Yes, Virginia, there is a difference between Lee Highway and the Leesburg Pike.

Greg and I are transplanted Yankees, doing our best to navigate our little patch of Dixie here in Northern Virginia. Despite Greg's truly impressive internal GPS, sometimes the South takes revenge. This past weekend, we set out on a jaunt to investigate a mega-sale on patio furniture. After an hour passed, Greg realized we were on the wrong road. (To my credit: I had no navigational duties. Full confession: if I'd had navigational duties, we would probably still be driving).

Baby C voiced her displeasure at being cooped up in the car seat, but the call of the patio furniture was strong, and we persevered. We found the right road, only to discover that the store moved but hadn't updated its website or Information with its new address. Because of the mega-sale, it took 15 minutes on hold before we got through to someone at the store (who told us that the new location... was across the street).

We straggled into the store, sweaty and smelling like Burger King (which we don't usually eat, but when our errand somehow morphed into a road trip, we applied road trip rules). We gazed silently at the collection of fire pits and giant umbrellas that stretched as far as the eye could see.

Baby C was hungry, and clawed at my shirt like a little monkey. Greg asked to hold her so she would cover the ketchup stain on his shirt. At that moment of complete and utter dishevelment, I heard someone exclaim, "Elizabeth?"

I blinked. Slowly, the wheels turned. The woman with the neat blonde ponytail was a former colleague from my old law firm. She's still practicing. Her perfect husband and adorable son stood by. All of their shirts were stain-free and neatly tucked. Former Colleague laughed, "We just happened to be driving by when we saw this store - we're looking for a little bistro table. What are you up to?"

I'm still not sure how I should have answered that question. On any level.


  1. I needed a laugh Elizabeth, thank you. (And maybe they had stains on the inside of their clothes!)

  2. You've got to either laugh or cry, right?


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