There’s an insurance commercial currently airing that many of you may have seen. A carefree young man swears to his buddies “I’m never getting married.” (He does.) The young husband tells his wife “We’re never having kids.” (Baby number 1 arrives.) The young daddy in a downtown loft apartment says “We’re never moving.” (Cue the ‘burb shot.) And so on.
It’s popular, it’s catchy, and it resonates so well with what we all do and say in everyday life. There aren’t enough fingers in the world I could collectively count on to number the things I’ve said I would “never do” that I actually did.The biggest was “I could never write a book.” Well, I did and it’s going to be published in a few short months. It’s really weird for me to think that it’s actually full of things that I had said I would never do.
For example, when I was a senior in high school, a group of my girlfriends and I went to see the movie “Love Story,” starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw. We were enraptured with these two young lovers, and at the death of the lovely Jenny, we cried. When a sequel came out a few years later and O’Neal’s widowed character Oliver met someone new and fell in love, I was as shocked as if he’d committed bigamy. How could he love another when his whole soul was entwined eternally with “Jenny?” I would NEVER do anything like that. Forty-some years later, death shattered my heart and my world when it took my husband. And several years after that, I found that there really was love after death, and am now happily, luckily, and lovingly married again.
Another never: I would never consider dating some stranger I met online. Then my daughter put me on an online dating site, and that’s how I got married!
As a mother and a grandmother, I would maintain my dignity and poise and never act like some giggling, immature fool. I’m embarrassed to admit how many times after a date I’d pray that I could get rid of the tittering little twit I became when I met someone new. Whether it was a regeneration of stagnant hormones, or a subconscious instinct to attract the opposite sex, I acted so crazy-stupid at times while I was dating that if it weren’t for the wrinkles and gray hair I saw in the mirror every morning, I would have sworn time turned backwards and I was practically pre-pubescent! I fussed over my hair and clothes, worried about what I would say and what I shouldn’t say, and agonized over whether I laughed too loudly and weighed too much. I would never do that as an adult. But I did. (Hey, guys I dated: I’m sorry!)
I would never spend an extravagant amount of money on clothes. I not only did that, I bought things I’d never worn before and have never worn since I got married.
Retirement? Never, because what would I do with myself? Had a wonderful retirement party a month before my wedding. And there isn’t enough time in a day to get everything done I want to do now that I’m retired.
Where to live after we married? City – yes. It would be close to doctors, friends and jobs. Country – never. Our one-acre home in a rural area is our dream home. I don’t want to jinx myself by saying I never want to leave it, but I will say I hope I stay here for a long, long time!
By now, I’m getting the “never say never” lesson. And it’s a good lesson. To say “never” and hold true to it is to deny that life is a constant evolution with no “nevers” and plenty of changes. Neverland is only make-believe, and for that I’m thankful. I sure would have missed out on a lot of good things in life if all my “nevers” had come true!