Fandango’s Flashback Friday — March 12

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 12th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on March 12, 2018 on this blog.

What Could Have Been

9FDBF731-C65B-4D71-B659-458DD8A49BF2It seemed like such a simple decision. Two job offers. One would enable me to stay local. The other would require relocating to the other coast. Both jobs offers were good ones. So it was a matter of do I stay or do I go.

I had spent my entire life — from birth through college — in the same town. So I made the decision to take the more adventuresome route and to relocate. I packed up all of my meager possessions, said farewell to family and friends, and headed across the country to start my next chapter.

My biggest regret, though, was leaving Wendy behind. She and I had been the best of friends since we were little and our relationship turned romantic during the summer after we graduated from high school. We were almost inseparable during our college years and everyone, including both of us, was sure that we’d eventually marry.

But when I had to make my job choice, Wendy’s father was suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer and she would not leave his side. She didn’t want to hold me back or stand in the way of my dreams, so we agreed that I would take the job, relocate, and she would join me as soon as she could.

As they say, “the best laid plans.” Within six months of when I left town, Wendy’s father passed. But by the time Wendy was ready to come be with me, I had met someone new. She was not the homespun, girl-next-door type that Wendy was. She was wild, exotic, erotic. I was smitten. And then she got pregnant.

Wendy’s heart was broken when I told her I was a baby daddy and that I felt I had to do the right thing and marry the girl. I told her that I hoped we could still be friends, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She said she never wanted to see or hear from me again.

My new wife and I ended up having two more kids before she decided to be wild, exotic, erotic with some other guy. I got full custody of our three kids after the divorce. Ther’ve all grown up now and are out on their own.

Last month I got a call from one of my old high school buddies. He told me that Wendy had succumbed to the flu. I was devastated.

Now I’m a lonely old man who spends most of my time living with my memories and in thoughts of what could have been had I decided to take the job close to home and make a life together with Wendy.

Written for Butterfly Effect on Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The prompt asks us to envision an alternate version of yourself whose life veers off course due to a single decision made at some point in your life.

Dog Gone

We struggled over the past few months with the diminishing quality of life that our beloved dog was experiencing. Some days were okay, many were not. She spent much of each day sleeping, getting up only when she needed to go out to take care of business or to eat. And we often had to feed her by hand.

When she was up and around, she had difficulty walking, her hind legs unable to keep her backside from collapsing into an awkward sitting position.

Was she in a lot pain? Who knows? Like most dogs are, she was stoic. And if she was in pain, she never cried out or whimpered. We couldn’t ask her how she was feeling and she couldn’t tell us. Not in a way we could definitively understand. And not in a way that could give us any degree of certainty.

That’s what made our decision so difficult. Was it the right time? Were we prematurely taking away days, weeks, or even months from her life?

We spoke with our veterinarian, who came to our house yesterday afternoon. She confirmed that it was, indeed, time.

I suppose we’ll always second guess our decision, always feel a sense of guilt. But she’s gone now and we are heartbroken.

We miss her.

SoCS — Make Up Your Mind

B0C04ADB-6AD7-45F7-8A58-78B7937A41B1For Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt today, Linda has given us the word “toss” and instructed us to use it any way we’d like.

I had a bit of a tough time trying to figure out what to write. It was a toss-up between writing a scathing post about Donald Trump or writing one about the many uses of the word “toss.” I asked my wife what she thought and she shrugged her shoulders and said something like, “It’s your goddam blog. I couldn’t care less.” Thanks for you help, sweetheart.

So I decided to toss a coin. As I was doing so, I began to wonder about where the idea of a toss-up came from. So I Googled it and found out that the expression comes from the habit people have of tossing a coin in order to make a choice between two things. If the coin is “heads” (the front side), we choose the first option; if the coin is “tails” (the back side), we choose the second option.

A coin toss can also be used as a way to solve a dispute before the matter escalates. It’s considered to be simple and unbiased, requires little effort, and it provides even odds (50/50) to both sides.

The coin toss is also used in some sports, such as in American Football, to decide which end of the field the teams will play to and/or which team gets the ball first.

And in these pandemic days, when my wife and I are trying to decide whether to call for pizza or Chinese delivery for dinner, we will often toss a coin.

8BBDDFE3-B8B8-44A7-B03C-BF74AB48A5C3And finally, last night I made the decision to not watch Donald Trump’s rally and speech in front of Mount Rushmore without having to resort to tossing a coin. Why not? Because every time I see or hear him, it makes me feel like I need to toss my cookies.8678E9AF-6E57-435F-9FC1-0A660DC1034COh, and one more thing. The phrase “toss-up” or “toss a coin” always brings this song to mind:

The Caramel Crunch — A New Prompt

6321AADB-0312-4BC3-9BBB-87C6ADD84880Mel, over at Crushed Caramel, has decided to start a new prompt. She’s calling it “The Crushed Caramel” and in it, Mel will be posing a question related to a crucial point or situation that generally involves a decision with weighty consequences. The idea is to answer the question, “What would you do?” in that situation. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

For the first challenge, Mel asks us, “Are you a great romantic? Or are you more practical in your outlook? Does family come before your love life? Or when love comes along, do you cling to the person you have fallen in love with?”

I’m going to split Mel’s questions into two items and answer them separately. First, to answer her “Are you a great romantic? Or are you more practical in your outlook?” the best way for me to answer is to give you a link to my very first post on this blog, which I posted on May 14, 2017. I titled it “Practical Pragmatist,” which is a dead giveaway to how I would answer her question.

As to “Does family come before your love life? Or when love comes along, do you cling to the person you have fallen in love with?” Since I’ve been married to my wife for 40½ years, I think my answer to that question is also obvious. I’d say I’ve clung to my wife for everything I’m worth.

So there you have it. Go check out Mel’s Caramel Crunch and give it a shot.

Decisions, Decisions

E229EC97-283C-44C3-AD87-85F923CCA5B1Sam walked into the bar and saw his two best friends, Jerry and Hank, sitting at a table having a rather heated discussion. “Hey guys, what’s the brouhaha?” he asked.

“Jerry needs to make a decision and he can’t make a commitment one way or the other,” Hank said.

“I just don’t know,” Jerry said. “I feel like I’m standing at an intersection and I don’t know whether or not to go straight, turn to the right, or head left.”

“Maybe you should pause for a few minutes. Try making an outline listing all the pros and cons of each option,” Sam suggested.

“That seems like a lot of effort,” Jerry complained.

Sam gave Hank a questioning look. “What is this big decision he’s trying to make?” he asked.

Hank shook his head. “It’s really no biggie,” he said. “Jerry’s trying to decide if we should go back to his place and play Fortnite or Call of Duty.”

Written for these one-word prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (brouhaha), Word of the Day Challenge (commitment), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (intersection), Nova’s Daily Random Word (pause), Scotts Daily Prompt (outline), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (play).