"Try this," I said, passing her a glass filled to the brim.
"What is it?" Debbie asked.
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"Maybe the best bourbon you'll ever taste in your life." Sometimes I fancy myself the Willy Wonka of booze.
Her nose wrinkled as she raised a hand to stop me, "No thanks, I'm okay."
"You don't like whiskey?"
"I don't like The Burn!" she laughed.
Whatever benefits this rare malt had to offer, my date was not alone in being unable to look past the smart of the first sip – "The Burn" is what keeps the uninitiated from whiskey. But, connoisseurs know that no matter how "intoxicating" the bouquet or rich the flavor, whiskey's not worth drinking without The Burn.
Are whiskey drinkers just enthusiastic masochists? To some extent, as all people are. Consider love: a fundamental force of nature that tricks us into fulfilling our procreative destinies. Love draws us together and gives us meaning, but not without a harrowing price: the likelihood of loss. Drunk Women More Likely For STDs
Yet we thrive on the drama. All the anxiety and stress we experience—from the chase, the arguments, the uncertainty of it all—is not only worth it for the payoff, it's part of what keeps us coming back for more. This addictive paradox invigorates us by reaffirming our mortality just as the bitter sting of alcohol does. The key is moderation – balancing the painful elements with the finer, more delicate parts of a meaningful relationship. No one wants pure burn, or we'd drink gasoline martinis. Easier said than done, sometimes we all swig too deeply…
Two months after the whiskey offering, my excitement about Debbie had grown exponentially. I began to fantasize about our future together like a rom-com serial bridesmaid who's finally met her groom (I'm played by Jennifer Aniston in this film). We spoke more and more frequently, and I pushed for more and more dates. My not-yet-girlfriend enthusiastically complied, and soon we could both read the print on the signs above each fork of the road ahead: "Exclusivetown" and "Dumpsville."
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Historically, I had always categorized women into "lifelong partners" or "doomed incompatibles." Inevitably, every sweetheart—even those running a strong race for six months or even a year—would eventually land in the latter grouping. I felt safe and secure in doomed relationships because I could envision their finite boundaries and escape at any time. It's impossible to know for sure if this pattern perpetually resurfaced because I valued freedom above love, or because I simply hadn't met anyone worth dating for a lifetime. Nevertheless, this was my M.O. Read on...
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