Today, is our first excerpt Lite Whines and Laughter: Mild Rants and Musings on the Mundane, the third book from author Lee Gaitan. The book is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats. Follow Lee on twitter and visit her website LeeGaitan.com
If you like your optimism served with a side of snarkiness, this is the book for you. Lee Gaitan is a recognized “Bounce Back” expert (unless she’s not wearing eye liner, in which case she often goes unrecognized), known for looking on the bright side and finding the silver lining in dark clouds. But sometimes the best way to part the dark clouds and discover the sunshine is by way of a mild rant or musing on the myriad irritations of modern life. With Gaitan’s wit cutting through those clouds with razor-sharp accuracy, readers will find themselves on the sunny side of life again in no time.
Lee Gaitan is the award-winning author of two books, including the Amazon #1 Bestseller My Pineapples Went to Houston–Finding Humor in my Dashed Hopes, Broken Dreams and Plans Gone Outrageously Awry.
Lee is a wife, mother, teacher, writer and speaker, but above all, she is passionately committed to overcoming life’s obstacles, surviving sometimes by the skin of her teeth but always with humor and optimism. She wants to share that with others and encourage them to do the same.
Lee has gone from rock bottom moments in 2002 or as she refers it the “year of shock and awfulness.” That year, her father died, her mother was in the hospital, semi-comatose from grief, and her husband of 22 years lost every penny of their money BEFORE running off to Arizona with his girlfriend, who just happened to be a former stripper.
She spent the next decade struggling with loss and challenges on every front, from finances and family to health and career. While there were many bounces up and down over the years, she finally bounced back and it was well worth the effort. Happily re-married, she lives with her husband and dog in suburban Atlanta where she divides her time between speaking, writing, teaching and keeping tabs on her tri-continental family
I teach at a nearby college from 9:00 to 12:00 on weekday mornings. After class, I leave school and head off to tutor my private students. On Wednesdays I have a very short window of time to get from campus to my student’s house. As a concession to my tight schedule and the need to eat and drive at the same time, I have allowed myself the once-a-week treat of a drive-thru Egg McMuffin at the McDonald’s on my route. (Before the lectures start, let me assure you, my PMS days of jonesing for a monthly French fry fix are far behind me. These post-menopausal days the only other Mickey D’s item I can order in good conscience is the oatmeal—which, although quite yummy and at least theoretically healthy, cannot be eaten while driving.)
Due to the antics of an out-of-control lunatic with no regard for traffic laws, human life or even (gasp) grammar rules, my recent midweek McMuffin deteriorated from treat to trauma. First of all, the traffic flow of the parking lot is very clearly marked as one-way. To enter the drive-thru line, one must circle the building and queue up. One MAY NOT drive up the down staircase, so to speak, and cut into the drive-thru line, heading off those customers who are rounding the building per the rule.
It was at this precise juncture that I encountered the lunatic. Just as I was about to take my rightful place as the next car in line, she came vroooming into the parking lot against the flow of traffic, her engine running hot enough to sear every Big Mac from here to Brazil. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, thinking perhaps she was fleeing the clutches of a tyrannical despot or possibly the casting director for a proposed The Real Housewives of Hazzard County. For her safety and that of the pedestrians in the parking lot, I waved frantically to warn her not to proceed in the wrong direction. She not only barreled on, she suddenly swerved so sharply to the right I thought her left tires would lift right off the ground. With this move she effectively cut in front of me in the drive-thru lane!
Before I had a chance to react to these heinous breaches of drive-thru protocol (besides slamming on my brakes, that is), she started blaring her horn at the white minivan ahead of her and then lowered her window to shout, “Move yer ass!”
The poor woman in the minivan hung her head out the window and asked with genuine bewilderment, “Where do you want me to go? I’m in line and there are two cars ahead of me.”
“Then me and him are gonna move yer ass for you!” the lunatic bellowed.
And that’s when I felt compelled to act. Drive against the flow of traffic and cut me off, fine, but I will not stand for grammatically incorrect ranting! If you’re going to curse someone out for absolutely no reason whatsoever, besides the fact that you are an irrational imbecile, then for crying out loud, get your subject and object pronouns straight! How far have ranting standards fallen these days anyway?
As I hit the “down” button on my window, the nut job, without warning, pulled her car out of the line and gunned it onto the highway. The lady in the minivan and I just exchanged shoulder shrugs and head shakes.
Although the unexpectedly abrupt ending to this episode felt a little anticlimactic, it was probably better that my grammar showdown never materialized. If Mayor McCheese had come out to referee under the scorching midday sun, he surely would have suffered a messy meltdown. And then the peoplein the drive-thru lane would have been blaring their horns at me—not at I—for delaying their orders while I dutifully scraped up His Honor’s sticky buns from the hot pavement. Next Wednesday, I’m packing my lunch!