Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How one small decision changed my life as I knew it

I had a totally different post in mind. I was going to tell you about my trip to Boise, until I realized the significance of today’s date.
One night in the Marriott lounge outside of Buffalo, a pleasant-looking Indian man sitting next to me asked, “Are you writing about all the characters you see in here?”

“I wish.” I smiled, folding my papers. “This is work crap.”

“You’ll like my friend here,” he said, pointing to the casually-dressed fellow next to him who looked like he’d done some time on a rugby field. “The two of you should talk.”

The rugby guy seemed like the playful type. “Light beer?” I teased with mock distain as I held up my Guinness. “You don’t know how to drink!” I’d be eating those words in time.
The “one night” referred to here was May 11, 2000. The “rugby guy” was none other than Bastard Husband. Yep, 10 years ago today, BH came into my life.

I was working on the road as a contract trainer for Fleet Bank. Oh, how I loved that job! I know—you never hear me say anything about liking work, but that gig was awesome. I worked 15 days per month training newly hired bank customer service personnel and was paid a fantastic per diem rate. I loved training people and I loved traveling throughout the Northeast, and I LOVED the fact that the remaining week in the month was completely my own. That’s the kind of gig I’m willing myself for this summer!

Anyway, I remember sitting in my hotel room trying to decide whether to go downstairs and do some social bungee jumping in the lounge. I kind of wanted to just chill in my room, but for some reason, I put on some fresh lipstick and ventured out. Imagine if I had decided to catch some Must-See TV instead? My life would look nothing like it does today. I probably never would have made it out West, or traveled to places I’ve been to, or written a book, or done stand-up, or had my own show, or be posting on this blog.

How about you? Have you ever made a seemingly inconsequential decision that, in retrospect, changed your life forever? Tell us about it!

22 comments:

Julie said...

Yes. I went out on a second date with my ex-husband. I had enough red flags after the first one that I told my best friend "He's a nice guy, but there's no spark there, he doesn't like kids (my son was 12 at the time) and he's too hung up on his last girlfriend. Won't be going out with him again."

Ate my words, went out, ended up marrying the man even though I knew better because the red flags were beating me over the head.

Two years later we were divorced.

LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION, PEOPLE!

Tara said...

Without going into a lot of detail, moving to Ohio. If we would have stayed in Pennsylvania, my life could have turned out MUCH different. Not necessarily better, but different.

Danica said...

I was 15 years old when I packed my bags and moved from New Mexico to Ohio to live with my oldest sister. I woke up one morning, wrote my father a letter and hopped on the Greyhound bus. It was so hurtful for my father but we had a terrible relationship and I needed to be somewhere with family that was there for me. My dad worked countless hours so I had to work, go to school, take care of my brother, clean the house and cook dinner (my parents were divorced and my mom didn't want us living with her so we had to live with our dad).

My life is better off having left, however in the process I hurt my father. Eventually my mom would come to Ohio to live, but my father, well he moved to NV shortly after that and hasn't left yet. I'm happy to say our relationship got better. But that was the risk I took. Crazy.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

That is my life right now. I'm living a totally different life than I was even 5 years ago. I never imagined that I'd live in another town, have another man in my life. Sometimes you just don't know where life will lead you.

AngPerry said...

When I was 21 (a "few" years ago) I met my employers brother who came to Maine for the Holidays and I thought it would be a great decision to move to Montana with him. He was 11 years older and I left Maine with my car loaded down and $500.00 to my name. Six months later I was on my way to Georgia...solo of course. Wouldn't change it for anything. Damn, Montana was pretty.

Anonymous said...

My granny always used to say,"If you meet him in a bar, you'll leave him there."

Vegas Linda Lou said...

How true!

Anonymous said...

Please forgive my directness, but if you knew he was a drunk in the beginning, then why is he labeled a "bastard"?
He didn't live up to your Cinderella fantasies of changing an alcoholic into Prince Charming? I don't get it.
Is it just possible that you might have a bit of a drinking problem as well? You might do some soul searching as to why you find yourself alone again. Best wishes to you.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

There's a difference between enjoying a few drinks socially (which as you know, I love!) and drinking to excess. I don't think any woman these days expects a Prince Charming--especially the older you get, the more you realize everyone has flaws. And you can even look at them in a way and find them endearing.

I hate to label someone as a drunk, which may seem ironic since I refer to my ex as "Bastard Husband." Actually, it's more of a joke at this point. We have remained on very good terms and he signs his emails "Bastard Husband." It's all good. No, it's perfect.

I'm not alone. I am still with Mike--as I said, he's not part of Purgefest 2010.

dle said...

Actually my decision has a happier ending . Two years ago I tracked down my first true love and sent a Christmas card. Thirty years had passed since we had seen or spoken to each other.We reconnected - we were older, wiser and it was something we never expected. We are still 3 hrs away from each other but life is good !!

Tania said...

Linda Lou -- I am amazed by your patience with judgmental people who make "direct" comments hidden behind "anonymous." You're one classy lady!

As for my little decision that changed my life course... Last minute and on a bit of a whim, I decided to change my choice of college from one in the North East to one in the South West. I'm back East again, but that changed everything!

Other Mikey's Julie said...

Anonymous - I think if you would read Linda's book, you would better understand the nature of her relationship with BH. It is available for $15.95 and I am sure Linda Lou would offer you free shipping! Never hurts to get the full story before you jump to conclusions.

gayle said...

Did make a decision that would have changed many lives but backed out at the last minute!!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that I was being judgmental...just thought it was common sense that men you pick up in bars usually don't turn out to be the best husband material as they tend to drink too much - SHOCKER! Pretending this outcome would be any different is head-scratching to say the least. If that offends Linda & her readers, then perhaps I haven't yet paid the $15.95 to reveal her wisdom as to why this is not just another all-too-familiar case of romantic nostalgia.) Red flags mean trouble ahead, just re-read that first lady's comment as a perfect example. Facing reality can be harsh, but one can also learn from their own mistakes (or be doomed to repeat them).

By the way, a great number of "people with a drinking problem" tend to minimize when they have in fact, crossed the line from "social drinking" to "drinking to excess". Haven't met a single alcoholic yet who admitted he/she had a problem that needed to be addressed (until they got a DUI,lost their job, spouse, etc.) But maybe things are different out there in Las Vegas, no?

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Hold on, Anon. Hookers "pick up" men in bars, but many people--like me--go to bars to socialize and listen to music and dance. Bars can be a great place to meet interesting people with similar tastes. Not everyone who goes to a bar is an alcoholic; many wonderful, fun-loving people go to bars regularly. It's not just a Vegas thing.

Doesn't sound like you go to bars much, and that's fine. But it's unfair to portray the entire population of bar patrons as having a drinking problem.

Anonymous said...

But Your rugby player that you met in the "lounge" and later married did have a drinking problem, no? Has he ever admitted he has a problem? Can you? Or do you both prefer not to use words like "drunk" or "alcoholic" instead of "flaws"?

There's nothing wrong with enjoying a drink or two at a bar. I don't mind visiting with spouse, family or friends, but I personally am a bit leery of having relationships with those that I encounter there.

Ohhhhhhhhhm is that where you met Mike?

Vegas Linda Lou said...

I met Mike through my writers' group.

And you do come across as sounding judgmental.

Anonymous said...

It's ok to call me judgmental if it makes you feel better. I'm not the one who wakes up alone year after year.

gayle said...

Don't know why I checked back today...just did for some reason. I usually don't! Now I am glad I did! I have been to bars many times in my 50 something years and have met some very very nice people and have made some lasting friendships! Not everyone that drinks has a drinking problem. Why is Ano. asking these questions anyway...what business is it of her/his?

K A B L O O E Y said...

Wow, Anon, I'm late to the party, but you're being quite a d-word in our friend Linda Lou's very own home, you know?

Perplexio said...

Indeed I did once make seemingly innocuous but life changing decision back in April 2002.

An Internet friend of mine suggested I swap emails with a friend of his... I figured what the hell (click the link above for the full story) and my life changed forever.

Perplexio said...

Anon, since I grew up spitting distance from Quebec and in honor of the recent hockey victory of the Montreal Canadiens you are what I believe the French Canadians would refer to as a chapeau du derrierre (sp?) but my French is a little rusty.