A few years ago, I met a friend in New York city. It was a big trip for me (almost 4 hrs by train) but I wanted to go to support her. I knew that she didn’t ever splurge on anything (especially herself) and so I also wanted the trip to be a treat for her. At the time, I wasn’t exactly prosperous, but decided to charge most of it and take her out for a very nice dinner at an Italian restaurant that had gotten great reviews. I was a little uncomfortable …going out to a really nice dinner here in rural upstate NY never adds up to more than $50 a person. A $35 entrée would be very expensive.
The appetizers at this restaurant were in that range. The entrees more like $75 and up. I was swallowing hard but determined to push past my discomfort and really treat my friend. I was feeling like a really “big” person (a big shot was more like it but I couldn’t admit this at the time). That is until she said at the end of the meal, “This was so expensive and just think, we could have gotten just as good a meal at the Olive Garden (a chain restaurant) and it would have cost less than one of these appetizers!” What? Just as good a meal?
I felt completely deflated, a little stupid (I also was irritated with her for not appreciating my sacrifice) and was $200 more in debt without even impressing her! If I had listened to that little voice of discomfort inside, we might have splurged for take out pizza instead.
It can be hard to look at ourselves honestly …to see what our real motives are….and ouch it can hurt when I see myself acting out of balance to impress someone. But you know, I learned something valuable. This is not the first time that I have done something like this…I hope it was the last but probably not. I am still, at 55, learning who I am…trying to be real, authentic, honest with myself and others. Sometimes I still fall down….but I keep trying.
I wanted to end this post with an Italian expression. Lest you think that I am trying to impress you with my Italian, I don’t speak Italian, but found this expression on-line and think it is perfect.
Chi non fa, non falla!
“he who does nothing makes no blunders”