We’re taking a look back instead of forward following the end of a pretty raucous decade. On a personal level, ours was as raucous as they come, with life-altering decisions, commitments, and paradigm shifts of the first order. When you’re middle-aged, decades begin to whirrrr by your head like speeding bullets, leaving some necessary and unnecessary “roadkill” in their wakes. Lessons learned, lessons going by too fast to be learned and of course, lessons repeating themselves for the umpteenth time because they were not learned early on … and maybe never will be.
If sex were a corpse in ’09, he came in the form of “Cowboy Loser #27.” That’s the closest I’ve come to considering actual activity south of my border in a few years. Cowboy losers are oftentimes synonymous with honky tonks, and when you live in Texas, you wind up in a honky tonk on occasion. It just happens. In midlife, I’ve acquired a certain wisdom, okay, jaded cynicism when it comes to the opposite sex. In my twenties, if a handsome man of whom I was quite enamored, promised to “call me tomorrow,” my heart would go pitty pat, and I would stay close to a telephone (remember when we had to do that before cell phones?) for the entirety of that “next day.” A waste of time to be sure, but clap if you’ve ever done this. I thought so. I hear a cacophony of cyber-applause from both the ladies and the mens.
The “Nearlys” of 2009 are now roadkill material. We “nearly” convinced The Ancient One that a retirement center was the cat’s meow and a lovely place to live out her remaining years. She was completely on board with this until we took her to Westminster Manor for a lunch appointment with the admissions gal. That was the end of that nearly. She allowed as how there “were nothing but old people in that place.”
The Midlife Gals nearly had our first book published, Necessary Insanity, which is based on our blog. After being approached by a VERY well-known publishing house’s smaller Imprint, we sent in sample chapters, got great feedback, then fell completely through the crack of a cat fight between the female editors, leaving the Imprint dissolved and the editor moving to another publishing house.
Whilst driving in the slow lane on the freeway recently, I spied a dead raccoon along the side of the road. It was on its back with all four paws spread-eagled, out and up as if to say, “YOU BASTARDS …YOU HAVE SLAIN ME IN YOUR RUSH TO NOWHERE. MAY MY LIFELESS BODY CURSE YOU AND YOUR FOOLISH DECISIONS!” I completely ‘metaphor’sed his dead body into all the wrong choices I’d made since the year 2000. So, in this way, I was able to completely rationalize and rid myself of any guilt over those bad decisions … poof … I ran them over, dead and gone, moving onward through the fog into the next decade. May the last one REST IN PEACE!
I remember growing up in Midland, Texas, where a good date in high school involved a case of Bud, five good buddies, and some guns for annihilating Jack rabbits in the country at night. Rabbits were so plentiful in west Texas that you had to dodge their cold, dead, road-killed bodies just to get from the grounds at Midland High to Pinky’s Liquor Store on the county line. Good times.
Ever heard of a sling-cat? We had lots of them inside the city limits. They are formed when a cat gets run over while trying to cross the street. The average temperature year-round in Midland was 104 degrees. After a dead cat was run over again and again over the course of about three weeks and left to dry in the sun, he was flat as a pancake and you could sling him at your best friend, just for fun. Good times.
My metaphoric road-kills for this past decade are many. One was a ‘good friend’ who decided I was past my prime and therefore not worthy of the respect my years in ‘the business’ deserved. I road-killed that relationship the first time he called me ‘Old Girl.’ I ran over that friendship with a John Deere tractor and then used it as a stepping stone to a new friend who encouraged me to ‘get out there and make ‘em laugh, make ‘em laugh, make ‘em laugh.’
Road kill reminds you that life can be fleeting and one wrong decision in an instant of uncertainty can be the death of you. You’ve got to watch out for people who are on the fast-track, look before you leap, and stop if you think someone is going to barrel over you on their way to the Hobby Lobby.
One of my road-kills for this year will be to smash my usage of clichés and idiomatic phrases as overly exhibited in the preceding paragraph.
Happy New Year!
Originally published on TheMidLifeGals