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What's with everyone on the roads? No one's paying attention! I made "excuses" for everyone during the holiday season, but that's now over. To be honest, it seems like ever since the coronavirus started; people have forgotten how to drive.


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So, why did you make excuses for them during the holidays, but not now?


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Because during the holidays everyone's preoccupied with, well, the holidays. And everything that entails. That's why I call it the "silly season."


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So, you do not think the pandemic has caused people to be distracted?


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Of course, it has. But you'd think they could focus on driving when they're driving.


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So, before the pandemic, did people focus on driving? Or, did they multi-task? Were they also talking on their phones, texting, or some other non-driving activity? My personal favorite is always grooming – whether shaving or putting on mascara while driving.


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Luckily, I've never seen that but you can tell when someone's doing something else as they keep glancing away from the road. And I always find that alarming. It's an accident waiting to happen. I'm surprised there aren't more fender benders.


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Oh, there are plenty. I have had two different people run into the back of my G-wagon.


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I didn't know that! But that vehicle's huge and formidable, so it's not like they can claim they didn't see you. Forget the car, I can only imagine the wrath they faced dealing with you.


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Only the first time. I was driving near the Texas Medical Center and a woman ran into the back of my G-wagon. Luckily, it was more of a rolling stop than a hard hit. I got out of my car ready to read her the riot act, but before I could say anything she broke down into tears. In between sobs, she explained that she had just left the hospital and her husband was seriously ill.


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That's awful. What did you do?


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I was more concerned about whether she was able to drive than the minimal damage to each of our cars, so spent a few minutes talking with her. The point is sometimes people are preoccupied for legitimate reasons … and we have to cut them some slack.


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Absolutely. And what about the second fender bender?


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I had already learned my lesson, so got out of the car and calmly asked him what happened. It was a beautiful day, yet he claimed that he did not see me.


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Well, that wasn't the right answer!


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No kidding. But, since I was starting from a place of calm, I laughed and said, "How could you miss me? Oh, never mind, that was obviously a rhetoric question." And then, traded insurance information.


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Little did that man know how easily he got off. And I'm not talking about the damage to his car …
Photo by Dave Bolton on iStock

It's a little thing – just three letters – that can make a big impact. At least, it has for Red. Ok, that may sound like a bit of an exaggeration. But the reality is that once "discovered", it can be used in many ways that you may wonder how you ever lived without it.

For Red, it all began years ago when she turned to Black looking for time management advice, and Red, in her usual fashion, could have kept the email stream going on and on (rather ironic given the topic). Black, running out of patience, but knowing that Red can be overly sensitive (trust us, that's an understatement), simply ended her email with "EOM."

Black figured that would get a response but hoped it'd ultimately reap long-term benefits. As expected, Red was clueless about what "EOM" stood for, not even sure whether it was an acronym, abbreviation, or technical term, so when she questioned Black, she called it "alphabet soup", although she was pretty certain the "M" stood for money …

EOM = End of message. Internet slang so that emails or IMs or text messages do not go on needlessly. If used properly, they can increase productivity so you do not continue to babble back and forth. If it used in the subject line, it means the message does not even have to be opened; i.e., there is no message other than the subject line.

Even with her love of blah-blah-blah, Red immediately "got it", loved it, and agreed that EOM made a lot of sense, so immediately started using it. Not only with Black, but with other people, who, she discovered, started using it.

So, now that you've read this post, all we can say is … EOM.

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Photo by mevans on iStock


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Did you know that April's Autism Awareness Month? I wasn't aware (pun intended) of it until I read our local homeowner's monthly newsletter and it caught my eye.


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Actually, last month the founding organization, the Autism Society, changed "Awareness" to "Acceptance" to foster inclusivity, as knowing about something is very different from accepting it. But I am guessing that is not the point of this call.


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Although it isn't autism, it reminded me of years ago when we found out that Natasha has learning disabilities.


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I think you mean DIFF-abilities.


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Of course, that's another thing I remember. I was focused on the negative aspects of her diagnosis until you asked me, point-blank, "Why are they called disabilities?" And proceeded to explain that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.


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Exactly! Imagine the world if everyone excelled at math, but flunked English. Or, a world of lawyers, but no musicians. Some people are better at social skills, while others excel at handling technical data. Why not just say that people who have different skillsets and abilities have DIFF-abilities versus making them feel like they have shortcomings?
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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Well, the Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was over a month ago, but I still see plenty of articles about it. It's really "stirred up" things in the Royal Family.


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Well, I guess it put "a bee in the royal bonnet." Although, I would not believe everything you read. Right after the interview, I read several articles suggesting the monarchy should end with Queen Elizabeth. I cannot imagine that happening.


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Oh, that isn't anything new. It's been going on for a long time; there was even talk of it when I lived in England decades ago. All the interview did was further encourage those who are already advocating it.


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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, but as I said in our Banter Bite, Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment, the Royal Family does seem to have "issues" in terms of race relations and dealing with mental illness. I can understand why people are questioning whether the monarchy, with its "old-fashioned" traditions and beliefs, is still relevant.


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But it's not like that's the only place those issues exist. Just pick up a newspaper, turn on the news – it's everywhere! Unfortunately, the Oprah interview put a very public face on it – The Royal Family, or The Firm, which is how the family and institution refers to itself.


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Who nicknames themselves The Firm? It sounds like a Netflix series, but with less class than " The Crown."
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