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Hot Mess Moments

by Jill McKinney, 2023

Ever have those days when you wake up and think, this is not my life. This cannot be my life. This is not how I pictured things would look at.

this stage. First of all, I pictured myself thinner. Much thinner... and, somehow, just smarter. Future me was very happily married to a very

handsome man who thought that I hung the moon, a man who appreciated my subtle quirks and found my wit captivating. I was

independently wealthy and only had to work outside the home if I felt like it. The bills were paid, my children had grown into well-adjusted, productive adults with lovely families AND homes of their own.

Reality is a bitter companion.

As you can guess, my current life resembles exactly zero items in the above run-down. Not going to talk about the weight, draw your own conclusions, and after 50 something years, I'm still not quite sure how to properly fix my hair. And I'm single, single, single, so very single. Sigh. My incredibly intelligent son lives with me still (thank God he doesn't have a family because they'd probably be living with me, too.) After this wretched lock-down, post Covid nightmare I'm not only NOT independently wealthy I'm working multiple jobs and side gigs to survive.

Does any of this sound familiar? We all have our Hot Mess Moments... for some of us, they last years. But let's just decide to keep going and seek out the amusing side of it all. Hopefully this little corner of you will give you a brief break from your reality and you can laugh with me at mine.

I was pulled over the other day... isn't that one of the worst moments when you look in the rear-view mirror and see those lights behind you and think, "surely, he's not pulling ME over." And you hope against hope that when you very cautiously signal right and slide into that far right-hand lane, the officer will speed up and zoom past you in hot pursuit of someone really breaking the law. Alas, he stays behind you and you face reality, that bitter, always present friend, and pull into the next available driveway.

This is where I sat when the officer cautiously approached my driver's side window. Faithful to his training that there was the chance that I was going to pull a fully loaded Glock from under my seat and start blasting away, he stayed just far enough back to be able to beat a hasty retreat should such a barrage ensue. Smiling pleasantly, he asked me how I was doing today. I smiled pleasantly back and said I was doing very well, that is until he pulled me over. He nodded knowingly and kindly accepted the driver's license I extended as a peace offering. He informed me, in a fake shocked tone, that he had clocked me driving 48 mph in a 35-mph zone. I was incredulous... oh how could this possibly be?? He smiled as he retreated to his vehicle presumably to discover how many states I might be wanted in , and I was left to contemplate how many more Door Dash deliveries I was going to have to make before I got this ticket paid off. It was going to be a lot.

After giving me sufficient time to reflect on all the bad choices I had made in my life that had gotten me to this place, he sauntered back up to my window. He had good news. "Ms. McKinney, I'm just going to give you a warning today. Yes, you were speeding but you were actually going with the flow of traffic. You were just unfortunate enough to be at the back of the pack where I could catch you. I would highly advise you next time to be at the front." I promised with all my heart I would indeed strive to do as he advised.

So, my friends, we may not always feel like we have it all together, but we are in good company. We all have our Hot Mess Moments... I say we go big or go home - let's try to stay out in the front of the pack.

Until next time,

Jill McKinney is a contributing writer for Global One Magazine

Ella Patterson, Publisher & CEO

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