Saturday, October 10, 2009

Road

Expanding on a comment left by a certain anonymous commenter the other day, I thought I would share something. This is what he wrote:

Tough call on being the man. I did that once and regretted it for years and still wonder how my life's path and that of my first love has been altered.

To put this in context, we're talking about what may have happened had we said or done something differently earlier in our lives - what direction would they have branched out from there?

Do you have those turning points in your life that you wonder about? Sometimes they don't have to seem all that significant, yet something burns in your mind that perhaps things could have been way different had you taken course A instead of course B.

Back in high school I asked Cindy A if she wanted to go out Saturday night. She said okay but when it came time to decide where, she said she had a better idea. Why didn't I come over and we'd make cookies that evening at her house?

What?? Cookies??? I didn't want to sit around doing girl stuff! "Uh, well, how about if we go to a movie instead?"

"How about if you come over instead? It'll be fun! Come on and try it."

This went back and forth until finally I gave a noncommital, "Okay, I might come by," sounding more yes than no even though in my head I was a firm 'no.'

"I thought you were going out with Cindy tonight?" David asked me when I called and asked what he was up to that night. I explained to him about the cookies.

"You're not going?" he asked.

"I don't want to bake cookies!" I proclaimed. "Let's go somewhere."

"Are you sure? Isn't she expecting you?"

"Well, I didn't say I was going to go there. I said I might. I didn't say for sure."

So I ended up not going. I just couldn't fathom spending a Saturday night baking cookies.

The next day, Cindy sounded rather upset. "What happened to you? I thought you were coming over? I was waiting!" Now this was from someone who never seemed to get mad about anything. Until now.

"Oh, uh, well, I.. umm, never said I was going to for sure. I uh, said I might." Hmm.. I hadn't thought about having to deal with the situation after the fact. I suppose our shared Japanese ancestry helped us to just gloss over it all and so she didn't say what was really on her mind, like I was an idiot and a jerk.

After all these years, I still remember that; what was probably incidental has made me wonder first why I was so stupid not to go over there and secondly, what if I hadn't been so stupid.

This is how I look at it.. there's one track and then it diverged into two tracks. I took one of them and wound up like I told you above; I could have taken the other one. But down the line, the two tracks merged back into one and still headed for the same destination. For a while the scenery would have been different but in the end I'd wind up in the same place.

It's the weekend.. here's a double-header:






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