Summer has officially ended. I was at the beach this weekend visiting my parents. Mr. Right is away on business so I ended up going out on the town with an old friend. September is a good month for hitting up the bars at the beach because the wild crowd has migrated west for the fall, leaving an older calmer crowd behind. While the scene was significantly subdued, there was debauchery abound.
Toward the end of the evening, we stopped at a takeout window. Since the establishment served snacks after 2am there was a large crowd forming on the sidewalk. A group of men from a bachelor party were laughing and carrying on with a drunken woman seeking some attention. She wore a leopard newsboy cap and her once cute outfit was disheveled showing a little more belly then the world needed to see. The bachelors and the onlookers chuckled at the girl as she made her sloppy advances. She shook her hips and flirted making a serious attempt to meet a man. Alcohol fueled an erroneous sense of sexiness. It started to make me sad, she was a cute girl clearly sloshed and uncoordinated; she seemed desperate and pathetic.
I paused from hating for a second and thought, “Have I ever behaved that way?”. Sadly, I think that one time or another everyone has. A few too many drinks coupled with a bought of low self-esteem can bring out the worst. I flashed back to summers past. Specifically, I thought about the summer I ended things with Rocker Boy. Still, in my twenties I was ready to party hard and erase the time I had wasted in that relationship. I had a pattern of trying to “make up” for the fun I missed when I was committed. It was my coping mechanism for a broken heart; the rebounding process was a drunken reentry into singlehood.
One night in particular, I was out with friends at a crowded beach bar. I was tying one on, as they say, in a sea of Abercrombie and Fitch clad twenty somethings. The cover band was raging and the Red Bull and vodka was plentiful. My beer goggles secure I was on the hunt, ready to prove to myself that meeting someone to fill Rocker Boy’s tattered shoes would be an easy task. I spotted a familiar face in the crowd, an old buddy who admitted he had a crush on me the following summer when I was involved. Jackpot, this would be the ego boost I needed to put Rocker Boy in the past. I made my way over to Old Buddy to say hi. He had changed since the summer prior. Old Buddy had a new job, was looking good and I felt that he was someone I was interested in dating. However, I was not ready to give up the summer of fun and get serious.
In retrospect, at the time, I was probably in the same shape as the drunken girl in the leopard hat this weekend. I might have looked and sounded like an equally hot mess. It is an embarrassing and humbling thought. Old Buddy was nice enough to humor me and even continued our flirtatious banter as my summer of fun progressed. I started to look forward to seeing him and continuously hoped that something would happen between us. Toward the end of the summer, I caught him outside the bar. I asked him if we would see each other after the summer; maybe go out on a date. Alas, the tables had turned and Old Buddy was not crushing on me anymore. The dancing drunk girl was not exactly someone he would take home to Mom. She had no lasting allure.
It was a disappointing situation because in my heart I was so much more then a crazy party girl enjoying summer as a single woman. I had a career, friends and interests far beyond Red Bull and vodka. Nevertheless, like the leopard hat, when wasted you cannot your best foot forward. Countless nights spent partying at the bar will not boost yourself esteem and/or help you meet someone new. Vodka is not a Band-Aid for a broken heart and one good party is not going to erase your tangled emotions. In fact, you will just end up looking silly and feeling worse. I blew it with Old Buddy and realized that I should have taken more time to get over my last relationship. Being single and having fun at the bar can be a positive thing, but not if you have an agenda to make up for what you perceive as lost time. Mourn your relationship, appreciate yourself, go forth, enjoy life, and for god sakes, do not wear a leopard hat!