Saturday, August 11, 2007

Them's Fightin' Words

All my friends know how to fight. Well, most of them anyway. I'm not talking about Ultimate Fighting Championship style or a bar-fight. I'm talking about verbal sparing. I know a lot of folks who have been through a relationship ringer at my age. On standardized forms I check the box that says "Divorced". That ain't changing. And with that status comes a oh-so-special experience that taught me a lesson in life. All these acquaintances I'm talking about share this experience. Call it an exclusive social club that nobody would willingly want to be a part of.

The elite of the fighting regime come in all shapes and sizes. Divorced. Unmarried with kids. Estranged from a long-time lover. In and out of relationships that work for 6 months and then fizzle. Down and out on dating. I know a whole slew of them. We could write a book just about online dating stories, bad dates and fine sexual encounters.

There are a lot of stories out there from a lot of once-unhappy folks. The good news is that a majority of them are happy now. It usually only takes one slap in the face to learn that a slap in the face kinda hurts. I socialize with quite a few slapees. It's not that I don't have friends happily married. Au contraire! I even have close family who are happily married and re-married. With and without kids. It's just that I've heard a lot of the stories from both sides of the aisle. And the people I know who have been through these experiences... the ones who really got a good fistful of pain the first time around in what they thought was love, well, they have special skills that others do not possess. I'd go so far as they possess a certain... je ne sais quois.

Broken love will make you a virtual ninja of argumentative dialectic. Try it some time. Or better yet, don't. It won't help you be a better person. Analytical, hypocritical, diabolical; we all find our best of the worst traits. We all know the pushing points, the buttons, the fightin' words that pick the very best scabs off of an innocent person. And like a CIA agent who is trained to kill, it's a skill you never ever want to use. A skill we elite trainees try our best to keep under covers never to be revealed except in times of emergency.

So on this cool and calm Saturday night in mid-August here's a toast to reserving the fighting skill for another world. This world is filled enough with wars and hate and venomous politics. Lets all strive for a little more brotherly love and a little less emotional turmoil. A little more gratitude and a little less regret. We'll all sleep a little better and maybe those fighting skills will dull with time, patience and a big dose of understanding.

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