Here I sit, on a dreary, rainy Monday morning, having had to call in to work and tell them I can't make it. No, I'm not sick...my truck is! I was all dressed, had packed lunch and a snack because it's a double-shift day for me, working both jobs, and as I turned the key in my truck...nothing happened. I waved my husband down as he was pulling out of the driveway. He drove back up and pushed my truck down to where he could park next to it, then he attached the jumper cables. Nothing. Still tells me, "Check charging system." Sigh. Called work a second time and told them they'd have to find a replacement for me, since even AAA's towing company can't promise more than they'll be here in a hour or so.
Thought about driving my oldest son's car, since he doesn't have to be at work until the swing shift, much later in the day. But woke him up and he confirmed the worst: no one is covered by his insurance to drive his car except him. And AAA was going to balk if he was the one to be here with my truck, because he's not a member.
Great! A truck just showed up. Bummer! He's already got a car on his
flatbed, and since my truck is 4-wheel drive, he can't just hook it up
and tow it, so he'll have to drop off the other car then come back for
So now, I've lost a day's pay, in addition to whatever it's going to cost at the dealership to fix whatever is wrong with my truck. Tow-driver thinks it's the starter. I take it to them for all of my routine maintenance, so hopefully it's something fairly inexpensive, which with vehicles, is a quickly sliding scale that only heads upward. We'll see. But these are the moments that make me hate being an adult. It was so much easier when someone else was responsible for taking care of emergencies for me. Instead, now it's my job and I don't like it! My kids have told me the same thing, at different time, when the weight of personal responsibility crushes them, making them wish they could punt their problems back to me again. But they're young adults and while I help when I can, they have to learn to do things for themselves. I do give them permission to dislike it as much as I do. And I remind them of my late father-in-law's sage words: "Insure everything and hope for the best."
This is the same kind of idea that we use in our books: throw a monkey wrench into someone's normal routine, then watch how they deal with the result. Of course we make the problems our fictional people are dealing with a bit more interesting than a truck that won't start. Having to lose a day's pay isn't exactly riveting reading, and I realize I've probably gone on more than long enough about it. But I've always told my kids that we can't choose the hand we're dealt in life, only how we play the cards. This applies to big things with lifetime repercussions, as well as the small stuff that merely aggravates for the short term.
That's why romances always end with the happily-ever-after part. If we're honest with ourselves, we know that the happy couple at the end of the book will have to deal with many things that will test their commitment to each other. Plumbing will back up, appliances will break, kids will act up, jobs will be lost, illnesses will crop up, and yes, vehicles will refuse to start. All of these things make up the reality of our lives. If we're honest about our fictional people, we know they'll have their own set of problems that will challenge them, making them disagree and argue out of stress and irritation, and sometimes they'll question what they ever saw in each other. As readers, we hope that they will remember what attracted them to each other in the first place, and they'll realize they truly do belong together for the long-term. Because happily-ever-after is possible even in real life.
Thanks for reading. I write contemporary erotic romances, with a couple of paranormal books tossed into the mix. In my books, my characters deal with stresses both small and big. They are spies risking their lives to help save the free world, and they're firefighters. They're therapists and they're vampires. They're living their lives, or undead existences, when suddenly, WHAM! They're faced with an attraction so undeniable that nothing else matters until they can connect with that person. And just when they think everything has been settled to their satisfaction, the unexpected occurs. Just like in real life.
Find out more at: http://www.fionamcgier.com
Important update: The problem was squirrels who were building a nest in my engine compartment! Almost $500 worth of damage! Tell me again how cute you think they are...no don't!