When I was a kid in grade school, I couldn't do long division. I simply couldn't get the concept through my head. I would stare at the numbers, completely baffled, and then I'd look around the room and see the other students ready to move on to whatever the next lesson was.
But not me.
I was stuck. Until I could grasp the concept involved, I would repeat the lesson. Again. And again. And again.
Then one day, I looked at the numbers differently, and I understood. Nothing had changed, but suddenly, it all made sense and I was ready to move on to the next lesson too.
I thought of this one evening while flirting with a lovely woman. She was whip smart and funny as hell, but a sense of humor can be a a window into someone's mind if you take the time to look inside. Within the jokes, I saw a woman who, at her core, was unhappy.
We had plenty of laughs, but I made no effort to exchange phone numbers or meet again because she was a lesson I'd learned a long time ago. Happiness is a choice, but not everyone chooses to make it.
I vividly remember when it felt like fifth grade math class would never end, but that was nothing compared to what I would go through twenty years later when dating Miss Doom And Gloom. I tried to make her happy, but it doesn't work that way. Happiness can only be shared, not given.
That too was a lesson I had to learn.
And so, after a few drinks, it was time to part company with Miss Whip Smart Funny As Hell. There's no nice way to tell someone they're long division.
Instead, I said goodnight.
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