What we need: Companionship
What we settle for: Sitting on the couch with our phones watching a social media stream featuring 12 pictures of our cousin’s cat, a post about the latest rock idol who died, and the 147th opportunity to give a dollar to billionaire Tom Steyer’s Presidential campaign.
What we need: Nurturing
What we settle for: A quarterly job evaluation complementing us for improving personal productivity by 2.6 percent (as measured by bots built into our personal productivity software). Also that nice comment the manager made, “Thanks for clearing your jar of Kimchi out of the office fridge. I think it was triggering Martha’s morning sickness.”
What we need: Inclusion
What we settle for: An invitation to participate in the 10K to raise money for the neighborhood school to buy new pencil sharpeners and repair their mimeograph machine.
What we need: Healthy Food
What we settle for: Going to dinner at our sister’s who’s on a weird diet and only eats raw turnips, parsnips, beef jerky and Kimchi.
What we need: Eight Hours Of Sound Sleep
What we settle for: Staying up much too late watching a documentary about the polar ice caps melting and waking four hours later in a puddle of spilled diet soda with our shoulder numb from rolling over on the channel changer.
What we need: Honesty
What we settle for: A sincere (written) apology from that roommate who moved to Thailand two years after our bicycle mysteriously disappeared from the garage, never to be seen again. He apparently borrowed it one night, got drunk, and then forgot where it was. And no, he doesn’t offer to buy a new one. But he does ask if we wouldn’t mind shipping him that box of stuff that he left in our closet.
What we need: Fun and Games
What we settle for: Watching Wheel of Fortune and then the evening Lotto drawing (lost again) and then playing Angry Birds on our phone until the pizza delivery guy shows up.
What we need: Spontaneity
What we settle for: Impulse shopping on the internet, followed closely by standing in a long line at the post office to return the green polka dot sweater vest that seemed so irresistible last week.
What we need: Celebration
What we settle for: Our mother calling (and waking) us at 6 a.m. so that she can be the first to sing the “Happy Birthday” song.
What we need: To Be Surrounded By Plants And Nature
What we settle for: A saguaro cactus, since every other indoor plant we’ve ever owned has died because we forgot to water it or the cat knocked it off the table. The saguaro, like us, is a survivor.
What we need: Creativity And Challenge
What we settle for: The challenge of successfully recreating the Mickey Mouse pancake that our kid loved when we went out to eat at the local diner, only to have junior fling it onto the floor because we used a raspberry for Mickey’s nose and he has decided that he now hates raspberries.
What we need: A Regular Exercise Routine
What we settle for: Running up and down the stairs several times a day searching for our phone, our wallet, or our kid’s other shoe.
What we need: Adventure and Discovery
What we settle for: A trip to several junkyards with Grandpa to help him find and buy a new starter motor and carburetor for his old Pontiac, only to discover when we get back to his place that “I guess I must have sold that car last spring.”