The Best Decision You've Ever Made

It’s a short short story. She called and asked. I said YES. The End

~Grace Moore

It wasn’t the best decision at the time, but the lessoned I learned were PRICELESS. Three years ago I made the wildly unpopular decision to have my unemployed, quasi-writer boyfriend move in with me. My relationship with said boyfriend was troubled during the best of times. I tricked myself into believing my decision was to know if I was meant to be with him. I risked alienating my friends and family. After three months, I wanted out. I knew it wouldn’t work. It took nine more months to get him out of my life for good. During this journey, I learned the true value of close friends and family. I pushed them away when they disagreed with me. But when it was time to help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart, they were by my side. (And not one “I told you so”.) I learned that I deserved better. I learned that the decisions I was making were to fulfill a part of me that wasn’t authentic. It was a painful journey but I wouldn’t change it. Today, I’m with a guy that’s smart, cute, and affectionate and, he respects me. I’m happy with him, it’s easy.  ~Terri Jo Tatusko

 

Gram Dot did not babysit me often. So imagine my excitement, that special afternoon that I got to go to her apartment for lunch and a some time spent together doing her afternoon errands. Now, imagine my sensitive 5 year old nose walloped when she set placed in front of me a funny looking boiled hot dog that had cheese inside. Gross! I knew I had two choices. Eat the thing or not and suffer the consequences. Maybe I'd just get a glare from her eyes that looked like mine. Or a long lecture that I'd be hungry later. But from the look on her face, in her point of view, I had two choices. Eat it or eat it. Gram Dot had a good reputation in the kitchen all year long. She cooked and baked and pickled and jarred for every season, holiday, and gathering.  All homemade and fresh. She also was known to be kind to animals, loved her family dearly, read books, was a fierce democratic in a very republican town, and wrote letters to friends. She also was known to be kind to animals, love her family dearly, write letters to friends. So with that said, I do not know what steered her to the artificial horror on my plate that particular day. But there was more to her, she was a bit short and gruff and always had to be on time, in fact - often hours early. I suppose, she was trying to get me and her somewhere on time.  And that hot dog with the God forsaken cheese inside was a choice of convenience. I remember taking a bite, reluctantly as to appease her. I remember gagging. I remember throwing it up in my napkin. I remember her reaction to that behavior. My beloved Gram Dot was besides herself. But I also remember me not finishing that hot dog and taking a stand. I remember not caring that my stomach was gnawing the rest of the day or disappointing her. And from that day on, I revolted the rule of finishing my plate especially on things that I put under my disgusting category. Yes, my family began to call me names, like the "bird" eater of the family. But I still consider this a huge win for myself and now my son who does not have to finish his plate.  ~Amy Lee Czadzeck