Wednesday, May 20, 2015

That Generation Gap Just Got A Little Bit Smaller

I was putting the dishes away, staring out the window, not really thinking about anything specific when I heard the first notes coming from the younger Boy's room.

I haven't watched this show in a very long time, but I immediately flashed back 20 yrs, to cleaning the apartment, with this on the stereo, afternoons at the lake, with this on the stereo, touring around 12 states on the honeymoon, with this on the stereo, and flopping on the couch every week, and enforcing the 'Thursday Night Rule'.

"No phone calls, and no visitors after 9pm, it's Thursday Night Lineup!!!"

Friends. Seinfeld.  ER.

Seriously.  If the phone rang after 9pm, it went to voicemail.

Every Thursday night, from the very first episode, we watched and grew up with the Central Perk crew.

They were in their mid-20's.  I was in my mid-20's, and although they were all still single and I was getting married and having babies, we connected.

I think it's safe to say that cast and that show connected with an entire generation.

And earlier this week, I think the generation gap in this house just got a little bit smaller, when I heard the F.R.I.E.N.D.S theme coming from my son's room.

I dropped the dish and cloth on the counter and knocked on his door, and opened it to find the show just beginning.

'You watch this now?' I asked with a big smile.

'Yeah, they were watching it at Joe's* one night, and I liked it.' 

That made me smile even more.

I don't know why it should surprise me that my kid likes a show I used to love.  It was a great sitcom.

It also made me a little nostalgic for a minute, for those long ago 20's and somewhat carefree days.

But ... if the tradeoff is now getting to sit on the couch with my kid, laughing at the FRIENDS cast, and hearing Ross whine, 'We were on a break!' together, I'll take that deal.

I wonder if he knows about Smelly Cat yet?  Must find that episode!


*Joe ... not his real name.  Of course.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

How Do You Fix A Broken Mind?

My latest column, in May's edition of The Laker ... 

How do you know you're losing your mind?

I don't mean a scenario where one day, you wake up and your mind completely snaps and you go on a murderous rampage for no reason, or you trap and eat your neighbour's cat for dinner, with a nice Chianti.

I'm talking about those times that you can't, for the life of you, think of the word you want to say.

I'm talking about those times that you're in mid-sentence, and have no idea where you were going with the conversation.

I'm talking about letting the dog out one night, and suddenly realizing you have no idea how long you've been standing there with the door open, staring at the stars, in the cold.

I'm talking about not being able to remember the name of the hair colour product, that you've used for over ten years.

I'm talking about reading the directions on how to cook something, getting to the stove, and having to turn around and read the directions again, because you can't remember what you just read.

I'm talking about the times your child says to you, 'Hey mom, remember the time when ...'  and although you reply with, 'Oh YEAH', and smile and nod, you silently realize you really have no idea what they're referring to.  And it makes you sad that you simply don't remember.

THAT'S the type of 'losing your mind' I'm talking about.

I have experienced every single one of these scenarios.

I'm 44yrs old.

Yes, I understand our brains change as we get older. We forget things.  It's a natural sign of aging, and the natural progression of 'getting old'.

But when should you start to worry that what you're experiencing is not only a natural symptom of age, but perhaps the warning signs of early onset Alzheimers, which affects people in their 40's and 50's?

My grandmother is 90 yrs old. Over the past few years, we noticed a drastic change in her personality.  Little things at first, like being forgetful, or not having a sense of time, or who she was talking to.

But now, it's full fledged dementia.  She has no idea where she is, she has no mobility, she can no longer speak, and she no longer recognizes her children or grandchildren, and won't accept affection from any of us.

While I love my grandmother dearly, I hate seeing her like this, and I worry.

I worry that given the issues I have with my own memory, I'm seeing into my future, and it scares the crap out of me.

I didn't really spend too much time thinking about my memory loss, until I recently watched a movie called, Still Alice.

If you have someone in your family suffering from Alzheimers, I HIGHLY recommend seeing this.

It was a fantastic movie, about a smart, professional, educated woman struggling with early onset Alzheimers, and her journey through it with her family. Someone who was considered 'young' and who was completely taken by surprise by the diagnosis.

As movies tend to do, it made me smile, it made me laugh, and it made me cry.

But it also made me think.

About myself.  About my future.  About my mind.

I'm scared. There.  I've said it.  I'm scared to end up in a chair, completely immobile, and unaware of my surroundings or my kids. 

I'm terrified of losing, myself.

And I'm scared that it's already started.

This morning, I was having a conversation with the boy, and mid-sentence, I couldn't think of the word I wanted.

This was not the first time this has happened.

I knew what I wanted to say.  I knew EXACTLY what I WANTED to say, but I just could NOT get that word to formulate in my brain, and come out of my mouth.

Perhaps I've just been thinking about all this too much lately, because I started to cry.  I didn't mean to, it just happened because I was frustrated, but I think it scared the boy.

And I don't want to do that.

So after he left, I got online.

I searched for 'symptoms of early onset Alzheimers'. 

And then I made a phone call, and booked myself into a free Memory Clinic being run by True North Clinical Research.

I go in three weeks.

I've never done anything like this before, so I have no idea what to expect.

They asked me a few questions over the phone to determine WHY I wanted to do this, and although they said that these types of symptoms can be brought on by stress, or even worry about HAVING dementia, they still thought I should come in based on what I told them.

I'm happy I made the appointment.  If nothing else, they will tell me how my brain is functioning in comparison to other 44 yr olds.

And I'm still scared.  I'm scared of what else it might tell me.

But I'd rather know for sure, what may or may not be going on in my brain, so I can finally stop worrying about it.

Breaking a bone, dislocating a shoulder, having a cold, even many diseases can be cured and fixed.

But, how do you fix a broken mind?

How do you fix losing yourself and the person you once were?

How do you hold on to the memories, that you feel are like grains of sand, slipping though that hourglass and the sand is running out, and you have no way to flip that glass to keep things flowing.

I don't want to be an empty hourglass. 

Photo by Salvatore Vuono and taken from

I'm terrified to find out the answers to these questions.  But I'm more terrified of doing nothing and not knowing.

So one way or another, I'm going to find out!

I suggest that if you have ANY doubt about your mental health, you should, too!

And with any luck ... I'm just getting old naturally, and the neighbour's cat is safe for a few more years, yet!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Judgemental Generation

My latest column in The Laker ...

My mother is a Baby Boomer. 

I'm a Gen X'er. 

My boys are Generation Z. 

There's also the Y, and Post War Generations, and I'm guessing many before that, which I haven't looked up the labels for.

Each generation has seen change, progress, and failure and each has experienced it's own joy and heartache.

But there's another Generation missing from this list. It hasn't yet been given its 'official' label, although it's been around for quite awhile, and gaining momentum every year.

It's a group of people that are an amalgamation of EACH of the most recent generations; Boomers, X'ers, Millenials, and Gen Z's. Not so much the Post War kids.

They have strong opinions, on a variety of topics, and are living in a time when the internet has made it possible to share their every thought, on every subject, and how they would have done things differently, and more importantly, better.

This, my friends, is the
Judgmental Generation.  And we're in it.

It's fine to have an opinion on something. And it's perfectly fine to express that opinion, and even disagree on opinions.  As long as it's done in an mature, rational, non-threatening way.  

It's possible to disagree with a person's idea, without attacking the character of that person in the process.  

It just seems that the more and more news stories I read online, that happens less and less.

We talk about bullying in our schools, but all it takes is to read the comment section of one 'controversial' story online, to see it runs rampant among adults also.

Yes, many say cruel and judgmental things, and hide behind their anonymity, but others really don't care if you know who they are, as long as you're hearing what they're saying.

People don't even necessarily read the story, let alone in it's entirety. They grab the headline, and then let fingers fly with beratement, calls for imprisonment, (or beheading/impalement/death depending), all the while stating how they would have handled the situation much better.

All of this came to a head for me personally with the story of the little boy in Ontario, who wandered outside during the night, and froze to death only feet from the door of the apartment building he'd come out of.

Of course my heart broke when I read that story.  I'm a mom, and a human being, and I have empathy.

My first instinct was to feel bad for the grandparents who were caring for him, and for his parents, who had to wake up to their entire world crumbling, through no fault of their own.

My first instinct was not to head to the nearest online news story, and try to crucify them in the comments.

ALL of them!  Not only the grandparents, but the parents, also.  Who ... again ... weren't even there!

That's what I mean by this Judgmental Generation.  Those who, instead of simply reading the article and thinking, 'What a sad story', and moving on, will say things like, 'Those parents didn't even deserve to have that child! And they should be charged' 


There was one comment I had to reply to.  I couldn't help myself. 

It was, 'Who lets a child that age walk around in the middle of the night anyway?'

Well, really, let's think about that for a second.  Nobody.  Most parents, grandparents, whoever is in charge of that child would have been asleep at 4am when the child wandered out. 

Why?  Why do people do that?

While someone is IN their moment of crisis, that's not the time to kick them. 

Yes, I know, there are internet trolls everywhere, and if you can't handle it, stay offline.

But I don't want to stay offline.  I want to be able to see that people can discuss societies issues without tearing each other apart. 

There's no need.

If you feel you're part of this generation, stop it.

And stop telling people how you would have done things differently.  There really is more than one way to do something, and yours, although YOU may think so, isn't necessarily the best.  Get over it.

So many people judging.  On your clothes, lifestyle, food choices, how you raise your kids.  It never ends.  And really, if you're living your life as a good person, not harming others ... none of their opinions matter.

But they're going to give it anyway.

You have to be a strong person these days, to survive this new generation. They'll rip you to shreds if given the opportunity, but thankfully, weaved in there among the judgmental, are the compassionate and kind and caring and helpful.

THAT'S the generation I want for my kids, and theirs, and yes, my own.

All I ask is just take a minute, and take a breath, and think for a second, before sending that comment/response/rant in that indignant, self-righteous, judgmental tone.  Is it really deserving?  No? Then don't.  Leave them alone and don't be that internet troll.

Don't be part of that Judgmental Generation.  

Let's all try and be a little better than that, for the next generation's sake.  

And our own.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thrift Shop Karaoke. Hmmm ... I Wonder If I Can Patent That?

I had the privilege of being part of an honest to goodness 'feel good' moment today.

One of those spontaneous occurrences that you happen to catch yourself in the middle of, and you walk away from smiling, thinking, 'That was fun/cool/nice and totally unexpected.'

I was in one of my favourite thrift shops, checking out the jackets, when all of a sudden I could hear the young guy working the counter turn up the radio, and ask the older lady who was there with him, 'Hey, is this that Mama song?'

I couldn't help buy smile, and in my head I replied, 'Yes, young one, that is Bohemian Rhapsody.'

'Yes, that's it.', said his co-worker.

He then turned it up just a bit louder, and asked, 'Is this uh ... Queen?'


That was it, I could contain myself no longer and popped my head out from behind the rack and said, 'Stop that! You're making me feel old!'

He just looked at me with a big grin, and started to sing.

He didn't know all the words, or even half of them, but that didn't stop him.

Or his co-worker from encouraging him!

And it didn't stop people from coming over from other parts of the store to check out all the commotion.

At this point, I had moved on to the jewelry, closer to his counter, but still across the aisle, and every now and then would help him out with the words by piping up and joining in for a line or two.

And JUST as he got to the 'Oh Mama Mia Mama Mia Mama Mia let me go ..." this dude with awesome dreadlocks walks in, stops just inside the front door, and takes in the situation.

He looks at the young guy singing, he looks over at me grooving and what does he start doing?  


Yes, at 'Beelzebub has a devil put aside for meeee, for meeeee, for meeeee...'

He's standing there, arms raised high, head thrown back, conducting.

And at the appropriate moment, what did the young guy, the old chick (me) and the dude with the awesome dreads do?

Oh yes .. you know it ... we BANGED those heads in unison!!!

And had fun.

So did, I think, the other shoppers who were trying to pretend they weren't watching. And the older lady, who was behind the counter with the young guy, laughing at us the whole time.

And then it was over.

And like a flash mob, the music went down and we went our separate ways.

As did the rest of the shoppers, who had been milling about.

It wasn't a flash mob, but it was definitely a moment.

One of those spontaneous, feel good moments where a few strangers came together, that I'm glad I jumped into.

Thrift Shop Karaoke.  Hmmm ... I wonder if I can patent that?

I'm going back on Thursday.

Everything in the store is on sale for $1 that day.

And we'll be doing Guns 'n Roses.  Paradise City.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

“Whadda Ya Mean You Don't Use A Cell Phone?”

If you hang out in the Korner, you know that I very recently started writing a column for my local newspaper.

If this is the first time you're hearing about my new gig, catch up, click HERE.

This is my second article for The Laker.  Enjoy!

I'll just be over here in the Korner, doing my happy dance!

Give me your number, and I'll text you.”

It's a phrase heard every day. It's become part of our 'modern language'.

The cell phone is the primary source of communication, information and entertainment for many people. If not for calling, they're used for texting, browsing the internet, sending email, taking pictures, video, playing games, and all kinds of additional features that the phone is equipped with, and most of us never attempt to use.

As a society, we tend to complain how today's kids are 'always on those phones!'.

But what isn't discussed (as much), is that there seems to be just as many adults who have their faces in a phone, as well.

You see them in a restaurant, store, coffee shop, gas station, almost everywhere. You can look around in any establishment and chances are you'll see someone on their phone.

People will walk and talk down the street.

Or worse, you'll catch people in traffic, hand to their ear talking or glancing down to finish that forbidden text message.

Because we all know it's illegal to text and drive.

And while I think they are essential in an emergency situation, and definitely a lifestyle convenience, I think they take away from our personal interaction and communication, and aren't an absolute necessity.

I'm not a big fan of cell phones. There. I've said it.

I was a late bloomer. Most everyone I knew had a cell phone before I did. I just didn't see the need, and as a single parent, didn't want the extra expense, until I was stuck on the highway in storm traffic one day, and couldn't reach the daycare.

I got a phone the next day.

I used my cell(s) for seven years. Mainly for texting, but also calling, games and pictures. I never really used any of the other features and I didn't browse the internet unless I could connect to wifi, because I didn't enable a data plan.

Eventually, one day, I put the phone down, and didn't use it anymore. And today is the one year anniversary of when I sent my last text message, and made my last call.

It wasn't really intentional. It just happened.

I didn't renew the 'pay as you go' plan when it ran out, which is the beauty of no contracts.

I simply decided one day that I was done. The always growing expense wasn't worth the convenience and entertainment. For me.

Both my teenagers have cell phones. They pay for their own minutes. They can always reach me when they need me.

Unless I'm out. And if I'm out. I'm out. You'll get me when I'm back. If it's an emergency, my kids always know where I'll be and would call the business itself.

Everyone else? Call my house, leave me a message, I'll get back to you, old school.

Has it been an inconvenience? Not very often.

There was really only one incident in the past year, where I could have used a cell phone to clarify where I was meeting someone. It would have saved 20 minutes of sitting at the wrong entrance.

But I don't think one major incident of inconvenience in a whole year is that bad.

No, my kids can't track me down at the grocery store to let me know we need milk, or that they want ice cream. But that's OK. The milk will have to wait until the next day, and they don't need the ice cream anyway.

Has it been liberating? Absolutely!

It's never a distraction while driving, I'm never interrupted during a conversation or a meal, I don't have to worry about forgetting to turn it off at public events and become, 'that person', and I don't always feel the constant pressure to get back to someone immediately.

Not everything has to be instant.

I understand that some people would rather not be technologically disconnected from their families this way, especially in case of an emergency. I get that.

I also understand that some may see it as not being a very responsible parent, to not be constantly available every single minute.

To those people, I simply ask them to think back to their own parents. Were they irresponsible people only because they didn't carry a cell phone on them at all times? I know mine were great parents, and neither carried a cell phone until I had children of my own.

And was I an irresponsible mother prior to 2006, when I got my first flip phone? Absolutely not. I believe I did a great job caring for my kids to that point.

Do I still carry the phone with me, to play games and take pictures? Sometimes!

Why not play Trivia Crack or Angry Birds (yes, I play Angry Birds), while waiting for the boy to get his hair cut, or what if I happen to catch that perfect shot, without a camera?

It can still be a free convenience, if you own your phone.

And most importantly, I want to have it for emergency purposes. It may not be active, but I can always dial 9-1-1 if I need to.

That, I think, at the least is responsible.

I get all kinds of reactions from people. Everything from surprise, to envy, to somewhat disapproval.

Whadda ya mean you don't use a cell phone?” That's the most common statement for me, that immediately follows, “Give me your number, and I'll text you.

I've gotten used to answering that question. Just like I've gotten used to going without the phone.

It can be done. It's not that hard. You just put it down, and don't pick it up again.


Go ahead. Try it. Liberate yourself. Even if only for a little while.

Unless, of course, you only need one more category to win that game of Trivia Crack, then go ahead and finish the game first.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's Not Like I Got The Shot Anyway

Yesterday I was at the right place, at the right time!

And then I ruined it.

They say that people are so caught up in getting that 'perfect' Facebook moment in a picture, that they aren't enjoying the actual moment itself.

As I was reading through the article, I thought to myself, 'Well, no, I do both.

I don't take my pictures specifically for Facebook purposes.  I've always been a photo maniac, from the time I was little, (and now I'm the chick who takes 500 pictures when I go to concerts), so in a lifetime of picture taking, I've learned to master enjoying the moment, and capturing it.

Or so I thought, until yesterday.

I was letting the cat out, mid-afternoon, and I stood on the deck for a minute to take in some fresh air.

Then I heard it.

It was like a rumble, coming from the back of the house, and it was getting louder, fast.

All of a sudden they came around the corner, a giant flock of birds that looked like a huge sheet flying in the wind. 

There had to be at least 50 of them. Probably more.

They all came to an abrupt stop, landed in my snow-covered hedge a few feet away with a big whoooooosssshh , and sat there.

It was amazing! They just appeared out of nowhere, at the exact moment I was standing there, and there were SO MANY of them, I couldn't help but just stare.

But only for a few short seconds, before the thought hit me, 'I've got to get a picture of this!', and turned and ran for my camera.

When I got back, they were gone.  All that was left was the empty, frozen hedge.

I cursed myself for running for the camera, and missing the moment they all took flight, because I think that would have been just as beautifully cool as their sudden arrival.

If I had stayed, and enjoyed them for only a few seconds more, I wouldn't have missed that moment.

And, it's not like I got the shot anyway.

Guess I haven't quite mastered both after all, so I'm glad I saw them for the time I did.

I have no idea what they were. I'm not a 'bird person'.

They were small, and grey and white with black (I think).  It all happened so fast, and I was so taken aback by their appearance, I wasn't really sure what I was looking at.  But I know they weren't crows or blue jays or cardinals or seagulls.

They might have been chickadees. 

Pic taken from here.

It was simply one of those unexpected 'nature moments' that leaves you going 'Wow ... that was really cool.' and unless you have a camera hanging around your neck at the time, forget the pic, stay and enjoy that moment, because in the next heartbeat, it will be gone, and you will have missed both.

Oh, and the next time you're reading an article on Facebook, or someone else's comment, and think to yourself, that you're not like that article, or comment ... careful ... Mother Nature may decide to call you on that.

Or Alfred Hitchcock.  Just sayin'.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

I Could Have Killed That Police Officer. I Came That Close.

There's a relatively new law (where I live), that came into effect in 2010, which states you must slow down to 60km an hour, and pull over into the lane furthest away, if there is an emergency vehicle pulled off to the side of the road.

I get it.  

I understand why the law is there.

We're all trying to avoid causing another accident.

But sometimes, following this law can actually cause the accident, as I discovered the other day.

Since the weather was finally cooperating on Wednesday and the sun was shining, I decided to go for a small road trip to visit the Bestie.

The double-lane highway was surprisingly good the whole way.

I wasn't speeding.  In fact, I was keeping it at an even hundred, so I was a little bit under the limit.

But on these roads, after the weather we've had, you just never know when you're going to hit a small drift in the middle of the lane(s), or black ice that sends your tires into a spin and your car out of control.

So I was simply keeping up with everyone else, and even managed to pass when I could.

Passing was easy, as long as you watched for the clean stretches.  But like I said, every now and then you hit an unexpected snow/slush patch, so passing was only attempted when necessary (coming up behind someone who was painfully crawling along), and on a clean straight stretch.

I may be a woman driver, but contrary to the belief of some, that doesn't automatically mean I'm an idiot when it comes to driving.

I'm safe and I pay attention.

I was about 10 minutes from Truro when it happened. 

I had come up behind a cube van, and ahead of that was an 18 wheeler without the box on top.  It still had the long trailer part on the back, behind the cab, just no box.

I looked around the cube van and saw the passing lane was clear of snow and slush.


So I pulled out to pass.

I got past the cube van no problem, and since the passing lane was still good, I kept going.

I had just started to pass it. Was maybe three feet or so past the very end of the truck.

All of a sudden, without warning, he started coming over into my lane.

You know those moments, when something unbelievable is happening, and you're thinking ... 'WTF?  Is this really happening?!?!?'

Yeah, it was one of those moments.

I looked over and despite the fact I was yelling, 'STOP!', ' STOP!' ... yes, it was really happening. The 18 wheeler was coming into my lane.

He was going to drive straight into the front of my car!

Did he not see me?

What the hell was he doing?

I immediately let off the gas.

Here I was, driving along, minding my own business, and all of a sudden I'm faced with the decision of letting an 18 wheeler slam into me, or run me off the road into the ditch.

Those were my two choices at the moment.

Instead, I went with option number 3.  The WRONG one.

When I saw the truck was REALLY ready to hit me, I panicked.

I admit it.  I'm an idiot.  I panicked.

I hit the brakes to avoid the crash.

Unfortunately, I hit the brakes at the exact same moment I was going over a snow/slush covered patch in my lane.

I lost control.

Everything else happened in a matter of seconds.

The minute I hit the brakes, I fishtailed, spun out and turned sideways.

When I tried to regain control, I spun out again, and flew out behind the 18 wheeler, into the right hand lane where he had just come from.

When I slid out from behind the truck, I came face to face with a police car, in the middle of the lane, and the police officer standing NEXT TO THE CAR in the middle of the highway.

He was not pulled over safely to the side. He was right in the middle of the freakin' road!

My heart stopped.  Literally stopped beating, I know it. 

Here it was, a gorgeous sunny morning, about 10 am, all was right with my world, and now ... I'm about to smoke a police officer standing in the middle of the road.

What is happening right now?!?!??!!?

I panicked again.  Don't judge.  If you're about to slam into a person standing in the middle of the highway, with your out of control car, you'd panic, too!

I yanked the wheel back to the left and slid again.

There was one and only one thought going through my head.

'Please, God, don't let me hit him!'

I have no idea what that poor man thought, seeing a car coming straight at him (sort of), but out of control.

I didn't make it back into the passing lane completely, but by a few feet, it was enough.

When I yanked the wheel to the left, and the car turned and slid, I went by the police officer and his car ... sideways.

Yes, sideways.  

Might have been diagonally, but it wasn't straight.

My ass end was facing him on the way by, nose pointing at the ditch, and all I saw in that split second when I turned around, was his sunglasses, as his head turned to watch me slide by.

Another second later, and I hit the dry patch, regained control, moved over and fell in behind the 18 wheeler, who eventually pulled over to the right hand lane again.

The police officer didn't come after me, and no, I didn't stop.

There were still cars behind me, although the cube van had backed off when he saw me lose control, so I didn't want to take the chance of hitting the brakes to stop and lose it again.

I shook the rest of the way to Truro.

I probably should have pulled over for a minute, if nothing else, to stop shaking, but I just wanted to get to the Bestie's and get out of the car.

I made the pit stop at Tims, and when I finally got through her door, I said, 'OK, I'm going to have a little breakdown now.'

And I did.

I cried for what had almost happened.

I could have killed that police officer.  I came that close.

I realize now what happened.

There must have been an accident earlier in the morning and a tow truck had come to get a car involved. 

The tow truck was still on the highway, with the car on back, and I believe the police officer was where he was to warn the traffic of the tow truck up ahead.

I get it.

I know why he was there.

I now know the 18 wheeler didn't have any choice but to cut me off, or HE may have hit the officer.

But ... here's the part that bothers me.  The car was already on the back of the tow truck. WHY didn't they all pull off, safely, to the side of the road, at least?

All the stars and planets aligned to put that officer in the middle of the road, and the truck cut me off, and I hit the snow patch all at the same time.

I could have killed that police officer and it all would have happened in a heartbeat.

My life, his life, our families would have forever been changed.

But that's not how the story ended, after all.

Wasn't in the plans for that day.

I simply can't express how happy I am, that the stars and planets also aligned to make sure I slid by him, even if it was ass end sideways, instead of sliding INTO him.

I'm sure he's pretty happy things turned out the way they did, too.

I'm truly sorry Mr. Police Officer.  It wasn't my intention to scare the crap out of you that morning. Thank you for everything you do to keep us safe.

Hope he keeps a change of underwear in his car, just for days like those, and people like me!