Some hangovers are just worth it, that's all. Even the worst ones that you think you'll never recover from. Because you're never gonna forget that one time that you NAILED What's Going On at karaoke, or sinking your ATV seat-deep in the sand out by the river at night, or the new dance you invented with your BFFs in a moment of Absolute Clarity after a shotski of fireball, if you remember those things in the first place. But seriously, can you hang a price tag on those good times with friends, any more than you can name the value of the butterflies you get when he leans in for the first kiss?.. Just brace yourself for the morning after, cause it's probably gonna hurt.
I've made all of the mistakes in my life - enough for me and all of my friends who 'courted' and missed out on the tragedy and triumph that is dating. I guess for better or worse, I traded 'for better or worse' for 'trial and error' and a lot of good intention and poor execution. It's not that I didn't want to stay married, really. I would happily be somebody's wife right now, if somebody could have just got his shit together. Clearly I am perfect, in case you hadn't noticed.
And being perfect, I have had a long line of perfect relationships, wherein I was never too clingy, too selfish, too moody or too demanding. Ever. Through no fault of my own, they ended, and the poor bastards that lost out in the end really had no idea what they were missing out on. But that's ok, because I just haven't met anybody as perfect as me yet, that's all. But I must still believe he is out there, deep down, because something makes me run back into the bloody fray that is hope and stand, battered heart in hand, wondering where he's hanging out. I've been checking the brew pubs and dive bars, since I didn't find him in the church groups and intentional communities. But I don't think that perfect guys hang out at perfect places. I think they're more like me and they're all over the place. It's just that my timing that has been terribly, horribly wrong for 38 years.
If I could list every time that I went a little out of my way, or took a little time I shouldn't have to stop into a random brewery, just to make sure I didn't miss out on the Best Beer In The World, well - I'd have to write a book, because I can't think of a time that I wished I hadn't. And I have had some of the Best Beers In The World, and met some of the coolest people, because I just did it, never a regret. Dating should be the same way. You never know when you'll run across the Best Beer/Man Ever, because you went a little out of your way or took a little time you shouldn't have. It's worth the gamble. I hope.
Maybe it's just that the ache of a broken heart has a familiar comfort to it. A reminder that I am actually alive. For a couple years now I have alternated between nursing old wounds and deciding that I would never, ever risk that damage again. But then I watch my young, pretty girls and I think that I would hug them, give 'em a kick in the ass and then send them back out to find love. And whether it's the springtime or beer, or the country music, or road trip season sneaking up on me with nobody to ride shotgun beside, I dunno - either way, it seems like it's time to take a gamble on some butterflies and risk the next morning, shaking my fist at god and Bad Decisions.