A shiny sedan stopped at a garden restaurant, carrying a couple of seventy-year-olds. The man got out, ran around the car in the pouring rain and opened out an umbrella over the open door, offering his arm to a smartly dressed woman.
“Bitch!” cried the young man sitting at the next table. “She was an absolute bitch!” he said into his mobile.
When the couple reached the front table, a waiter with fifty red roses rushed up to them. The man knelt down ceremonially in front of the amazed woman and thanked her for all the years they have had together.
“Man, fourteen days is long enough! You’ve gotta keep changing your fleet!” the young man screamed his head off.
The man pushed the lady’s chair towards the table, sat down opposite her, grasping both of her hands in his palms. What he whispered could be read from his expression and lips: “I like looking you in the eyes so much.”
“Yeah, I’m keeping tabs on another one! We’re just skyping now. That’s enough. We’ll see when I feel like getting laid. Then I’ll just walk off.”
Two worlds collided in one restaurant. Two approaches. However, the evening was to have a much more surprising ending. I was more and more curious about the couple’s excellent clothes, the gourmet choice of meals, the ease with which the man ordered high-quality wines. Where do they get the money for it – when they are retired?
On the stroke of ten, another car stopped at the restaurant. A distinguished driver got out, beckoning respectfully, the lady rose, said good-bye and sat on the front seat, replacing a breathless manager who hurried in the opposite direction – then he went through some figures at the table with the man for about twenty minutes. Probably sales, forecasts, costs.
When he left, I noticed we were alone in the restaurant, while the man noticed I was watching him. I ventured to sit down at his table while he was drinking his dessert coffee. I learned that even at his great age he still worked – he supplied kitchen equipment to fast food chains. “When I got this idea twenty years ago, I needed a woman who would take a high degree of risk because there was no guarantee for success. Above all, however, I needed to be a long-distance runner, to be able to solve problems, not by giving up what was not possible,” he said, loosening his tie.
“Have you noticed?” I pointed at the table where the young man had sat a little while ago. His swearing about his employer was still in the air. “Bastard! I’ll quit. I’ll start my own business!”
The man started laughing: “If you even consider it your advantage that you’re not able to get on with people and to have a long-term partner, let alone a relationship with your employer, you can’t expect to achieve any long-term success in anything. The fact is that you never succeed alone in business. You need to build good and long-term bonds, at least with your employees and customers. You need to be an added value to everybody and you usually start by bringing the added values to your personal life first. You’re at least a good partner, to begin with.”
Eventually, my coffee got cold as I was impressed by his description of the added values that he gives to his partner even today, after half a century of their relationship.
He didn’t need to.
He could find someone else.
He could quit his business.
Writing off a relationship at the first crisis is the same as sinking a start-up at the first failure.
Why can’t people fight? Why do they surrender instead, saying why it’s not possible rather than looking for ways to go on? Why do they think something/someone else will be better when the problem is obviously not around them but in them? Why do relationships lack tiny little things that don’t cost a penny, yet they are laborious and “expensive” for most people? And, on the contrary, what can people find time for if they truly appreciate the other person?
Warning: I’m ready to see the following lines being rejected. Because they don’t comply with modern times. I don’t deny that I’m old-fashioned, even chaste. Well, what can I do …?
Please, continue to the 2nd page.