When I Was Asked For Relationship Advice #RideshareConfessional

Photo by Jacob Culp via Unsplash
Photo by Jacob Culp via Unsplash

“Aw, man,” the young man says, practically jumping into the car. “I love these cars! I’ve always wanted to ride in one.”

“Thanks,” I say, smiling. “How’s your day going?”

The people back home where I grew up would be tempted to look at this kid in his sagging jeans, basketball jersey, and straight-brimmed ball cap and label him “thug.” I know, because not too long ago I would have been tempted to do the same. But only a few minutes into our conversation, and I can easily see how wrong we all would have been.

“I’m finishing up culinary school,” he says matter-of-factly, as if that is nothing special, as if I should have expected such things of him. “My girlfriend is starting her own bakery. That’s why I’m heading up there tonight. To celebrate. I’m not a fan of late nights, but she was all over me.”

This launches him into a long monologue about the nature of relationships.

“She wants me to move in with her!” he says, shaking his head. “I’m too young for that. She sends me pictures of wedding dresses!” This last one is said with complete disbelief. “Wedding dresses!”

He laughs and laughs and laughs, as if I am the one telling the stories and he can’t believe what he’s hearing.

“Man, I need alone time. I’m not ready for a wedding. What do you think I should do?”

I smile. “I’ve been married for 17 years,” I say. “I made that decision so long ago, I can’t even remember. You’re going to have make this call on your own.”

He laughs again. We arrive on his street and I pull up to the sidewalk.

“Oh, man,” he hisses at me before laughing again. He is loud and joyous and we have been friends for decades. “There she is! She’s waving at me from the door. From the door! What should I do about this, man?”

I laugh with him and shake my head, unwilling to put my oar in. He shakes his head in disbelief again, goes to close the door, then peeks his head back in and says it one more time, in an urgent kind of whisper.

“Wedding dresses, man! She’s sending me pictures of wedding dresses!”

Then, he slams the door and walks towards the porch light. I can hear him laughing to himself.

My first novel comes out this fall! You can find out more and preorder it HERE.

8 Replies to “When I Was Asked For Relationship Advice #RideshareConfessional”

  1. Love that you share this part of your life with all of us ! People’s lives are so interesting , all different and all made in the image of God. It’s so easy to lable people by the way they look, this is a great example to listen first to people’s stories .They are all special and important , sounds like your job fits you well!

  2. These small insights into others lives bear so much meaning in a broader sense too. Love how you present them with such open hearted honesty.

  3. Shawn, I see how this job that you (I assume) would not want at this juncture in your life, has opened the door to blessing and, especially at a time when we all need to learn to re-see and hear the nameless people around us. I’m grateful for your faithfulness in seeking the story wherever you are led.

    1. That’s very kind of you to say, Kelly. It is something I’ve learned during the last eight years of self-employment, to keep my eyes and heart open to what might be hidden here.

  4. Shawn

    I love these ” dashboard confidentials”

    love the power of compassionate observation

    Al Longenecker

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