Placing undue importance on the weather / by vanessa

Check out songs on the upcoming Spoon album here. I'm liking the first song.


My friend F is in town from Austin and last night Dre and I met him and two of his co-workers out at Asia de Cuba for dinner. A couple of noteworthy things. First, I'll tell you about the conversation: F has a theory that with any committed relationship - marriage or otherwise - settling has occurred. That is, the act of committing is essentially agreeing that you're okay with not getting every thing you need/want from a single person. Here's his logic (and btw, he's married to my friend, I): Everyone has a list of things they desire in a partner. Say for simplicity's sake your list is ten items long (e.g. must have brown hair, must be clean, and so on). There is no one person that will meet all ten of your items, but what you will find is someone who meets like 60 or 70% of them and then that becomes enough. The people who are happy, he posits, are the ones that actually recognize this as "settling" and consider the agreement reasonable. (He made a point to say that it is indeed settling and not compromise, but I don't remember the explanation.) Conversely, the people who are unhappy are the ones who are always thinking the grass is greener b/c they haven't figured out that no one has everything, so they jump from person to person, or even fantasy to fantasy, always feeling like they don't have enough.

I'm not sure what I think about that yet -- I mean, I don't believe in the single soulmate thing -- but I also think the theory fails to consider things like weighted preferences. For example, maybe having brown hair is more important to me than him making his bed. So, whereas I might be able to live with a messy bed, it turns out that the green hair is a no go. Nor does it answer the messed up folk who would rather stay in a bad relationship than be alone. But what I do like about his theory is that it places the responsibility of one's own happiness in the mirror. And it was fun to discuss.

Second, so we're having a good time, and three bottles of wine later, the bill comes, which was good since it sobered us right up. F ordered a $70 bottle of wine but the waitress had brought a $220 bottle. When she showed it to him he didn't notice, since the wine was from the same house (but a different castle). He explained it to the waitress (another waitress had made the mistake) who couldn't do anything about it so the manager came. I have to say F handled it like a pro. He was completely reasonable and fair as they negotiated back and forth. He admitted that mistakes were made on both sides -- he should have noticed that the label wasn't what he asked for and she should have clarified which version of the wine he wanted since there were two from that house (even though he pointed at the cheaper one). It started out with them saying there was nothing they could do, and ended with them comping our food which meant the wine became something like $110 instead of $220. That's still a lot in my book, but it was better.


My lesson for this week has been that old Zen saying: the obstacle in your path, IS your path. I can't say I like it.