Do bad choices make great stories?
While riding the metro home from the Rose Bowl on Saturday Night I was struck by a jacket I saw on a young woman between 20 – 22. Her jacket proudly said on the back:
She could have been part of the group I’d hung out with at X concerts thirty-five years ago, but this was 2016 not 1981. She looked like someone who had made a few bad choices in her life but was happy with her current situation.
I’m a little too pragmatic a person, but I let my mind wonder about this little saying she was so proud to be wearing. I started running through bad choices people make and was having a hard time coming up with ones that would have a good story.
Is a DUI a good story? Not if it ends in jail or death for someone, or at a minimum the loss of your license. If you make it home without any consequences is it a good story? Doesn’t strike me as one but maybe that is a badge people wear.
Is a teenage pregnancy a good story? Sometimes, it worked out for my niece.
Is picking the loser who likes to hit a woman a good story?
Is picking the winner who likes to hit a woman a good story? In either case, it was a bad choice.
Is driving a motorcycle recklessly without a helmet a good story?
Is driving 120 on the way to Arizona a good story? Absolutely, until it isn’t .
Most of us make bad choices every day, and I don’t think there are many good stories to be found. In my own experience, I could only find one instant where I’d made a bad choice and it turned into a good story. At age 14 a girl and I played hookey from school and hitchhiked to the beach from Glendale. It was a wild and crazy trip that kept bordering on becoming a disaster, but eventually, we found our way home with one hell of a story.
The great stories are the great choices. Aren’t they? Otherwise, aren’t they bad stories?
Maybe I need to expand my horizons. Sometimes we don’t know going in if we are making a bad choice, but I think the jacket was talking about going in knowing full well this was a bad choice and being ok with the consequences.
But I’m just a guy on a metro headed home to suburbia. That wasn’t exactly a good choice, and I certainly don’t have any good stories to tell about suburbia.
- Posted in: Uncategorized