when i was a teenager, my good buddy riley was arguing with his mom about something. she was 100% incorrect about whatever they were talking about but she absolutely refused to drop it or admit she was wrong. i thought it was embarrassing, and in reference to the argument later, riley said that people would rather be right than happy.
that line has always stuck with me. i think he was right. even though his mom would have felt better if she had simply admitted she was wrong — because it takes strength of mind to admit mistakes and that’s still something to be proud of, almost like a consolation prize — she preferred to dig her heels in even further at the cost of making herself look dumber and feel more upset.
fast forward to the last few days. i bought a bass on ebay recently and while i generally love the thing, there is some wear and damage that was not mentioned in the auction and needs to be taken care of. i will do the repairs myself but i thought the seller should be held responsible for not advertising the bass accurately so i lied and asked for a $75 refund to cover the cost of having it professionally repaired. he said no way, that’s way too much, do it yourself and i’ll refund you $20. we’ve gone back and forth several times now, each of us obviously getting more annoyed with the situation, until i reached a point where i could feel myself getting really pissed off about it.
then i thought about riley’s mom, and i asked myself, why am i getting so emotionally involved in this? do i really care this much about a few dollars difference in refund? i realized that i’m getting bent out of shape over peanuts, that he cares about this more than i do, and that he has more energy to devote to this than i do. even though this guy fucked up in the first place and has said some stupid bullshit to me in the followup conversations and i want to put my finger in his chest and tell him what’s what, i’ve made the decision to choose happiness (like i’ve talked about before here), let go of this, and say, “looks like you were right buddy, i’ll take the $20 refund and be on my merry way.”
i suppose you could look at it as admitting defeat but i think cutting losses and doing what makes you happier is usually the wiser choice.
god, i’m so fucking zen. now this prick just has to send me my god damn refund so i can put this headache behind me.