The old folks will cackle asthmatically and tell you, every time you can't find it, that it's always in the last place you look. But that's as good as telling you to count to n + 1.

My dad loses stuff, just like anyone else, and today was no different. It was a phillips head screwdriver bit for his power drill, and it had fallen in a driveway of grey gravel. It fell there when he was doing a project months ago, and he remembered dropping it today, when he looked up at the work he'd done.

"Son, do you see a drill bit laying around here?"
"Sorry, dad--it's grey, right?"
"So are the rocks, dad."
(he's color blind, so I point these things out to him occasionally)
"Well, then I guess I don't have a very good chance of finding it, do I?"
(he's still looking at this point)
"Not a chance in hell."

And he finds it.

Picks it right up out of the gravel, smiles, and pockets it. Which brings me to my point. No, that's a lie. What I meant to say was, "which brings me to the real story I meant to tell." The real story goes like this:

Three, almost four years ago, I had finally cleaned up all of my baggage leftover from high school, and decided to finally trust people again. Like every other straight male my age, I had been agressively looking for a woman to fall in love with almost since puberty, and I was having no luck. Looking back on it, I could have been getting lucky frequently, but missed my cues--mostly because those weren't the cues I was looking for. So, we have discovered the "it" that I was looking for: love, requited love, the kind you don't have to torture yourself over like you're in junior high, the Big "L"... love was my drill bit lost in the driveway.

I didn't have a little black book, but if I had, it would've read like this:

And I was getting, well... desperate. I'm still undecided about whether to make a long story short or not, and I think it's better left for another node, but I'll sum it up with a link, and you can go hear all the gory details when I'm feeling candid again. The catalyst was the night me and my roommate were sitting around and I got an e-mail from a chick, the entire text of which read, "sex". That was it--the epitome of what I was not looking for. I can tell you the date because I'm an ENFP, and I remember dates like that--it was October 27, 1997. I threw my hands up in the air, and told my roommate, "I quit."

A week later, I had a girlfriend. And no, it wasn't the sex e-mail girl. As far as I know she's driving a Harley-Davidson around North Dakota, or maybe she's working in a nursery taking care of newborns. She could be a sniper like John Cusack in Grosse Pointe Blank, but I really don't care, as long as she doesn't shoot me. I'm still with the other girl, the one that was right under my nose, grey metal in a sea of gravel, the one who I'd become best friends with while this whole mess was playing out, and it's wonderful.

The irony didn't escape me even in that early-relationship haze where we fell totally ass over teacups in love with each other. As soon as I stopped looking for the perfect woman, she was wrapped around me, in my bed, in my mind, in my life for good.

... for those of you still hanging around the node hoping for a moral, it's in the title. I'm not saying it works for everything, but for falling in love and drill bits, just stop looking and it'll find you.

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