I’m out of town on business, and I’ve been gone since Sunday. Oh, how was my flight, you ask? My flight was delayed due to a mechanical issue, which is always especially lovely on a cross-country flight, and I arrived in San Diego around 1 a.m. Silly safety, and pilots refusing the plane!
So it was about 1:30am when I got to the rental car counter, and of course the lady behind the desk said, “We’re out of compact cars. We can give you a minivan. Complimentary upgrade.”
It’s amazing how many times I have this exact same conversation at different car rental companies all over the country. It is the middle of the night and I really want to take whatever conveyance I can find to a bed, but this is not going to happen. I am 26 years and childless for a reason, people; I’m just not ready for the minivan.
“That’s not an upgrade,” I say with a smile, every time. “Do I look like I should be driving a minivan?”
This time, I walked away with the keys to a shiny black Mustang convertible. I was too exhausted to bother putting the top down, though. However, it did take me quite speedily to my bed, so it’s a good conveyance. (Who are we kidding? It’ll be a blast this weekend)
The writing story I wanted to relate is from before I left, though. MJ and I are clingy, like socks fresh out of the dryer or, well, newlyweds who in 2+ years of marriage have spent more time apart than together. We spent all the time we could together before I had to fly out, including a Last Nice Dinner (For Three Weeks) at 1905 in D.C. Because he loves me, and therefore humors me endlessly, we spent a good part of dinner discussing a) cats and b) writing. MJ spent about two minutes a year thinking about those subjects before we met, but it’s okay… he likes it now.
My incredibly pragmatic husband said something very sweet about my writing, even if it was offered with a certain brick-like delivery.
“I realize the odds are against me as a writer,” I said. “There are a lot of talented writers out there, and statistically speaking, it’s not the most promising career field.”
“I’m pretty confident you’re going to make it,” MJ said. “I think anyone who analytically considered your chances would come to the same conclusion.”
(I think the couple at the oh-so-swankily-close-table besides us, between our long discussion of our cats’ eccentricities and this conversation, were beginning to roll their eyes over their bread basket and jalapeno-honey butter, but we are what we are.)
“Yeah?” I'm always interested in a more detailed discussion of my qualities.
“You’re not just talented, but tenacious and dedicated and thoughtful about your work,” he said. “If I didn’t think you were going to be successful, I wouldn’t encourage you. I wouldn’t discourage you, but I wouldn’t encourage you.”
“You’d want to see me put my efforts into one of my other schemes.” (I have many, many things I’d like to do with my life, enough to keep me busy into my three hundreds or so; writing remains my most fervent passion, though). “Like my real estate projects.”
“Exactly,” he said.
It gave me a truly warm and fuzzy feeling, although it might not sound that sweet to a passer-by (or someone squeezed into the Ambiance besides us, trying to decide between the rack of lamb or the pork loin with a sweet potato brulee). My practical husband analyzed me, my talents and my writing, and he decided my writing stood a chance in a ridiculously competitive world. He even takes his stand by letting me lounge on the couch with my laptop, typing away, and calling it “work”, right down to supporting my Starbucks habit and often bringing me blankets, post-it notes and soft drinks as required.
I love that man. And I love that he believes in me, and through me, believes in SHARDS OF GLASS and THE GODDESS OF VENGEANCE WORE PINK GALOSHES.
Tell me about your support network, if you'd like. Who keeps your confidence up? Who believes in you and your work?