Can You Live by (p)roverbs Alone?

wisdomProverbial sayings may contain the collective wisdom of any particular culture, but they’re not great as signposts. Say the guy you’ve been dating for six months announces he’s been transferred to a new position a few states away; you meet Michelle at Starbucks to process. You’ve had fun with him and like him, but don’t want to move and follow him. “Maybe we could have a long-distance relationship,” you say. Michelle replies, “Look, it’s a 50/50 proposition. Either absence makes the heart grow fonder or out of sight is out of mind. Why not give it a try; you don’t have much to lose. There’s always more fish in the sea.”

She continues, “If he takes days to text back, remember that no news is good news,” then counters, “The mice will play while the cat’s away, and if you’re not physically there you can’t be sure what is going on.” Your options are as clear as mud now.

You do the FaceTime and Skype routine for a couple months, but miss being in the same space. When you meet half-way for a weekend, there’s this warm glow and you think, Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Maybe it’s wise to strike while the iron is hot, but then there’s this risk that love is blind and I’m missing something. Love may make the world go ‘round, but my head is spinning and I think I’m going crazy. Not the, “bats in your belfry” kind of crazy, more the loose screw kind. Maybe I’m not playing with a full deck. Maybe…

In search of sanity, you text Michelle since two heads are better than one. But maybe you need more opinions than hers; it was her counsel that pushed you over the edge last time. Then again too many cooks spoil the broth, and the decision is yours to make in the end.

Michelle’s her usual nonchalant self. You envision her shrugging as you read, “If you decide you still want to be together, go for it. Don’t hesitate if you don’t want to let this one get away. Then again take all the time that you need because haste makes waste, and slow and steady wins the race.” Rrrrgh.

Driving home, you decide you’ll go with your gut and hang in there. Or maybe you’ll flip a coin confident you can’t go wrong either way.





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