"We need to do this more." - Us.
We live a mile from the Pacific Coast, and we find ourselves rarely taking advantage of it, especially during the winter months. Just like everyone else, we get wrapped in our lives and the stresses each day can bring. We talk about stress as if most of it is out of our control. I feel we get set on auto-pilot-mode, letting others dictate our decisions. The emotional toll that stress brings allows us to get lazy. It is easy to sit on the couch after a day at work to watch something mind-numbing, order some food from whatever food-delivery app has the best deal of the day, and pass out. Our laziness can be a vicious cycle.
I had a rare Saturday night off, and instead of going to a happy hour somewhere, getting tired, and crashing on the couch, Jamie and I decided to do a beach picnic. I raced home from work and kicked off my shoes - exchanging them for my flip flops - and we rolled down the hill to the beach in our comfortably converted VW Vanagon. There was almost no one on the beach, so we picked a spot to spread out and enjoyed the sunset. The summer breeze was coming in from the sea, and the sounds of the ocean crashing down on the sand played softly in the background as we dug into our dinner.
It is nice to put the phones down and have a conversation. I love technology as much as anyone; however, unplugging can help clear your head and get back to the scenery around us. Beauty is everywhere; you don't need a beach picnic to realize it - not to say that it doesn't help. There is always something beautiful around if we take a second to notice it. As the sun set and disappeared behind the Santa Monica mountains, I almost wanted to clap as if a band had just finished their encore.
We stayed on the beach for an extra few minutes to finish our drinks and snap a few photos; not a bad little Saturday night. We both committed to doing this more often. If I could, I would eat every meal on the beach. Take a second to see if you can find something worth pausing and admiring today.
It might just change your mood.
“Of course, I drive well, haven’t I driven you mad, already!”
While newly acquired marital bliss was offering us doses of magic and surprise, sharing every single thing was turning out to be a nightmare. Well, at least that is what my husband shall agree as giving me his beloved SUV for a drive was definitely nothing less than a big trouble.
With little history of driving and absolutely no experience on a SUV, as I looked forward to this task, my husband was struck between beloved wife’s demands and beloved car’s care!
Yet, I am sure every married couple on this earth shall agree that my husband had no choice at all. As he agreed to be an instructor in my subsequent driving adventures, he must have hoped to buy unlimited stock of patience from anyone wanting to sell it.
After endless discussions and arguments about my driving skills, when I actually sat behind the wheel, I hoped for verbal help from him as it was easy to transfer the blame.
Asking him to stop his guidance as I knew my job and blaming him for not helping me out when I needed it along must have confused my poor husband every single time. Though I made endless efforts to stay calm, dragging him into trouble seemed to be embedded within my system, possibly as one of the many side-effects of marriage.
Though I always drove carefully, my husband was never able to appreciate my efforts. Labelling it as over-confidence, his determined stand to hunt for mistakes became one of his habits.
While I relax and enjoy when travelling on the passenger seat, my husband never gets the same kind of opportunity. With eyes glued on the road and mind occupied in mental driving, I am sure he finds my job as a driver more tiring than his own chance at it.
As if all the drivers on the road conspire with my husband and form one single team, I always find it unbelievable when he picks my mistakes, defending every other driver around. While I am on the driver’s seat, they seem to communicate with my husband, sympathizing his bad luck.
A cocktail of funny, serious, happy, sad all my driving adventures so far have brought me closer to my husband’s endless patience. While as per wife’s code, it is impossible to appreciate him openly, I look forward to many more moments with his beloved SUV. Finally convinced of my skills, be it driving a car on the road or driving him mad at home, my husband has accepted few of the side orders of marital bliss.
“Hold on hubby, there are still many more to follow."
Jamie and I were sitting at the bar enjoying our time off together when I heard "Hey, can I buy you a drink?" I turned to see a petite girl standing there.
Another great night of playing music was in the books. We played the Santa Monica pier overlooking the beach, waves and Malibu. We had finished our set and were done loading out our gear. Everyone was heading their separate ways as the night winded down. I still had an open tab at the bar so Jamie and I decided to stay for a drink before we headed home. While we sat to watched the next band finishing our drinks a red-lipped, 20-something bar-girl approached us and asked to buy us drinks. "Hell yeah!" I said without skipping a beat. Jamie looked confused and the girl picked up on it. "I work for Bud Light and we are out sponsoring a new promotion. You guys look adorable so enjoy!" And she scampered away as fast as she had appeared. I, already perusing the beer list, found myself an IPA and Jamie shrugged and ordered a Bud Light.
We finished the drinks and we were about to close out to head home. Bud Light girl reappeared again like a beer-fairy-god-mother. "One more on us for these two!" She said and handed us free coozies and blue, Bud Light sunglasses. "One thing though, can we get a picture of you two and possibly ask you a question?" She asked as I replied with, "If you're buying I'll tell you whatever you want!" Throwing on the sunglasses and striking a pose for their camera guy. As it turns out I guess they are running a promotion for summer bucket lists and wanted to know if there was anything crazy that we wanted to accomplish before the end of the summer. “Damn.” I replied “You going to be here for a while? I will need to think about this.” My mind exploding with options of insane things I could do with Bud Lights money funding it.
Buzzed Summer Bucket List Bar Brain Storming Session:
- Play drums with Motley Crue and then convince them to let me join the band.
- Skydive with Jay and Silent Bob.
- Fly Jamie and I’s family out for an all expense paid trip to Disneyland.
- Go to space.
- Lunch with Mel Brooks.
- Lunch with Dave Grohl
- Lunch with the cast of Can’t Hardly Wait.
- Lunch with Hall and Oates.
- Lunch with Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox discussing their lives and then go play bass for Blink 182 at an arena…where they ultimately ask me to join the band.
My drunken brain went with the last option, as I thought this was the most feasible, as we ran to find the Bud Light girl. They did a video recording of my wish on some tablet and submitted it to their database. “Yes. Score. Totally having lunch with Dr. Emmett L. Brown.” I whispered and we staggered away feeling victorious.
Remember, if someone asks to pick up your bar tab, always let them.
I wonder if that tablet video is online somewhere?