The best piece of advice I was ever given came from my dad not too long after my wife and I were married. It had to do with a couch, my wife and my ego.
We had not been married long but I guess I could say long enough to know the difference between “good silence,” and “bad silence.” If you've been married for any length of time you know the difference (or I hope you do).
When we got married everything we owned was placed in the back seat and trunk of our 1965 Ford Mustang. I mean everything. We got married July 25, 1965. Notice we did have a new car. The first new piece of furniture we purchased as a married couple that was ours and not a hand me down, was a couch.
My dad asked me what the issue was about the couch. He asked how much the couch she wanted was going to cost. I do not remember the exact price but I think she wanted to spend $400 and I thought $350 should be the limit. I do remember the difference was all over $50. Now remember this was 1965.
I can still see my dad, taking a puff from his Lucky Strikes, pausing and then saying to me, “Let me see, she wants to spend $400 dollars and you say the amount should be $350?” “Yes.” Then he said what might be the most important words that had or ever would be said to me. His words, “Let her buy it, your ego is not worth $50 dollars.” The following week my wife bought the couch.
My wife got the couch and my dad was right. Far too often, our egos get in our way. By the way, we had that couch for nearly thirty years before giving it away. My wife’s word, “When you get good quality, it last much longer.”
So true in so many areas, not just couch purchasing. That can even apply in something like advice.
July 23, 2009