Compromise is making mild sacrifices for the sake of maintaining a relationship.
When I’m driving in the car with my mom, the radio is a battle field. Her fingers eagerly press the stations to whatever plays disco music or smooth jazz, and I try to hook the AUX cord up to my iPhone to play the latest hip hop single, my favorite is Nicki Minaj. In the end we always settle on a Adele CD. It’s not “Play That Funky Music,” which is audio torture to anyone born after the word “funky” stopped being cool, but it’s not “Down in the DM (remix),” either, torturous in it’s own right to a baby boomer such as my mom.
So we sing off-key to "Hello" all the way home. Because we can hum it, because we’ll both sing the words, because we can stand listening to the entire CD without a fight.
Do either one of us love Adele to the point where she's our number one choice? No, but we love each other. Compromising on the music we play on the car ride to the grocery store makes the mundane task of going to the grocery store more enjoyable. And in aisle five, as we’re loading vegetables into a shopping cart and deciding which discount cereals to buy for the week, we’re laughing instead of fighting. That makes the ride home better, makes unloading the groceries better, makes our relationship stronger.
Compromise is also the halfway point between “questionably cheap” and “$80 for a two-foot-tall bedside table that doesn’t even have a drawer.” (AKA Target) (Compromise is 90% of the time: Target.)
The other day, I recruited my best friend to help me redecorate my room. “I want to check out some local thrift stores, find some cool decorations on a budget.” I explained to her over the phone. “I was looking at Macy’s and Anthropology online and their decor is so gorgeous but definitely out of my budget.
“Sounds good,” She had said, except eighty minutes later we were standing in a Goodwill holding broken, dust covered picture frames that were older than us, far from impressed. I went to sit down in a vintage-esque chair until I noticed it had three legs.
"Why don’t we try Target?” She suggested, slowly putting a chipped, generic painting of a cat playing with yarn down. “Target is like the medium of Goodwill and Macy’s. A nice compromise.”
Compromise makes our world what it is. It's a happy medium that keeps us from being excessively selfish or expecting too much too often or starting wars. One thing that we should never compromise on, however, is love. There’s a quote floating around the internet that’s paraphrased from the movie Dream For An Insomniac that goes: “Unless it is mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love should not be one of them.”
One should compromise for love, but love itself should never be a compromise. Love isn’t a song on the radio, love is not Target. Love is something we owe to ourselves to wait for, to only pursue if it’s magic in our fingertips.
Everything else, though, should be a give-and-take, an agreement we make with someone that's a little frustrating, and slightly discomforting, but an act of love to show that we're willing to meet in the middle for the things that count- good songs and good chain retail stores.