Thursday, May 21, 2009

Twenty Years Ago

Twenty years ago today I packed up my Mustang and drove to Austin in a split decision to put a kibosh on the path I was traveling and to at least try something new. I had dropped out of college a year and a half before and had been working as an Assistant Mgr at a fast food restaurant owned by a very evil man where I was working 60+ hours a week shifts. I looked like a greasy, curly haired zombie and was in a pretty unhealthy relationship with an older guy. When my best friend offered her spare room during her last summer semester at UT, it wasn't that hard of a decision to drop my keys off at work, blow a quick sayonara kiss at the old dude and start throwing stuff in the trunk. It's hard to believe that it's been twenty years and also funny to think what might have been if I had not moved. You see, there was this guy that my friend had written about several times in her letters to me. He was in her photography classes and lived in the apartment behind hers and she claimed that he was probably the smartest guy that she had ever met. She had failed to mention how cute he was though. The first thing we did when I got into town was to buy groceries. Coming back from the parking garage with groceries that first hour in Austin, I met that smart guy who would become my husband four years later. Honestly, if you can't call it love at first sight then it really was an instantaneous flash of WOW. Within a week and several bowls of my tasty guacamole we were in a tempestuous romance that survived a year and a half of long distance romance when I went to North Texas and he finished up at UT. Luckily, this was before widespread email and I was wooed by the black and white postcard photos that he sent me constantly. I'm sure my mailman must have enjoyed reading them. I still have every single one stored in the picnic basket that we used to use. Now twenty years, six cats, two dogs and two kids later, I have a lot of "used to" memories. Things aren't so great right now. Too many "used to" memories turned into "should have" things that we've missed out on and it's hard to determine which path we're going to be heading down now. But honestly, I wouldn't have changed most of the past twenty years and can't possible put a value on our kids and even our cats. He is still the smartest person I know even though he's turned into the absent-minded professor and I still get a flash of "wow" when he's at sweetest and especially goofiest. I don't know where the next twenty years will find us but I can't pass up the chance to look at that paths that I could have taken taken and celebrate that I took the right one.

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