Yep, sometimes we’re better off. Have you ever looked back and said, “Damn, I sure am glad I didn’t get that [next drink/dessert/car/stock/spouse]?” Sure, you have. This is pretty much a daily occurrence for me because what I want changes frequently. Soon after missing out on what I wanted, I see someone else with it, and I react either with relief or despair, usually the former. If there’s regret involved, I change my tune and insist I never really wanted it anyway. Try it. It’s a wonderful defense and coping mechanism.
Let’s begin with lovers. I often act like a kid in a toy store when new women enter the bar. I want her (take the toy off the shelf). Wait, maybe I like this one better (put that toy back and grab another). No, I want this one (grab a second toy and stare at both). Yes, I’ll choose between these two. Which one is more expensive (check tags). The younger one. Damn (put it back on the shelf, and carry desired one to checkout). Yes, I am happy with my choice. I think (stand in checkout line reconsidering). Hm. Maybe the other one is worth a few extra dollars. It won’t hurt to check again (leave line, and go back to toy aisle). Wait, what’s this (notice another toy, take it down, and inspect)? Jesus (stare at both). I can’t do it (put both back on self and leave).
At the bar with my platonic friend last night, I was surrounded by slim pickings. I justified this to my friend.
“I’m going to hold out until after Valentine’s Day.”
“Let’s say financial reasons.”
“OK, emotional too. I don’t want the stress of figuring out what to do.”
“Aren’t you simply justifying your failure around finding a lover by saying you don’t really want one anyway?”
“You read too many of my books.”
Then, five lovely women walked in. It was like five of the most wonderful Cabbage Patch Kids materialized on the shelf. I was giddy. Then, one spoke in an accent. My jaded mind went to a cold, dark place halfway around the globe and insisted it was a Russian dialect, hence the women were there to drink vodka, smoke cigarettes, and find citizenship by seducing an idiot, such as I.
“They are cute. What do you think, stud?”
“Russians. I’m not interested.”
“What? How do you know they’re Russian?”
“I heard a lot of Vs and Ds in their discussion. I think one said, ‘You geeve me de monyee; I geeve you de sexxxie.’”
“Don’t be silly. Two are going to the restroom. I’ll scope it out.”
Ten minutes and one bourbon later…
“Hey, dickhead. They’re Brazilian.”
“Oh, my. Now, I am absolutely interested. Got to love that Brazilian bubble butt. Did they discuss the handsome Italian man at the bar?”
“Very funny. Did they notice my hiney? I did squats and lunges today. They must have remarked about my lusciously firm cheekuses.”
“I don’t speak Brasilian, but I’m pretty sure they were discussing shoes.”
“Fine. What do I want with a Brazilian girl anyway? She’ll probably love me and leave me a sobbing mess when she gets deported.”
“There you go again. Here’s an easier one: Would you like to share an order of cookies and gelato?”
“Mos def. See? I’m hip. Hand me a spoon.”
“Not until tomorrow.”