Of Hail Storms and Humiliation

The worst of Wednesday evening’s hail storms centered around my office building. There was severe damage, broken windows and headlights, debris everywhere.*

In a review of the damage this morning, some of the guys I work with mentioned that their wives’ and/or girlfriend’s cars were damaged pretty severely, too. What surprised me was the anger these men felt when their justified warnings to pull the cars under covered parking or overpasses went unheeded. There were lectures and yelling and arguments.

And then they asked for my opinion. I replied that “the correct response is ‘It’s going to be OK, honey. We’ll take care of it.'”

Oh, the outrage!! You would’ve thought I had started torturing kittens at the office.

So, for the record and since I didn’t get a chance to complete my thoughts (because, God bless them, these guys were RIGHT!), here’s my reasoning:

Women are not children. And when stuff like this happens, we women are completely capable of accepting that you men were right about moving the car. We are even cognizant of the fact that our hesitation, distraction, or whatever, has cost our family – in both time and money needed to repair the damage.

Furthermore, when this kinda thing happens, we already feel like absolute crap. It’s bad enough that we could have prevented it; it’s worse when you lecture us. We don’t need your criticism or anger to know not to do that again.

But here’s the real issue: you want to protect us and fix the things that are broken, and you are frustrated when we unintentionally undermine those efforts. That’s why your women came home in tears, guys. Not because the car got beat up, but because she knows that you will be disappointed AND you’re going to let her know about it.

So, dear guys, let it go and don’t worry that if you don’t say something it’ll happen again. It probably won’t. And ladies, please listen to the man. He knows what he’s talking about.

*I made it home before the storm hit, but only just. Our car was parked in the garage and remains undamaged. This story is not about me or Handsome. Just wanted to be clear.


This week is the last week of our fiscal quarter. I’d say it’s bedlam over here, but I hit my goal (106% on Monday) already. I’m kinda chilling out, while still trying to reach that magical 115%.

Anyway, in the spirit of every sales management team everywhere, they’re bringing in food like we’re starving children from Africa. Lunch every day, snacks in the afternoons. And of course, there are the new coffee machines. So between the caffeine, meals, and sugar and the panic to close business, everyone in the building is completely strung out.

And it’s only Wednesday. Morning.

Should I tell my colleagues that chocolate-covered raisins and York peppermint patties do not a complete breakfast make?

Mushroom Sauce for Steaks

I found this amazing recipe in one of my French cookbooks, and I use it every time we grill steaks. You might also enjoy it.

1 cup red wine (I use an inexpensive table wine like Beringer Merlot or Barefoot Cabernet)
1 cup beef broth (I use Swanson’s low sodium, but the choice is yours)
generous pat of butter
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (go ahead and pick up the “clean and ready” box, you’re worth it)
1 minced scallion or 1/4 minced white onion (optional . . . I usually just leave it out)
minced parsley (2 tsp dry or 2 tbsp fresh)
1/4 cup heavy cream
sea salt
fresh, ground pepper

Here’s how it works:
Combine the wine and broth in a sauce pan. Cook on high heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Don’t let it burn!* Set aside.

In a sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions (again, optional) and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are golden and the onions transparent and all the mushroom juice is evaporated. Add the parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for a minute or so. Add the wine/broth sauce and stir it all together. Just before you’re ready to serve, add in the cream and stir till combined. Serve over grilled steak.

* I totally cremated a sauce pan last night, and you can’t imagine the smell. Avoid this.