Gut Rumbles

September 20, 2005

existential thinking

How many times in your life have you made a decision that didn't seem important at the time, only to look back years later and realize that the choice you made THEN affected everything you are NOW? That's a scary thing about life. You make those decisions every day and don't even know you're doing it.

In 1968, I went to a high school football game to watch the team we were going to play the next weekend. After the game, I was invited to go for a ride in a brand new Pontiac GTO with some friends from the football team. I turned the offer down because I had made a date with a girl I talked to in the stands that night. She and I went to Shoney's, ate some hot fudge cake, and then went necking.

Those boys wrecked that GTO on "Dead Man's Curve" on LaRoache Avenue and ended up with one dead and three severely injured, and the car appearing to be passed through a trash compactor.

I would have been in that car if I had said "yes" instead of "no" that night.

You never know when those choices matter, and sometimes you don't even realize that you make them. Every day, you come to crossroads in your life and you have to pick which road to take. You have no idea where that road leads, but you've got to go somewhere.

Shortly before Jennifer dropped the divorce bomb on my head, we were sitting on the back deck at the mini-farm and I expounded on this subject.

I told her that, looking back on my life, I needed to be dragged off and shot for making some poor choices at MY crossroads. I missed some really good opportunities and I took some fucked up roads.

But in the end, it all worked out, because I wouldn't be with her now if I had done anything differently. I meant what I said at the time. I loved my beautiful wife, I owned a big house, I had lots of land, I fathered a fine son and I was happy.

As things turned out, marrying Jennifer was probably the WORST mistake I ever made, but I sure didn't see it at the time. You never do, or you wouldn't make that decision.

Crossroads are tricky that way.


We are the last ones to find out. I did the same thing twice before with women. My first wife just died of liver cancer and my second one had me like BC had you. I thought the world of her and ended up on the short end of the stick. She was screwing everyone but me. I sure had a bad choice in women, my mama use to say to me. It is water under the bridge for me now. Take care, Cat

Posted by: catfish on September 20, 2005 02:38 PM

Yep. But the important thing is that you take full responsibility for the decisions you made both the good and the bad! Must be something about being a redneck I reckon.

Posted by: GUYK on September 20, 2005 02:58 PM

Sometimes fate is hysterical...

My husband always says the biggest mistake of his life was marrying his 2nd wife [we call her the "ditzoid"]. But the sister of the 2nd wife introduced him to me, and we've been together 13 years now [and likely will be 'til death do us part] but we'd have never met if he hadn't married wife #2.

Posted by: Jane on September 20, 2005 05:08 PM


Posted by: Maggie on September 20, 2005 08:20 PM

P.S. How could it be the worst mistake you ever made in your life?

It gave you Quinton!

No matter how bad things seem with him now........YOU HAVE HIM AS YOUR SON!

Posted by: Maggie on September 20, 2005 08:22 PM

^^ gotta agree with that sentiment myself.

Besides, no matter how bad Jennifer was, that ride in the GTO could have ended up a whole lot worse for ya.

Posted by: marcl on September 20, 2005 10:06 PM

You're not kidding. It's why you worry about your kid; did I do or not do something I should/shouldn't have?

Yeah, it's scary sometimes, looking back and thinking, oh crap, did THAT start THIS?!?

Posted by: Mark on September 20, 2005 10:34 PM

Sometimes I think I'm the poster child.When I look back at some of my crossroads, and think about how great things would have been had I taken the OTHER road, I get morose.But who am I to say how things would have turned out? The other road might have gotten ME into someone's GTO, or on flight 93 in a nice 3-piece suit. I live in what amounts to a shack thrown together in a friend's basement, make crap money, use public transportation, and just break even every month. A good deal of that is because I made the choice to marry wife #2 (a BC clone sure 'nuff) who took me to the cleaners at divorce time. I no longer own a house, 2 cars, and a 30' cabin cruiser. But on the bright side I'm rid of her, I am who I am, I am where I am, and generally can live with that. Had I not married her, who knows? Possibly it could have been worse. Possibly better. Monday morning quarterbacks no more have a crystal ball than the Psychic Friends Network.Most crossroads are a dart toss with eyes blindfolded.

Posted by: Horrabin on September 21, 2005 12:38 AM

Fate is what it is called. Everything that has happened to you is because that is what was supposed to happen to you. Good and bad. Life ain't fun and it isn't always happy either.

Posted by: Anastasia on September 21, 2005 11:08 AM

All of the good and bad stuff we've been through made us what we are today. I try to pass along lessons I've learned to my kids and grandkids. Mainly it falls on deaf ears because evryone has to get their own experience. Today, I just put one foot in front of the other and try to live a good life. Just turned 65 (2 years newly wed to 3d wife) and there's still a lot of shit out there in front of me, but nothing has been as bad as it seemed it was going to be in the past, so I imagine I'll make it through till they start tossing dirt on me.

Posted by: Larry on September 22, 2005 12:42 AM
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