Wednesday, August 17, 2016


I just read a random clickbait article about "moments when people's lives changed forever" or some such thing. I'm not linking to it because clickbait articles are glitchy, slow to load, and riddled with pop-up ads. So fuck clickbait. But it was interesting.

Enjoy this amusing cartoon instead.

And it got me thinking about those watershed moments in my own life. I came up with four of them. I'm going to share them now, and invite each of you to share yours. Because I love to hear about the life events that shaped you. It makes me appreciate our differences as well as our similarities. And if we can all do that, maybe we won't turn out to be right-wing assholes who want everyone to be exactly they way they are.

Here we go.

1. For Sale

It was the summer of 1982. My older brother and sister and I were chilling at home - which was pretty unusual, since brother had enlisted in the Navy and sis and I were doing our best to cultivate social lives - when there was a knock at the door. Our parents were at work, so one of us answered the door. It was a realtor holding a "For Sale" sign, who said, "Hi, I'm just going to put this sign in your yard, OK?" Later our dad called from work to explain that, yes, he had been transferred and we were moving from Milwaukee to Plano, Texas. Life changed forever.

2. First Date

My (now) ex asked me out after we had had a few classes together in college. I almost said no, but then realized that I had recently concluded a brief, unhappy relationship and didn't exactly have suitors lined up at my door. I had a good time on my date, but there was no real spark. I'd already decided I wouldn't see him again and, therefore, wouldn't kiss him good night. On the other hand, I'd had a couple of margaritas, so when he moved in, I let him. The kiss was electric. We became a couple and married two years later. I regret nothing about that kiss. But it changed my life forever.

3. APT

After almost a decade of marriage, my (now) ex and I decided to start a family. When I didn't instantly become pregnant, I was very depressed. But when I took a pregnancy test in April 1999 (just a few days after the death of my beloved grandmother, and at the exact same time my Bestest Friend was giving birth to her daughter), and it indicated I was pregnant, I dissolved in tears. They...they weren't happy tears, Drunkards. I had the most acute feeling of my life: that my existence was forever changed, maybe or maybe nor for the better. It was so scary. I did quickly embrace my pregnancy, and now I'm certain that Precocious Daughter is the very best thing that has ever happened to me. Yet when it comes to drawing a thick line between "life after," nothing beats a positive pregnancy test.

4. Closer

Here is a story I'm still not ready to fully disclose. Suffice to say that one night in 2011, I told Drummer Boy that he was a half-step behind my spouse in terms of my feelings, and he admitted that "closer [than a half-step] must be a nice place to be." When I realized that the love I'd felt for him for decades was mutual, my entire life changed. I'm now committed to the love of my life, living as an independent single woman for the first time, and happily divorced. Judge me if you must. I'm happy. Are you?

OK, those are my four life-changing moments. I'd love you to share yours (one, two, three, or more, whatever). GO.


  1. At the end of my sophomore year of High School, I was about to drop French Classes to continue taking Chorus, and I really, really didn't want to do it, and though I didn't tell anyone, I was really fretting over it. As I was leaving class one day, my French teacher, Mme. Williams asked me how much wiggle room I had, and that she would go to the counselors and put me in Honors French Fall of my Junior year and I could make a decision after fall term. I asked her to pull the trigger on it, and she did. I ended up dropping Chorus, staying in French. That was moment one. It dovetails into Moment Two. Freshman year of college. I had tested out of all but one term of Foreign Language. I had a 7:50AM French class with Ben, a charming TA from Canada. I was in his office to complete an oral exam (not in a dirty way, I swear). Ben said, "This class has been pretty easy for you, right? You have a 97. If you took five more classes you'd have a minor." Thanks to both Mme. Williams and Ben, I have a minor in French, and I'm not fluent, but conversant. I can read it, understand and speak it relatively well. Thanks to two people who got me and asked the right question at the right time.

  2. 1. When, at the age of 17, I woke up in hospital with a tube down my throat and another up my urethra, and realised I'd failed to successfully kill myself....again.

    2. Looking down from the window of an Aeroflot airliner at sunrise on the Caucasus mountains, and realising how much I loved Russia. I'd been reading Russian authors, taught myself the language (less well than Allie Cat speaks French, I'm sure), but it only hit then - this is my spiritual home, this is where my heart will always belong.

    3. The moment when the woman I had thought was the love of my life told me over the phone - right in the middle of what seemed to be a perfectly normal conversation - that she was breaking up with me. No discussion, no reason given. I spent the rest of that year (2014) in mental pain so acute that after 26 years I considered suicide again. But didn't try.

    4. The inevitable moment still to come when I'll realise that I've got alli want out of life. I don't know when our how it'll happen, but I know it will.

    1. New rule: You're not allowed to do anything that results in a tube up your urethra.

  3. I envy you, Bill, and Allie Cat. That may sound strange--especially since I hate to hear of Bill's pain, but I envy you for having specific life-changing moments.
    There is the night I kissed my future wife for the first time.
    There's the day I started working in a library mailroom. I found a keychain in the desk that said "39 and holding". And I thought, oh hell, I'll be long gone by the time I turn 39. I've had a few promotions since then but at this moment I'm less than fifty feet away from that mailroom.
    I've been in the same cubicle for sixteen years which only reminds me that I'm a shadow, of no consequence. I affect nothing and nothing affects me.
    I have an MRI scheduled for later today but it's a foregone conclusion that it will reveal nothing.

    1. You're adorable when you're wallowing. You're one of my favorite people, and I've never even met you. Your importance to me if we actually meet will grow exponentially, like Audrey Jr. in Little Shop of Horrors. Only less bitey.

    2. Shucks, y'all--and I mean you, Allie, and Miss Othmar--know how to break someone out of a deep blue funk.
      And I'm glad to have helped puppies grow up big and strong.

  4. Hey, Christopher, I hope you read this... the fact is, it's the little *non life changing events* that make up a life. And you affect more than you'll ever realize! I hope you kept the keychain.

  5. Bill, I concur with Chuck's new rule. And Christopher, I assume that you work in a library, which sounds pretty awesome to me. We're glad you're both around.

  6. Let's see ... 29 years ago yesterday I went on a first date with my current husband. I say "current" husband because any day now he might realize what a stupid fuckin mistake he made. So I should probably just go ahead and call him my first husband.

    One other moment that changed my life forever, might be when I first heard the c-word in connection with my boob. (Not THAT c-word ... Cheesus ... I mean cancer.) I still have a major case of PTSD over that.

    I'm sure I have others, but I started drinking at 4 today, soooo... you know.


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.