A friend of mine told me about this phrase she has for nights when smart women go out on the town with a bee in their bonnet and make some poor choices. For some gals, this is a rare occasion and others, a nightly occurrence.
It may be bravado that we thought the pigtails after 40 were actually adorable or that the guy at the bar would think it was super sexy when we boldly grabbed his last shrimp and downed it with cocktail sauce sliding down our chin or said to the cartwheel challenge, “I got this,” which led to an expensive chiropractor bill and new health insurance category.
There are some general mistakes which fall under this B&B night. One is “borrowing” things, aka the poor kid’s big wheel which you tried to ride down the block. (Although I admit occasionally at the American Hotel I “rescue” a sad rose and rehab it). Another is “speaking your truth,” which is the text message equivalent of the bottom of a bird cage. Someone needs to invent an app that is like a verbal Uber driver after cocktails.
You: “Do you think I am a blind, deaf, and dumb idiot who wouldn’t find out you are a cheating lowlife a shoe and I do mean a shoe!” Arghhhhh, auto correct!
Verbal Uber: “After careful reflection, I have decided to shed anything which does not serve my higher purpose so b-bye. Unless of course that blonde actually was just an old friend from college then, ‘Go Wildcats!’”
But what about the decisions that don’t involve bourbon or bad fashion? The bigger life choices?
A good question to ask is: Are you acting out of fear, settling for a job or relationship because you don’t think anything better will come along or because taking a risk could lead to being alone or financial ruin? There are certainly leaps of faith but in making decisions, are you betting on yourself or someone else? Your personal happiness is not a hot potato you are tossing around.
Interestingly, if you Google “smart women bad choices” there is a plethora of books or articles. But if you input “smart men bad choices” you still get a plethora of books about women making bad choices. Do we really make more bad decisions? Are women just more self-reflective? Is it easier for a woman to admit she has made a mistake? Cognitive dissonance is a theory that it is easier to double down on a belief than admit a mistake. (I can’t think who this reminds me of.)
The silver lining is that many a success starts with an abject failure. It’s not only strength of character but the ability to take constructive criticism, which can lead to broader skill sets. It’s a learning process and everything from a good night’s sleep to a deep dive into therapy can lead to better decisions.
That said, I still think I can rock that velour track suit while sipping a mint julep. Don’t tell me I can’t.
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