End Zone

Val’s been thinking a lot about the idea of the End Zone. That getting married, having a kid, getting a job, etc. is a self-contained accomplishment (rather than a whole new set of challenges). And how our movies and pop culture feed into the idea of this moment of completion, of spiking the ball. The New Year’s Kiss that seals the future, for example. Like, why do I want to WATCH this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1Y2uXjsKjs

I was tempted to skip this one for a few reasons. I’ve been traveling for work and am falling behind on the blogging challenge (taking a moment here to remind myself yet again that it is a challenge, not a contest and I am the only one expecting myself to finish it). Also, I have already read Becca’s take on the prompt and Val’s, and enjoyed them both so much (and identified with pieces of both so strongly) that I’m not sure I even feel like tackling it. But I want to make an honest go of responding to every prompt and, c’mon, if you know me even just a tiny bit, you know that this is the kind of stuff I think about at least a little and sometimes a lot, depending on all sorts of life circumstances.

If you remember anything about the stuff that dominated much of my December 2010 Reverbing (or lived through those wondrous glory days with me, God love you), you know that not terribly long ago I thought I was headed down a path that was going to take me right straight to The End Zone. ‘Cept that I wasn’t skipping merrily along (or, as is the case in Rom Com Land, skipping merrily with the occasional stumble into hijinks that never really threaten the arrival into The Zone and serve instead to prove that our heroine has Moxie and Character). Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, decidedly NOT skipping. And then that path ended, as did my death march to an End Zone that was never really there in the first place.

So, what do I think about the End Zone now? I think a few things. I think that I’m really glad I was never a little girl who dreamed about getting married. Do you believe me? Maybe you don’t. Maybe you know me well and you know what a big ol’ sappy bleeding heart romantic I am and you are calling bullshit right now. But I didn’t dream about it and imagine what it would be like and picture myself in a white dress walking down an aisle. Sure I thought about how having four kids might be fun (an idea I now find preposterous) and sure I have already decided that if I have a kid, his/her name is going to be Tex. But that’s about as far as I’ve gotten in terms of what my version of the End Zone might look like, and I think that (though I could never have known this when I was a kid way more preoccupied with the Titanic than boys) it might have saved me at least a tiny bit when everything else fell apart.

One thing I’m absolutely certain about – because it’s what I did for simultaneously far too long and a mercifully short period of time – is that there is no greater and more dangerous gamble than hinging everything on a shiny future that might be just around the corner. For this lover of wagering, it is no small thing to say that it is not worth it.


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