Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Moment in Time

From time to time I try to wrap my head around the big occurrences that ultimately influence the direction a person may take on the journey of life. Of course 9-11 is the big one we all think about these days; the people who woke up just a little bit late and missed their flight or those who didn't go into work and surely would have died if they had.  They're the big things that happen that put our lives into a complete tailspin, sometimes forcing us to readjust the path we were previously taking and walk a more clean and careful course. But then I sometimes think about how even the smallest of things can make just as much of an impact, or sometimes even a greater one.  That quick smile you gave the guy bagging your groceries, or the thirty seconds you took out of your day to hold the door for that pregnant lady.  They are the little things that we forget about almost immediately after they happen; the things that not only shape our lives, but the lives of those who we had briefly connected with.  Ever think about that guy who helped you pick up your keys in the parking lot a few years back?  Maybe those precious few seconds when your two lives touched caused him to just miss getting into a car accident.  Or maybe it did just the opposite.  Or what about that woman whom you let go in front of you at the register.  Maybe you unconsciously helped her run into her true love, or maybe you helped her miss him forever.  How many times has a small connection with a complete stranger changed their life or yours?  Most of us will never know, right?  You could have the best intentions and hurt somebody or the worst intentions and help somebody.  All it really boils down to is timing, and how the people you love, hate, and don't even know, influence those fleeting but invaluable moments.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Unfiltered Husband

When my husband and I started dating almost nine years ago, after the cloak of honeymoon falsities had finally let the light pour in, I soon realized that I was getting involved with one of the most bizarre and unique individuals I had ever met.  He was living his life almost entirely unfiltered, and had been for quite some time.  Never cowering to a stranger's second glance or stink eye, he didn't care what anybody thought, as those who knew him stood nervously in the shadows, chagrined beyond belief.

So as you can imagine, in the beginning of our relationship, quite honestly, it often felt like I was dating a two year old.  He would sing and dance in the middle of a crowded mall or belly laugh, right out of the blue, at something that had happened several weeks ago.  His inability to become embarrassed sometimes even made me feel scared out of my mind, especially when he'd blurt out some off-color "Goodfellas" quote during a late night walk through a bad part of town.    

And surprisingly, his capabilities could even extend farther than mortification, soon developing into an amazing argumentative tool to be used during disagreements.  This would especially be useful if I threw one of my own tactics at him and stopped talking, shutting him out until he apologized.  After this, he'd counter my attack with a threat to do something completely obnoxious until I opened back up, sometimes screaming in the middle of a packed restaurant or pulling his pants down in the middle of a busy crosswalk.  I'd of course always eventually crack, waving my white flag rapidly as I anxiously watched his pants slowly fall down past his knees.

He was like some superhero who held this incredible power that far surpassed ex-ray vision or being able to fly.  It was the strangest quality I had ever experienced in a boyfriend and although I should have taken off running long ago, something made me want to venture further into his very eccentric world. And as I did, his muck spattering my face from all directions, I suddenly noticed that I had fallen in love with this crazed oddball.  He was the first person who had truly made me reevaluate myself for the better, as I suddenly realized that the only thing really holding me back was a social norm that had been unconsciously instilled in me by my parents.  And simply, this crazy man had just found a magical loophole against this social pull, and was holding his hand out, urging me to escape along with him.

But unfortunately, most changes start with baby steps, and even after almost a decade of turning cherry red from his nutty antics, I'm still trapped in the cultural web of life, grappling with a handicap most of us don't even realize we possess.  On the contrary though, my husband has definitely changed me, forcing me to look at life differently; turning my perspective up-ways and sideways until I was much too dizzy to stand.  And isn't that what life's all about? Seeing the world through as many eyes as possible?  He's mastered something most of us won't even attempt in this lifetime, living life to its fullest, no matter who is watching.