I had a friend the other day tell me, “I think you dodged a bullet!” which got me to thinking about the meaning of that phrase. I understand the meaning- Something that might have happened to or for me didn’t happen, and for whatever reason, it is probably better for me in the long run that that something didn’t happen to or for me because that something may just be crazy pants insane.
But here’s the thing with that phrase- it only works in either hindsight, or if you’re an outside observer.
I got promoted a few years ago, and my new boss was bat shit insane crazy. I really wanted the promotion, and I had no knowledge at the time of my soon-to-be bat shit insane crazy pants boss, and just how bat shit insane crazy pants he was, so if I had not gotten the promotion, I would have been very upset- at least until I found out that my boss would have been a bat shit insane crazy pants person and then I would have said, “Whew! Looks like I dodged a bullet on that one!”
Here’s where I lose the metaphor- dodging a bullet means you’ve avoided something bad- but what was I doing before said bullet almost shot me? I obviously wanted the thing that almost shot me-in this case a promotion… which did shoot me… I did not dodge any bullets, I got promoted and had to work under a bat shit crazy pants person for nearly three years before someone up the food chain finally came to their senses and “restructured” the office.
The other night when my friend said, “I think you dodged a bullet.” I smiled politely and nodded, but I don’t necessarily feel like I dodged anything… I kind of wanted the thing that may or may not have potentially riddled me with bullet holes (though now that someone else is in the position of being potentially shot at- not literally- I do hope that person gets shot – not literally, but figuratively- lots of shots very figuratively, and the whole thing implodes, figuratively).
I guess I’m trying to imagine a metaphor where I want something, and then that that I want ends up shooting me- I want a full metaphor…
Maybe I’m walking down the street and I come across an alley way. I look down the alley and see a stranger standing alone, and I think, “Oh, I’m going to make a new friend!” and just as I start to walk down the alley, I get cut off by a family of three, mom, dad and young son, and I think, “Stupid family of three, now they’re going to become friends with that stranger!” So I don’t go down the alley, but just walk home, and then later read that the stranger ended up killing the mom and dad and now the young boy, Bruce is now the wealthiest orphan in town. That’s when I’ll say, “Man, I dodged a bullet!”
Also, I live in Texas, and for the whole month of December I've been oscillating between turning on the heater, and the air-conditioner. MAKE UP YOUR MIND WEATHER!!
I feel like this just indicates, without certain that I am getting old, when I go from being hot to cold, and I just don't understand people's newfangled slang like, "dodged a bullet".