From Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause

A Case of Mistaken Identity

To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.

William Arthur Ward

Jeannie and I had shared a delightful dinner before heading to our Bible study. We talked about our families, laughed about being in the menopausal years of forgetfulness, confusion, and bifocals. And we discussed the “hereafter.” You know, when you go into another room and then try to remember what you went there for in the first place. But, aside from a few wrinkles, gray hairs, and minor aches, we were just thankful to be alive and happy.

By the time we left the restaurant and walked across the parking lot that Tuesday evening in October, it had grown dark and quite cool. I opened the car door and settled in the passenger side of the front seat. Pulling my jacket tighter to ward off the chill, I buckled the seatbelt and began to take notice of my surroundings. Gee, I thought to myself, I didn’t notice this beautiful wood-grain design before. Rubbing my fingers along the dashboard, I thought, Jeannie must have cleaned and waxed the interior last weekend. Looking down at the console, I noticed a beautiful pair of brown leather gloves. They were so soft and luxurious that I couldn’t resist the urge to try them on and see how they looked. After admiring the gloves on my hands, it dawned on me that it was taking Jeannie an awfully long time to get in the car.

As I glanced out the driver’s side window, I noticed her three cars away with a look of complete and absolute shock on her face. And then she began to laugh hysterically. It took my befuddled mind but a few moments to realize that I was sitting in the wrong car!

I yanked off the gloves, frantically unbuckled the seatbelt, and stumbled out of the car, desperately hoping that the owners were not having dinner in front of the restaurant’s large window. By this time, Jeannie, in total amazement that I could have mistaken a BMW for her green Honda, was laughing uncontrollably, tears streaming down her face.

Before the owners of the BMW could materialize, I jumped into Jeannie’s car and yelled, “Let’s get out of here!” One look at her face, and I, too, convulsed with laughter. We arrived at Bible study, laughing like children, with mascara running down our faces. It took her all of three minutes before she blurted out the story to everyone.

At the end of class, my closing prayer to myself was Dear God, please help me with my menopause . . . and don’t let that BMW be a stolen vehicle, because my fingerprints are all over it!

Terri Reinhardt

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