Friday, August 22, 2008

The relationship
Had now become a habit.
Bored; cost to settle Stained glass eye by ~montanamudd

Standing in the lunch line, paying for my sandwich, I glimpsed her profile through the colored glass panels surrounding the top of the booth she shared with her companion.

Finally recognizing her, I turned back to the cashier to pay.

"How much, did you say?" I asked.

"What or who were you staring at?" she replied.

"Hmmm, what?"

"Never mind. That'll be $2.98, please."

" Oh, I was just trying to figure out who was on the otherside of the stained glass."

Handing the girl a fiver, I thought; Oh, Lily, how forlorn you look sitting there sipping your tea. You seem so bored with your companion's kibitzing with every passer-by that stops to glad hand him. I remember what you were like just before you found out that your husband, Timmy, was having an affair with that high-schooler. You were beautiful, vivacious, and full of exuberance. You were excited about climbing the career ladder in nursing and everything was rosy.

I remember your companion, Carl, at that time too. A rising star in the political world and a powerful player in the hospital's management team. And how he too lost his zest for life when he caught his wife in bed with that CO she'd been banging for months.

How sad I feel to see the two of you, so unsuited to each other, who've chosen to settle for a mediocre relationship, just for the sake of having one. I've seen the two of you together many times socially and believe me I know; there is no love or excitement in this relationship each of you chose, only a sad habit.

"Thank-you sir". says the smiling cashier, handing me two dollars and two cents.

" You're very welcome", I reply, and you can keep the two cents.

Turning away from the booth I leave the cafeteria pondering: Is it OK to settle?

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Blogger Jellyhead said...

Oh wow Rel. What a great topic, and one sure to provoke a lot of discussion.

I think it is OK to settle if you truly believe your life is richer with your partner than without, especially if you are older. But I thank my lucky stars to have found someone I consider to be just right for me. I'm sure you feel the same about having D in your life.

I can't wait to read the rest of your comments on this post as they appear!

8:42 AM  
Blogger paisley said...

never again will i remit the power over my own well being to another human being,, doing so cheapens the self,, and causes us to settle for that which we never would have found acceptable when we still held ourselves in high regard......

nice use of the prompt.. even better wisdom.....

9:40 AM  
Blogger TC said...

I'm left wondering - fact or fiction?

Nicely told story either way.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Remiman said...

100% true story, dialog and all.
Names are changed to protect the author! ;-)

10:13 AM  
Blogger anthonynorth said...

This is marvellously written, and what a choice?
Deep and thoughtful.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Merelyme said...

what a profound question. i suppose we all settle in some way...we reach our compromises in life and try to adapt. everything changes and time is the great equalizer for us all.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Powerful post, Rel.

The short answer, I honestly don't know. I think merelyme's answer is very truthful.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Epiphany said...

I've watched that story unfold too many times to recount. I always considered it a cautionary tale, and have always found it easier not to settle because of it.

Very nicely told, rel.

5:59 PM  
Blogger J at said...

I guess I think there are things best settled, and things that aren't. What I mean by that is, we all know someone who refuses to settle, and is thus always looking for the perfect person, perfect job, perfect life, when if they would look around at what they have, it's enough to make a wonderful, happy life, and that's a good thing.

On the other hand, these things (jobs, relationships, life) are hard enough when you find just the one you want, so how much more difficult would they be if you settled?

Interesting question. I've settled in my career, but my husband is the one for me, so that's a good thing.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous one more believer said...

i really like your observations within the story... settling for something is better than nothing... it is a sad story but whose to say they are not truly happy.. can we recognize happiness if it is not brimming over...

7:23 PM  
Blogger tumblewords said...

So well written, I feel like I'm the fly on the wall. To settle or not to settle...hmmm. Surely a provocative piece! I have no answer.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I am sure that it is a matter of opinion; and for some, yes... settling is fine, they'd rather have someone than be alone.

For me... absolutely not.
I'd never, ever settle. If it's not absolute, true, real love then I don't want it. I am worth that. I am worth being loved for who I am, all of my days, by one who could not imagine waking up without me by his side every day of his life, and one who wouldn't want to.

And he is worth being loved like that in return, for as I expect it, so would I give it, to the nth degree.

What is real love, but living your life with a partner whose existence is the air that you breathe, one who fills your heart with firey passion, love and contentment, and who, with their love and devotion, is the inspiration that lifts the wings of your soul to reach ever higher.

What is settling for mediocrity in the face of that? It is nothing, and I would walk away from nothing, every time.

Scarlett & Viaggiagtore

3:19 AM  
Blogger Chipper said...

Thinking outloud can only lead to trouble.. just kidding.. I don't think you should just settle to settle but what if thos expections you have are unattainable? Better yet would you think these 2 people settled if their husband and wife never cheated or was that your conlcusion before things went wrong?

A great story though

3:17 PM  
Blogger JP/deb said...

Hmmm... interesting thoughts. Is it OK to settle when you're not sure anything better will come along? Is that losing the dream? Or being a realist?

What if.........

peace, JP/deb

11:59 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Nice post. I won't settle, and that's why I'm likely to be single forever.

4:49 PM  

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