On Settling (August 9, 2010)
. . .
M “Not the West or a building foundation. Settling. In life.”
S “I hear you.”
M “Nine out of ten.”
S “Really. A quick guess or a settled belief?”
M “Ten out of ten, really. I am rounding down to factor in a margin of error.”
S “Another buddy with some perspective said that he suspects the figure is around seventy percent, although the percentage is dependent on age, income and geography.”
M “For most people, it’s a matter of time. It’s time to do it. The music is stopping. Who is available? That’s about it. Okay, the process is subconscious and more complex. Think about it. Did you get into the college of your choice? Are you working at the job of your choice? Every day and every decision in life is a series of compromises.”
S “You must go to college. You must work. And you appeared smitten, you didn’t settle.”
M “Curly blond hair and straight ivory teeth. Tolerated my sense of humor. It was the right time. And she said yes. An uncle passed up his college sweetheart and never found another person. There are ups and downs. Your take?”
S “I’ve collected data and generated a few hypotheses. Market forces are at play. In today’s market society, the decision to marry and the decision to stray are primarily a function of options and/or perceived options. Costs and benefits shape character and drive behavior. Hard to generate interdependent utility curves in a pop market of individuals ruthlessly maximizing their own utility. Character, commitment and integrity are secondary. Raw yet realistic. Public Choice theory underpins the ultimate private choice.”
M “At some point, you look at your options and go for it. That’s life.”
S “Say someone shares seven of eleven essential tenets, convictions and interests?”
M “Bingo. Eureka. Game over. That’s life. That’s as good as it gets.”
S “Or the game just changes. Seems that it could lead to the ‘Original Resentment.’ Can’t do it. Still not enough. I understand the logic, sort of, yet it does not seem to be the healthiest approach in the long run.”
M “You compromise and settle every day.”
S “Every day brings another dose of disappointments.”
. . .
Bumper stickers of the week:
Was the West unsettled?
Why not build the foundation slightly lower?