My career has taken me on many adventures that have involved different modes of travel. On one such occasion I was asked to speak on Captiva Island in Florida. I went with a friend of mine, first by air and then by car. Sandy is somewhat of a control freak, and so she wanted to drive. I was fine with that since I really don’t care if I drive or not, and so we set out in our rented convertible, which we felt would make the trip even more enjoyable. The day was exquisite and the scenery was beautiful. However, I could tell Sandy was uptight.

I asked her if she was all right, and she answered rather tersely that she had to pay attention to the road and the signs so she wouldn’t make any mistakes getting us to our destination. The word “mistake” is not an option for my friend.

As we headed down a curving stretch of the road, she spotted a sign that said: TOLL BRIDGE, THREE MILES, THREE DOLLARS. Urgently, Sandy asked if I had any money. I replied, “I don’t know. Don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of time before we get to the toll to find it.” In my mind, three miles is three years away. “I need to know if you have three one dollar bills.” Sandy said. “Why? Won’t a five do?” I replied. “No.” Sandy was starting to get irritated. “That will take too much time. Just look in your purse, will you?”

Well, now we were in trouble. My purse is not just a purse. It’s an abyss. It’s a large leather object that weighs about 15 pounds. I have enough stuff in it to do electrolysis, open heart surgery and cook a pizza. Attempts to hastily retrieve any particular item quickly is a joke. But since Sandy’s face was turning purple, I dug in, looking for the elusive three one dollar bills.

“Well, do you have them?” she asked. At that moment, my fingers touched bottom and slid around a trove of coins. “I’ve got lots of change” I said happily.

Sandy groaned. “We can’t give them that much change! What are we going to do?”

Her inability to go with the flow was about to give her a stroke. I casually responded that we could pitch a tent and wait for someone to give us the three one dollar bills, or just pull a Thelma and Louise to end it all. She was not amused. However, she finally lightened up enough for us to enjoy our time together. The toll person could not have cared less what I gave her, and Sandy finally lightened up.

Ultimately we can control nothing. Learn to be flexible. “Flexibility is the ability to not get bent out of shape”!

Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at stressed.com.