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Chasing The American Dream

December 17, 2004


OK. You’re thinking, “What in the world is he talking about THIS time? Has he finally lost it?” Well here’s the thing. I was all ready to post Part 2, “The Ugly,” when that little blogger person (I picture him to look like Gazoo, from the planet Zatox, of Flintstones fame) in my mind zaps me with a post idea.

I’m taking about concessions here. Obviously not the ballpark variety. More like concessions as in compromise, yield, give in, concede, surrender, etc. Relationships require concession. It’s probably one of the toughest things required of us. We’re all different. Different backgrounds, upbringing, culture, religion, education, interests, tastes, everything mostly. Ultimately, differences require concessions or confrontations ensure whether it involves relationships, work, sports, or whatever. We can’t always have our way and we need to GULP every so often.

GULP, you ask? Yeah, it’s one of these leadership things I picked up in a training class once. Greatest Unifying Leadership Principle. It boils down to taking one for the team, if you will. Or wanting to be right all the time. “It’s better to be effective than right,” our instructor told us. Still, we fight for the right to be right. It’s instinctive.

My life’s now an open book, basically. I like it that way. I get free advice from people who actually take the time to visit this little blog of mine. I’m amazed, really. Anyway, there has been a lot of commentary regarding the concept of concession. The feedback has really been universal in its theme. I need to make concessions. Do I agree? Yes and no. Listen, don’t rush, don’t force, it’s not all about you, don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t make the same mistakes again and again. I agree with all that’s been said. BUT…

Here’s my dilemma. One of my most biggest (most biggest? can you say redundant redundant?)concerns, if not *the* biggest, is learning lessons from my previous marriage so that the next time, if indeed there is a next time, the relationship will be better, stronger, and everlasting. I have reflected on what went wrong, things I could have done better as a husband and a father. So I think I’ve got the ‘once the relationship is established’ roadmap figured out. What I need to get a handle on is simply getting *to* that relationship stage. I’m obviously struggling. I’ve got a roadmap and it doesn’t appear like I’m gonna veer off-course. But I’m getting advise that my Rand-McNally is flawed. How many times have we asked Mapquest for directions only to say, “What kind of crazy route is this? Screw that; I’m taking a different route.”

So if I listen and concede, I risk making the same mistake I made before I got married. I made concessions that, I believe, eventually came back to haunt me. And I vowed not to repeat those ‘love is blind’ mistakes. And so I’m not going to marry a smoker no matter how pretty or great a person she is because I know it will eventually grate on me. I’m not going to marry out of faith for the same reason. And this leads to wanting to share my passions for food, music, or whatever with my future mate. I want, and I think need, this to be a two-way street on this roadmap. My marriage lacked this passion for those and other things. I don’t want to make this mistake again. I want this common bond and feel I need to be selective and not make the same mistake for fear I’ll regret it later.

Am I being too selective? Have I narrowed down the population to a mere handful? Probably, but why settle? I don’t think I should settle. If I don’t find ‘her,’ it won’t be the end of the world. Sure, all of you are thinking, “Dude, you ain’t gonna find her cuz you ain’t making concessions.” You’re probably right, but strangely, I think she’s out there somewhere. And I AM willing to make concessions, but there are some things I don’t think I can waver on. At least here and now. Would someone please pass me the Popcorn?


  • Listen, I know exactly what you're saying--learning lessons from a previous marriage. Unfortunately, that philosophy only FULLY works if you're entering a relationship/marriage with the same kind of person. Everyone is different, so you kind of have to become "plastic man." That is to say...stay as flexible as possible. What you learned from your marriage may not work with another person. She is, after all, NOT your ex wife. So...I think that's where we, men, make that mistake. Struggling to learn from a past relationship/marriage and applying it to a whole new different person. It may or may not work. It's kind of like making the woman (or man, in other cases) the x, where the x=constant. It can't be. The lessons you learned from a failed marriage cannot be applied universally to all women. Or even one other woman. They just can't. So...what to do? Tough to give an answer. Stay loose and flexible and be kind and try not to judge. Be hardest on yourself. Be honest with yourself and recognize your faults. Then work up from that.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 2:41 PM, December 17, 2004  

  • There are somethings worth conceding, and others that aren't. I agree that smoking is one of the non-concedes. The older I get, the more I see, the more I'm sure I don't want to marry out of faith either. That doesn't mean I won't...I've also learned never to say never!

    Somethings I WON'T concede on & won't tolerate: drugs, alcoholism, any kind of abuse, inability to manage financial affairs, etc.

    Compromise is important, but not to the detriment of who you are.

    By Blogger M, at 8:30 PM, December 17, 2004  

  • Thanks Plantation

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 PM, December 17, 2004  

  • Concession is just another way of saying the other repugnant c-word: Compromise. Which is just one small step from the really loathed "Lower your standards, you're just too picky" ... all pretty much the same idea, which is an over-simplification of the nastiness that is marriage. We all have our "list" and those who get married all end up wondering what the hell happened to the list when we finally meet someone that we feel like seeing again and then eventually decide we can stand to live with. OR... we marry a version of "the list" and then end up wondering why the hell it didn't work out anyway. Marriage is mysterious (often not in a good way) and cannot be controlled by any rational rules. There is much to be learned, I believe, from a "failed marriage" (or even a flailing one). But it's about YOU, not about women. And that will always apply.

    This is a recent post of mine that bears on the subject:


    By Blogger squarepeg, at 4:17 PM, December 18, 2004  

  • SP, welcome and thanks for the visit. I'll check out your post...PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 8:41 PM, December 20, 2004  

  • i am talking something a little off topics here?

    what is real american dream?

    is pop corn, bud, hot dog, nacho, coke american tradition? are these junk food or healthy?

    how about peanut, milk, cheese, Mcdonald, hamburger, Kentucky, deep fried chicken, pizza?

    i am not asking you to do smoking, drug, any bad habits, but improve yourself, change your lifestyle, habits, there are a lot of good woman out there?

    By Blogger scooterskateboard, at 5:14 PM, July 23, 2008  

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