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Oh, how things change over the years

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POSTED: April 6, 2011 3:21 p.m.

Isn’t it weird how one little event can trigger a flood of memories, taking you back years — or even decades? This happened to me recently as I was flipping channels on Sunday afternoon, trying to avoid what I should have been doing, which, of course, was cleaning the house.

I came across “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” a movie I hadn’t seen in quite awhile – about nine years, to be exact. I began to think about the last time I’d seen the film and suddenly was transported through time to a sunny Wednesday afternoon in Bluffton, South Carolina. It was a pretty September day – the kind that makes you want to sit on a dock with a good friend and a cold beverage while enjoying the breeze and the scenery. Except I had no friends. OK, well, I had friends – it’s just that none of them lived anywhere near South Carolina.

I had been living in Bluffton for about a month at that time, having moved halfway across the country to take a job at the Island Packet newspaper. It was my first, real post-college job, other than a three-month internship I completed at the Abilene Reporter-News in Abilene, Texas, the summer after I graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I left everything and everyone I’d ever known to take that job in South Carolina, but I didn’t really mind. I was ready for an adventure, and I was so excited to start my career. I filled my car to the brim with my belongings and drove solo from Missouri to South Carolina. I didn’t even have enough stuff to fill a U-haul.

But, anyway, back to Bridget Jones. So, I’d been at my new job in Bluffton for a couple weeks. My days off were Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I’d spent Tuesday straightening my one-bedroom apartment, grocery shopping, paying bills and tackling other chores. When that beautiful Wednesday afternoon rolled around, I had nothing to do and no one to do it with. I hadn’t made any friends yet, I had no pets, my family was in Missouri and I’d left my boyfriend behind in Texas to take the job in South Carolina (Hey, I’ve never been the type to choose a man over my career! Besides, that guy ended up following me and is now my husband.).

So, on that wide-open, pretty day, I decided to get a pineapple pizza for lunch, eat a couple slices on my tiny balcony and then kill the afternoon by watching one of the only DVDs I owned – “Bridget Jones’ Diary.” I remember thinking it was a shame I didn’t have more to do – or someone to do it with. Ah, if only I had known.

Fast-forward to my most recent encounter with “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” just last week. I watched the film and thought about how much my life had changed since that Wednesday afternoon in South Carolina nearly a decade ago. What I wouldn’t give now to have nothing to do! My three-bedroom house was a mess, the dog needed a walk, I should have gone online to pay the bills, I hadn’t been to the grocery store in weeks and my husband (who started out as my boyfriend from Texas) wanted to know about our dinner plans.

But I continued to ignore all my chores. I sat and laughed at Bridget Jones’ antics and seriously toyed with the idea of ordering a pineapple pizza to eat on my not-so-small backyard patio, which needed to be swept. I didn’t, though. Instead, I wondered whether I’d look back on this sunny Sunday afternoon 10 years from now and marvel at how much my life has changed.

 

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