar issues – climate change, the indigenous peoples, environmental issues…just a tiny taste to intrigue me and dream of a future trip to Svalbard.  I read through the latest University of the Arctic newsletter and mentally escaped from the dreary orange and brown Jiffy Lube waiting room.

Before I knew it, my car was ready to roll!  I’m so glad I saved those newsletters in my email – I’d considered canceling my subscription as I never seem to have time to read them but I definitely won’t now!  I got the car radiator flushed and filled too – they said it was overdue per my car’s guidelines and I figured OK what the hell, couldn’t hurt.  My car is a champ at 13 years old and I know it’s going to continue to need a lot of care to get the most out of it for as long as it’s worth spending the money to do so.  And I remember one of my brothers (the one I bought this car from) telling me, “Take good care of your equipment and it will take good care of you.”  Makes sense!

I called L out of the blue yesterday, probably while out on the road running errands.  I have a new Bluetooth headset so I’ve been calling people a lot from the road to get feedback on the audio quality and volume as I get used to it.  So far I’m very impressed.  And it even announces when I have a new text message and will read it to me!  How cool is this?  I hadn’t heard from L in a while and I figured he was probably super busy with work – which is great!  Turns out he was on business in Chicago and was planning to fly back the next day (today) and asked if I would pick him up at the airport.  We planned on grabbing lunch somewhere and just getting caught up.

Evil time-slows-to-a-painful-crawl-vortex Exhibit B:  The Sea-Tac airport cell phone parking lot.   My God, if there ever was a sign of how times have changed with air travel, this is one of them.  I’m old enough to remember my folks driving me to the airport just to go watch airplanes take off and land – no kidding!  So fun!  And when air travel meant dressing up.  Even my youngest brother at around age 5 was in a suit and adorable little clip-on tie when we’d go visit relatives on the east coast or on family vacations.  This was the late 1970s, by the way!

The last time I was in the cell phone parking lot was…oh man…over a year ago when I was picking up the guy I was dating at the time after he’d been in Australia for two weeks.  What a difference a year and some makes!!  Now here I was – with that issue of Marie Claire I’d forgotten to bring along for the oil change – waiting for my guy BFF’s flight to arrive.  If you have not yet read my post about L and me and how we got reconnected after a gap of several years you really do need to check it out here.

Every woman needs a wonderful, straight male friend in her life.  L is gold to me.  He opens up and shares the most mind-blowing and amazing things about who he is and what’s going on with his life and his passions, dreams and goals.  I feel so honored to be a safe place for him to be able to open up like that.  I know how different men and women are…as women, we thrive on deep, emotional connections and revealing a lot with each other right away.  With men it’s very different…the warrior is wired to instinctively conceal, not reveal.  ‘Tis true!

One of the things I love about L is how so spontaneous he is.  He helps me lighten up (I tend to be a planner and envy those who just fly by the seat of their pants).  When he asked if I was hungry I said YES and we talked about where to grab a late lunch as I sped us back up the freeway toward Seattle.  As I was parking my car he noticed my extremely dusty dashboard and playfully wrote “dust me, bitch” and his name.  Hilarious!  OK, OK, I get the point…the car dashboard is dusty!

We ended up at the Hale’s Ales Pub in Seattle.  It’s right in between the Fremont and Ballard neighborhoods.  And WOW, the memories here run deep.  I’d not been to this place since probably the late 1990s.  I was living in the Magnolia neighborhood and working downtown, commuting by bus.  Oh how I miss those days sometimes.  Anyway, a lot of my co-workers became pretty tight friends back then, and we were always hungry for a new spot to go out to eat and drink.  We pretty much LIVED at Hale’s once we discovered it.  And now fast forward 15+ years, here I was with L.  It was just how I remembered it!

And I must have been hungrier than I thought…L chose a Reuben sandwich with Jo Jo’s, and I had a small cup of smoked salmon clam chowder (LOVE this stuff – L grabbed an extra spoon and tried some too), a burger and a small Caesar salad.  Polished off with a damn good Bloody Mary for me and a Holsch beer for L.  I sure won’t need a full dinner tonight!

L told me all about his Chicago trip – seeing his parents, client visits, potential new business, etc.  He also wants to get back to work scraping the popcorn ceiling in my townhouse – a hellacious, messy, laborious project if there ever was.  He’s a saint for helping me.  He wants to get back in the gym regularly and even asked me, “so when are you going to get back in shape, fivenineteen?  You’re a beautiful woman.”  I blushed and said thank you. Just to put this in context, L and I first met about 8 years ago when I was, well, 8 years younger and about 35 lbs slimmer, after a 6-month journey of lots of walking to drop weight.  Long story, but life goes on and the pounds creep up.  Playing hockey once a week does not do the trick for me.

Maybe I’ll make a vow to myself to start hitting the gym again this summer while it’s their slower season.  Oh wait…it IS summer…it’s July 1!  No more excuses.