Thursday, October 20, 2011

Five Decisions. Maybe Not the Best Ones. But Definitely Five.

A few weeks ago, blogger Schmutzie posted a list called "The Five Best Decisions of My Life," which you should definitely check out. The topic intrigued me, and of course I started to wonder what I would put on that list. And then I promptly forgot about it, for reasons ranging from a close relative almost dying to the start of baseball playoffs. Not that those two things are equally important. What I mean is, for the last few weeks I've had enough stuff to juggle in the present without navel-gazing over stuff that it's too late to do anything about.

You're both doing great.
 But then I started thinking about it again, because I have zero attention span these days.

That joke never, ever gets old. Seriously.
 Anyway, I decided to have a go at my own list. Except I'm not sure I would call them my "best" decisions. How do you define best? I've made a lot of decisions that seemed most excellent at the time. Many of them resulted in having to get vomit cleaned out of my carpet and/or clothing. So I'm not going to put "chasing vodka with Thunderbird" on the list, although I would have defended that choice to the death when I made it.

On a related note: Oh my God, this is totally a real commercial!

I'm sure James Mason never for one minute regretted making this ad. I'll bet he inspired Orson Welles' later endorsement of Paul Masson wine.

Where was I? Oh yes, good decisions. I don't know if these were my finest moments. But they were important decisions, all the same. And since I like to think...hope...pray that I'm an evolving being, I have a feeling they won't all make the cut when I'm an old, old blogger searching for something to write about. That's OK. The thought that some of my best decisions are still ahead of me is a comforting one. Too bad that ship has sailed for Messrs. Mason and Welles. I'll bet Maurice LaMarche doesn't regret their decision for a minute.

My Five "Best" Decisions (in no particular order)

Having Two Margaritas on My First Date with Beloved Spouse
BelSpouse and I had a very low-key first date at Chili's. I almost didn't agree to go out with him at all, until my inner voice reminded me that guys weren't exactly beating down my door that month. Or, you know, ever. So we had a mid-week, early-evening date over drinks and appetizers. It was very pleasant, and I thought he was a nice guy. But there was no, you know, spark. Before the date was over I had decided not to see him again. And since I wasn't going to go out with him again, I wasn't going to send any mixed messages by letting him kiss me goodnight. Good idea. Except the two margaritas had a different idea, which was: "Awww, come on! What's the harm in one little kiss?" So I let him kiss me.

That was almost 24 years ago.

Yeah, it was that good.

The margaritas were pretty good, too.

Buying My Bug (on eBay, yet)
I love my Beetle, but that's not why this decision is on the list. I tend to be relentlessly practical when it comes to buying things. To me, an impulse buy is getting two t-shirts at Target when I really only need one. And when I watch shows like "House Hunters" and "My First Place," I want to strangle the people who put things like granite countertops and crown molding on their "must-have" list, because both times I've bought a house, my must-haves included things like "being in a neighborhood not currently controlled by a gang" and "all skylights are intentional and not the result of missing pieces of roof." I have a hard time wandering around in the upper reaches of Maslow's hierarchy, is what I'm saying.

So I'm very proud that the top three reasons I bought my Bug were: 1) It was adorable. 2) I'd wanted a Bug since I was a little girl and dammit it was time. 3) I wanted to be able to tell people I'd bought a car on eBay. And yeah, it was in great shape and I got a good deal, yada yada. But mostly I let myself buy a car in the most impractical, heart-beats-head way I could imagine. And it made me happy.

And it has one of these on the side.

Leaving My Last Job for No Particularly Good Reason
In the midst of a horrible recession, just having steady employment is supposed to be enough. Especially when you're working with people you love and have been with for years. And especially when you hate, fear, and mistrust change. Under those circumstances, just about one year ago, I took another job. It was crazy hard to do. And you know what? It's not the greatest job in the world. Except the part where I have time to blog every day. That part is pretty awesome. Other than that, the money is slightly better, the commute is ten times worse, and the headaches are almost exactly equal. But I went out and played in the rain at a time when every fiber of my being was telling me to hunker down and wait out the hurricane. And it's worked out. And it's opened doors, like this blog, that would have stayed nailed shut otherwise. I needed to learn that making a huge scary change can sometimes do that.

Even if the traffic really, really sucks.
 Taking LSD
The first time I did acid was completely amazing. All that claptrap the old hippies spout about seeing music and feeling colors? Completely true. It was one of the most purely enjoyable days of my life, spent with two people I love very much. The long-term effect on my life was zilch. I didn't become a genius poet on the one hand or a burned-out freak on the other. And after a few more trips, I stopped enjoying it, so I haven't done it since. But it's a beautiful, stand-alone memory of a wonderful day, courtesy of a supposedly evil controlled substance. I don't regret it for a minute.

Lay in a supply of these if you're going to partake.
Which I'm not recommending to anyone.
 Starting This Blog
I'm taking it on faith that this will turn out to be an amazing decision that will bring me all the happiness, success, and opportunity I've dreamed about my entire life. It hasn't yet, but it's still a great decision on my part. At the very least, I enjoy writing more than anything else in my life that I can do alone (yes, anything). And I'm so grateful to have finally learned the lesson that no one in the history of language has ever become a writer by not writing. So, book contract: long-term goal. Interview on "The Colbert Report": oh my god, someday, please, yes. Loving my big steaming pile of daily words and my tiny but growing group of folks who are kind enough to read them: yeah.

Why, you're giving me a thumbs-up? How kind.
I think you're pretty cool, too.

So that's the list. Make your own if you like. And remember, a day without decisions is a day when you're going to be super hungry and probably wet your pants.


  1. I loved it. Except you didn't add LSD to the labels :)
    Of course, I only JUST found labels so kudos!


  2. I'm glad you liked it! And I highly recommend labels. Anything that helps you track your obsessions is a good thing.


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