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280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Tracking the Trade-Offs

They say life is a matter of compromise. Or, as you’ll see, trade-offs. Read this and decide which ones to keep and which ones to go without. Have your cake and eat it too? Only if you reside in Dubai, have ice for blood, or were born in a crib full of four-leaf clovers. Our

They say life is a matter of compromise. Or, as you’ll see, trade-offs. Read this and decide which ones to keep and which ones to go without. Have your cake and eat it too? Only if you reside in Dubai, have ice for blood, or were born in a crib full of four-leaf clovers.

Our former cat was a non-affectionate, independent, gray flabby tabby. He slept by himself and ate quite a bit, but in his defense didn’t torpedo the house to bits and pieces. The new cat, imitating white lightning, will follow you around like a lost dog, but uses my parents’ home as a 24/7 scratching post and Gymboree.

He enjoys knocking paperweights onto the floor, clinging by claws onto wall frames as they crash to the floor with him attached, and vaulting up drapes that only Spider-Man could pull off. All with a Cheshire grin. We do this, and it could be jail time. Or at the very least a mental evaluation.

Yet, when he reboots and goes into a docile mood when he decides to lick your nose and curl up next to you on the couch or in bed and shares his heat on a frigid day, all is right with the world. Or should I say the furniture? You tend to look past the shredded wallpaper and broken glass and enjoy the purr and warm fur. Don’t forget the big eyes as they look up to you, and the paw that touches your hand. Trade-offs aren’t just with humans!

Then there’s Dave, a coworker. Not to be confused with the Dave you heard on the radio spot who butts heads with the “employee of the month.” This is a real Dave. Anyway, back when men were men and women were women, Dave bought a black 1970 Pontiac GTO off the showroom floor. Four-hundred motor with ram air induction. The same one he traded in a few years later for a tugboat Ford Thunderbird that couldn’t get out of its own way.

No comparison. Muscle car versus luxury car. Dave wishes he could get his GTO back. But in his case, he traded off a metal maiden for Mediterranean missions. A nicely restored 1970 GTO will set you back between $35k and $55k, (non-Judge). With no garage, and a wife to appease, he has put his play money into cruises. He’s gone on dozens and dozens of ocean liners, which could have easily bought a really nice goat (GTO nickname). Some guys trade warm breezes and on deck shuffleboard for four-wheeled delight and investment.

Speaking of spouses or “significant others,” yours has some nasty habits you secretly (or not) deplore. You put up with nondiscretionary spending, snoring that could wake the dead, misplacing your slippers or favorite sweatshirt, running out of juice or toothpaste and not replacing it in a timely fashion, leaving dirty dishes and silverware for the “next in line” to clean.

But the trade-off may be some fine Cajun cooking, an unexpected day trip, and a big smile and hug when you least expect it. Those big peepers that look up to you. The hand that reaches for yours. Wait — that was the cat!

Others may disagree. Especially on flurry filled nights when they aren’t home by 2:00 a.m. Missing in action. Did you call the bar? Need warmth, on the cheap? Refer back to paragraph number four. The cat will trade food for rubs, and high body temps any day of the week. Just hide the china and family heirlooms you don’t want to be imploded.

You don’t dig the boss? Tough. He signs your paycheck. If you want to survive, you’ll appreciate his bottom line. Trade-off? You decide. Work is better than walking the streets. Tolerate his demonic demeanor. Well, at least till you find something better!

Your car, yes your transportation, is a mobile trade-off of sorts. There is a major, nerve-racking constant clunk coming from the front wheel well. But, the vehicle provides fast and constant heat. The rear window casing rattles like a tambourine, but the radio and CD player rock on. Thus, you can sing on the way home from work and forget about the bad boss. The side mirror won’t adjust, but your driver seat does. See what I mean? It’s always one or the other.

Your neighbors’ burner barrel habits are clogging your lungs and soiling your siding, his dilapidated wooden fence and overgrown thorn bushes are eyesores, and their metallic wind chimes give you migraines. However, I am proud of you — keeping your mouth shut through all of it.

Trade-off? Lest we not forget, Ralph, changed the oil and filter on your clunker during a sweltering day, his wife Margie makes you banana bread on your birthday, and his kids Brandon and Kelsey are harmless playmates for your own offspring. Well done, showing restraint in return for kindness. (But maybe you can remind him he can recycle old papers and cardboard instead of burning them!)

Some things should NEVER be traded off on. Your health matters most. Poor working conditions or stress isn’t worth it. Family and friends come next. How do you trade-off for people you love and cherish? Lastly, don’t be stripped of your faith and beliefs. Take that away, and you’re left with an empty soul and no fortitude.

Life isn’t like trading football or baseball cards. Much more to it — even in simplified form. Perhaps you can chime into the Webb Facebook page and share some trade-offs you have experienced — good or bad. Maybe I will peek. Then again, a power walk beckons. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

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