Column Classic: We Are All Ferraris

By Lisa Scottoline

By the time you read this, you will have survived Valentine’s Day. 


I spent mine with dogs and cats, but I’m not all pathetic and sad about it, and if you were in a similar position, you don’t have to be mopey, either. 

Here’s why. 

You’re not alone. You may feel that way, thanks to TV commercials for conversation hearts and bouquets you aren’t getting, but you’re not the only one. There’s lots of women like us, who end up manless in middle age, whether by choice or not. I know, because I get lots of heartfelt emails from widows and divorcees, as I am fast becoming the poster child for inadvertent celibacy. 

By which I mean, not woe-is-me celibacy, but more like, Oh, has it really been that long? 

Also, why don’t I miss it, when I used to like it well enough?  

And why aren’t I on a mission to find a man? 

To begin, let me tell you about a recent blind date. Most of my dates are blind, as that gives me a fighting chance. 

I thought he was nice, handsome, and smart, which is three more things than I ever expect. And we were having a great time, yapping away though his first and second vodka. But by the time he got to his third vodka, his words slurred, his eyes glistened, and he blurted out the following: 

“I miss my girlfriend. I don’t know why she broke up with me. The kids didn’t like her, but I did.” 

Uh oh. 

This would not be a happy ending. He told me the next day that it was the only time he’d ever tried to kiss somebody who was putting her car into reverse. 

That would be me, and can you even believe he went in for the good-night smooch? 

Could it be worse? 


So, take a lesson from my horrible blind date. He was bemoaning the loss of his girlfriend, when he had a perfectly fine woman sitting across from him, ready, willing, and able. 

Oh, so able. 

In other words, don’t miss out on the fullness of your life merely because something is missing. 

A man is not a passport. Having one is nice, but not the law. And if you’re alone, you can’t go into suspended animation. You have to live your life and you can be happy. So, make yourself happy. 


Flip it. If you think that being on your own is the problem, turn that idea on its head.  Make being alone a bonus. For example, if you’re on your own, you don’t have to ask anybody’s permission to do anything or take anyone else’s feelings into account. You can paint your kitchen orange if you want and make all manner of dumb mistakes. 

You’re not single, you’re a cappella! 

Which sounds a lot more fun, plus it’s Italian. 

But how do you figure out what makes you happy? 

Try things. Try anything. Paint. Draw. Take piano lessons. Read a book. Keep a journal. Write a story. Go to night school. Volunteer. Sing. Rearrange the furniture.  Rescue animals. Join a book club or start one. 


Bottom line, any verb will do. 

Do whatever you like. And since I bet you’ve spent most of your life taking care of others, take a little care of yourself. Get your hair done, and your toenails. Especially the amazing disappearing pinkie toenail. 

If you can find it. 

Spend a little money on yourself.  Buy a new sweater and parade around. 

Look at you, girl! 

Here are some of the things that make me happy: Daughter Francesca, dogs, friends, work, books, reading, cats, a big TV, a pony, opera, and chocolate cake. My life and my heart are full, and though I live alone, I don’t feel lonely. 

As for the occasional date, if it happens, great. Maybe I’ll meet a man who doesn’t like vodka that much, but no matter. 

The point isn’t him. 

It’s me, and you. 

Think of yourself as an exotic sports car, like a Ferrari, that leaves its garage only occasionally. 

Not everybody can drive you, and you don’t wait to be driven. 

You’re not that kind of car. 

And neither am I. 

So hit the gas, and live. 

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2011

Column Classic: Scrambled Eggs

By Lisa Scottoline

The hits just keep on coming at the Scottoline farm, where the animals outnumber the people.

They like it that way.

I don’t, especially when I wonder who’s running the joint. The only thing I’m sure of is who’s paying the bills.

Right now the chickens are in charge.

Because bottom line, they’re not producing any eggs. 

Neither am I, but that’s another subject. No one’s counting on me for breakfast.

The chickens have no excuse. They still have estrogen. 

By the way, my chickens might not be laying eggs, but my snakes are.


In fact, just today I found a molted snakeskin in the garden.

Don’t you hate it when your snakes leave their clothes around?

To return to story, one day my chickens stopped laying eggs, which bugged me.


They have it great, in that they’re a small flock of fifteen and they live in a big wooden coop.

For free.

They also have a large outdoor run, so they can exercsie.

Like a gym that you actually use.

Also it takes work to keep chickens, in that their coop has to be cleaned, and they have to be fed and given fresh water, so the least they could do is squeeze out an egg or two every day, like they used to before they started slacking.

By the way, don’t get the idea that I do all the work for the chickens, because I hire someone to do that, as I am too busy and/or lazy, and if you think it’s easy to pay people to do all the work you are too busy/lazy to do, you need to think again.

But then one day, I went to the coop, noticed some broken eggshells, and realized that the chickens were laying eggs – but eating them themselves.

They were the Hannibal Lecters of chickens.

Hennibal Lechters!

This had never happened before, and I had no idea what to do about it. I started checking the coop twice a day, trying to beat the chickens to the eggs, but they won every time.

I can’t outsmart a chicken.

Still wanna read my books?

I did some research online, and it said that chickens could develop a habit of eating their own eggs and the only way to break them of it was by mixing some eggs with Tabasco sauce, pouring the eggs  back into an eggshell, and returning it to the henhouse.

So I did that.

Yes, I made eggs for chickens.

I made food for what other people think is food.

Plus I delivered it to them like room service.

Remind me again who’s ruling the roost.

Anyway, it didn’t work. The chickens ate even more eggs, and I got the distinct impression that they would’ve also enjoyed a side of home fries, buttered wheat toast, and a cup of hot coffee.

I went back the Internet, where it said you could also try training them not to eat their eggs by replacing their eggs with golf balls.  


So I dug up some of my golf balls from last year’s lessons and put them in the coop, but the next thing that happened was that the hens began fighting over which one got to sit on the golf balls.

News flash, chickens like club sports.

The hens sat on the golf balls all day long, and I couldn’t get the balls from them without being pecked, and when I succeeded, the balls were so hot they were practically hardboiled.

Yum. Cooked Titleist.

Yet again, I went back to the Internet and found out that you could buy a fake wooden egg that was guaranteed to train chickens out of eating their own eggs, so I ordered a few.

And it worked!

Today my fake egg yielded a real egg.

Evidently I tricked my chickens.

That makes me the trickiest chick of all.

© Copyright, Lisa Scottoline