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What Would You Do?

by Dani Stone

Tracy was excited at the prospect of going to Europe.  She had never been and the thought of going with Todd made it even more exciting. They had been together seven months and she was thrilled when he invited her to go on vacation with him to Paris. However, she was stunned when he informed her that she would have to pay all her expenses, which included airfare and hotel accommodations. 

She felt his request was arrogant and totally out of sync with her personal standards, but rather than debate the issue, she decided to end the relationship. She sent him a note that read, “Our relationship is over!  You are not what I want after all.  Especially if you think I’d pay for an invitation to go to Europe with you.  I want a real man who knows how to treat a real woman.  Good Luck!” 

The next day, Todd sent her a dozen roses, an airline ticket in her name, and a note that read, “I was wrong and you’re right…Forgive me?”  He signed it, “A real man looking for a real woman.” She ended up going and having the time of her life.  A year later, they went back to Paris, where he got down on one knee and proposed in front of the famous Eiffel Tower.

Karin was frustrated and angry. Her best friend Joan was again asking for favors that Karin felt went over the edge of their friendship line.  She didn’t want to incur her wrath and because Joan had a hot temper, Karin didn’t want to confront her or say something that could be upsetting.  But the more she thought about it, the more she realized that she was putting Joan’s feelings above her own. 

Joan wanted to borrow $300.00 and had never paid back the $500 she’d borrowed three months ago.  She also wanted Karin to babysit for her and felt it was her obligation as a friend because she had a date on Saturday night, and Karin didn’t.  In the past, Karin had babysat her two kids and she always stayed out much longer than stated.  She decided to tell Joan the truth and risk the friendship.

She informed her that she wouldn’t be loaning her money, and reminded her that she still owed her.  She also stated that Joan’s expectations of friendship were too high and that she could no longer accommodate her babysitting needs. Joan never called her again and Carin experienced the lifting of a burden.

Cheryl listened quietly as her co-worker Laura lamented about her boyfriend and his scandalous treatment of her.  She spoke candidly of his flagrant disrespect for her feelings, and all the women she had to compete with for his attention.  Ironically, as Cheryl listened, she couldn’t help but reflect on the relationship that she’d had with the same guy some years before.

Unbeknownst to Laura, Cheryl had dated him for over a year, and he had started out the same way with her.  However, when she checked him on his behavior and explained in blunt language that he’d have to move on if he didn’t know how to be with one woman, he became a model companion, who often complimented her on being “tough.” 

When she ended the relationship, because she ‘wasn’t being fulfilled,’ he begged her to marry him, and give him another chance to be what she was looking for.   Cheryl considered telling her co-worker how to handle him and gain his respect, in a generic sense, but she knew that high self-esteem wasn’t something you could acquire overnight.  You either had it or you didn’t.  So, she just listened and kept her thoughts to herself.

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