Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Check, please.

The old phrase, the straw that broke the camel's back, is exactly on point with tonight's post.

This may be like finding something in the last place you look.  Of course you wouldn't look any farther after you found what you were looking for, so the last thing done that finally brought down the house of cards may be only that, the last thing done.  There is not another "thing" to follow because by then the cards are already scattered.

But there seems merit to the expression, just the same.

I'm forever curious about that last straw.  What was the final impetus?  After years of acrimony, bitterness, loneliness, unhappiness, and perhaps abuse in subtle and not so subtle forms, what finally called the question?  What finally caused a party to say, "Check, please?"

Perhaps it is one affair too many.  Perhaps it is blowing the mortgage money again.  Perhaps it is another drunken allnighter winding up half dressed and sleeping it off in the yard, someone else's yard.  Perhaps it is another anniversary passed without so much as the time of day, or worse yet, flowers purchased for his mother.  Perhaps it is running up the credit cards over the limit, again.  Perhaps it is being de-friended on Facebook.  Perhaps it is learning she's pregnant, and it couldn't possibly be yours. 

It seems there is always something that convinces us, finally, that enough is enough.  And that point is and always shall be the great internal debate.  When do you know you have given it your all, made every effort and still, your marriage, and therefore your life, is going nowhere?

Everyone has their own compass, their own gauge of enough.  Everyone probably shifts that compass as needs be, marks a new line in the sand, just to put off what they pray is not the inevitable.  I have spoken with some people repeatedly over the course of years.  They return as predictably as day lillies to revisit their options, maybe to let off some steam, to touch base on their escape valve.  Some, after several or even many years, do finally pull the plug, do finally say, "check please."  Their line in the sand was broached, finally, one too many times.

So why do people stick it out until they can't stick it out anymore?  It seems a circular question.  But I know that each seeks their own level; it must be so.  And for everyone, that individual level has to be right; it must be so, otherwise it would be different.  And no one can effectively tell another where that line in the sand truly lies.

But the line is there.  It's somewhere.  And each of us know for ourselves when that line has been irretrievably crossed.

Michael Manely 

No comments:

Post a Comment