A pilot in training learns to listen for the word “eject”. Hearing it creates quite an adrenaline rush because it means “Be ready, we’re going to have to eject in about 30 seconds.”
If the situation is even more critical and requires the need to blow out of the aircraft immediately, the command is different. It becomes, “bailout! bailout! bailout!”
Okay, call me a slow learner, but I was fast asleep at the switch when I first heard the ‘eject’ command not long after I met this gorgeous man when I was in college.
The command abruptly changed to “bailout!, bailout! bailout!’ as Gorgeous Man From College incessantly pressed me to marry him when we’d known each other only a few weeks. My ego was gratified, but I repeatedly declined, thanking him for the nice offer each time. There’s no rush, I thought. Love isn’t a fire sale, I told myself.
That was until one beautiful Saturday morning in February. It was a set up. I just know it. [Smile] The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and apparently Cupid was flying nearby venting a thick cloud of feel-good oxytocin contrails.
Huffing all those endorphins and being made to feel like Cinderella by his constant love-bombing, I made the fateful decision to run off and change my name to ‘Mrs‘ Gorgeous Man From College.
And so began a trek toward a period of my life that would later forever live in infamy—an epoch of my life that I term ‘The Ordeal’.
Sigh. My romantic comedy was not to be—at least not in the ‘til death do us part’ way. A number of years later—and only a week after celebrating our anniversary!—Mr. Gorgeous Man From College threw me for a loop by ghosting our long term marriage.
Yes indeed, my ‘forever love’ hip-chucked me to the ditch for an old girlfriend from high school. A girlfriend he ‘just happened’ [wink wink] to reconnect with via Classmates.com. Raise your glasses and join me in a toast to the benefits of modern social media and technology.
Without so much as a wink or a nod, Gorgeous Man From College stepped to the door of the airplane, jumped out, pulled the ripcord, and drifted off into the wild blue yonder with someone he supposedly hadn’t seen in over 30 years. And if you believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
A real D.B. Cooper, that one.
I’ll cut to the chase here, but suffice it to say that my life cataclysmically changed that fateful day. Like The Mississippi River after the violent series of earthquakes in 1812, the landscape of my life was forever altered. Regrettably, I too, ran backward for a while.
And like D.B. Cooper, he too had absconded with the cash, leaving me with nothing, except all the bills. But hey, whose fault was it, really?
It took me a while to pull up my Big Girl Pants and swallow the bitter pill that I had been a party to my own undoing. I had not been tied up, taken away and held for ransom. No, I was the idiot that married the man—over top of the urgent ‘”Eject!” and “Bailout!” commands.
Okay, so here’s my once-sad—but now rather humorous—takeaway. It is this … if we don’t [or won’t] do it ourselves, sometimes others we have errantly invited into our lives do the dirty work for us.
In other words, sometimes THEY are the ones to reach over and pull the levers on each side of our ejection seats—blowing us up—and out—of our comfortable delusions.
Uh, Houston … we have a problem.