Monday, September 13, 2010

Flirting With Disaster

Tonight a friend posted a link to Molly Hatchet's song "Flirting With Disaster" on Facebook. I loved the music then and still do...and I watched it just to see it performed. I mean, it's been awhile, and I thought it was a good use of three minutes of my life. I mean, I'm doing three other things while I'm listening as it is, so it was something I could do while I multitasked. Such is my life.

One of the lines of the song that always got my attention was "flirting with disaster every day...and you are too..." Oh, those are true words if I've ever heard them.

Most days of my life start out the same way. I get up (late), drink decaffeinated coffee (for what purpose I don't know), check Facebook (my window to the world) and try to figure out what to wear (whatever's clean). But occasionally, there is potential for disaster.

Take the "gift" I found in the living room floor this morning compliments of my canine children... Yeah, that was fun.

Or getting in the car on a Monday morning (already late) and realizing that filling the gas tank before work is not's mandatory?

Or perhaps realizing that the "to do" list was left on my desk as I was pulling out of the parking lot at 5:00? And then attempting to remember everything on it except the one thing that was time critical?

Some of you are probably thinking..."These are disasters? Obviously this woman knows nothing of my life."

Oh, please. I'm just getting warmed up.

My favorite near-miss was on my wedding day when Big Dave opened his shoebox and found white dress shoes (instead of black) contained therein...on a Sunday...with a 2:00 Thomaston, Georgia. (Mr. Billy Daniel has crowns in heaven for fixing this.)

Or the weather during the first four days of a trip to London and Paris in 2006. Cold, rainy, MAY of all months. At some point in Paris, I looked up and asked God for just one decent day. (He gave me five.)

Or a memorable meal prepared sometime during my first year of marriage when I was just learning how to cook. I was not exactly well informed on things that could or should not be substituted, or how to effectively time a meal. So, I learned (simultaneously, I might add) that ketchup does not substitute well for tomato paste in sloppy joes, that one cannot cook French fries on low (even if it makes the meal come out right time-wise if you do), and that oregano in green beans tastes yucky (like what I imagine cooked grass clippings would). Needless to say, after my meltdown (which involved sackcloth, wailing and gnashing of teeth), Big Dave took me to Country's Barbecue. (Frankly, that first year...we ate at Country's a LOT.)

Or the "shag" haircut that my mother thought would be "cute" on me when I was in the 5th grade. It is one of the only instances in 47 years where I ever doubted my mother's love for me. To call it heinous...would be extraordinarily kind. (Oh, I love my mother and forgave her long ago. At least she didn't give me a home perm or a pixie. So, there's that.)

I suppose that everyday we all do flirt with disaster in one form or another. We ask our college children for the truth...and we get it. We try on something under the glare of the fitting room that is chic and trendy...and we look ridiculous. Or we try a new recipe that is so bad that even the people that love us the best won't touch it.

Like the recipe for curried fruit that my grandmother made sometime in the mid-1980s. She misread teaspoons for tablespoons with the curry. Let's just say that we were helping ourselves to curried fruit...and creatively disposing of it for close to a week. She never did understand why we were not complimentary when we almost always were. (Hard to pay compliments when your face is puckered up from the curry.)

I suppose the reason that I remember the near-misses (and sadly, the direct hits) so vividly is that in retrospect these teach us something about life that we normally never forget.

Like washing red items with whites.

Roller skating after the age of 40.

Planning any outdoor ever.

You know...pretty much every family story that any of us have repeated ad nauseum.

I guess ol' Molly Hatchet was right...we do all flirt with disaster every day. And I suppose that's what makes life what it is...unexpected, unpredictable, and amazing.

Except for that shag haircut. I'm so serious.

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