Saturday, December 1, 2012


A lady worked for me for about 5 years.  She is a dear woman.  I often joke, she was my "therapist" for the five years. 

She had been through quite a bit in her life.  Four kids, a husband whom left her, breast cancer and I could go on and on.  I could go on and on because this is what I knew about her.  It's what she shared with you about her life.  Years of therapy.  We used to joke, her Weight Watchers group would leave the meeting and go to lunch.  She was about therapy.  Only, she was addicted to the therapy, not the getting better.

She taught me much.  Much about me.  Much about life.  Much about other people.  She taught me to listen to what other people are saying.  She needed someone to listen to her.  I needed her to listen to me. She was addicted to the therapy.

When we met, I was recently divorced.  For her, her divorce was dramatic.  Full of angst.  Devastation.  She was the victim. When she spoke of her divorce, you thought it had just happened - not twenty years previously.

I was not the victim.  I had asked for the divorce.  Yes, there was sadness.  Confusion.  Not understanding this next phase of my life.

She was my surrogate therapist/mom/auntie/friend.  We had an incredible friendship/relationship.

We had many conversations about my life.  Her life.  What I wanted.  My hopes.  My dreams.  Her thoughts.  Her notes.  Her experiences.  How her experiences could help me.  My experiences could help me help her.  We were meant to cross paths in life.

A line I remember when we were discussing relationships:  "You are settling for the crumbs".  (By the way, I had to look up how to spell settling - not sure I'm familiar with that word).  Smile.

"You are settling for the crumbs"

Me:  I'm not sure I understand

Her:  You deserve the whole piece of cake.  Don't settle for the crumbs.

Me:  I don't really like cake.  I'm not sure what you are talking about.

Her:  You date.  You have these stories, you have these men all around you.  Only, you aren't letting anyone be more.  You take what you can get.  Then you go on to the next one.  Some is good enough for you.

Me:  Yes, all of the above is true.  What is wrong with it?

Her:  You deserve the whole cake.  Not just the crumbs.  The goodness.  The hard times.  The highs.  The lows.  The whole cake.

Me:  I don't like cake.  And besides, if you take more than the crumbs, you eat to much, then you feel sick.  I just like the edges.  I don't like frosting.  I don't like a whole piece.  I LOVE the edges, the crusty part.

Her:  Understood.  You are cheating yourself the richness of the middle.

Me:  I don't like the middle.  I've been telling you this.  I like the edge.  The pieces.  Bits & Pieces.  I don't want a whole cake.  A whole bag of chips, maybe.  A cake?  No thanks. 

This conversation has played over and over again in my head for years.  "You are settling for the crumbs".  My answer has always been the same:  "I only want the crumbs."  Then I added, "I tried having cake.  It wasn't for me.  I don't like cake".

Recently, though, I think I can finally see what she really meant.  By committing to the "whole cake", you get it all.  Only, I think if you commit to the "whole cake" you might just make yourself sick.  Hence, the reason I don't want the whole cake.  Too much makes you sick.

Everyone else has cake. 

Am I cheating myself out of the middle?  The richness, the moist wonderful part of the cake?

The funny thing? When I eat a piece of cake?  I scrape off the frosting.  Scrape away the crumbs.  Enjoy the middle.  Only really, I don't like cake in the first place.  I still keep making the cake try to fit me, when really, I prefer chips.

Salty.  Crunchy.  Dipped with a bit of salsa.  Chips?  I'll take the whole bag.

So, Judy, I'm not settling for crumbs.  I'm also not settling for cake.  I'm holding out.  But, I want chips.  The whole bag.

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