Too much invested to quit.  

PoodleFollowing a recent golf outing our team were in a mellow, Pinot Grigio induced state. Eventually the conversation moved onto the killer topic: “What was your worst ever date?” Now, while I don’t wish to boast, among some high-class competition the following story was awarded a distinction!

Apprentice Butcher: 

Way back in history, well before Netflix, I was working as an apprentice butcher with Liptons Supermarket on the Cabra Road. A couple of doors further along there was a hairdressing salon, stacked to the rafters with glamorous women. Being the shy and retiring type (not) I called in during lunchtime and asked one of the girls for a date. She agreed. The other butchers, who all fancied this particular girl, were cranky and jealous. Perfect! A large bottle of BRÜT aftershave was secretly purchased. Nothing was left to chance.

Central Bank: 

The following Friday evening, I waited nervously outside the Central Bank. It was a relief to see her getting off the bus until I discovered that she’d brought along a Poodle. Now, while I love dogs as much as the next guy, this was a severe disruption to the master plan. In more recent years we’ve become accustomed to Paris Hilton and the concept of handbag dogs, but this episode predated the birth of Paris by some 20 years. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she’d owned a Rottweiler or a Rhodesian Ridgeback. But there was no way to walk around town with a Poodle and keep my ‘street cred’ intact The conversation went as follows:

“What’s the story with the dog?”

“I couldn’t get anyone to mind him”

“What do you suggest we do now?”

“Maybe walk around. Have a really long talk?”

Tudor Rooms: 

I knew one of the doormen in Barry’s Hotel and we tried getting in. I explained the predicament, making the point that the dog would love the show and emphasizing that he was fully ‘house trained’. I can’t remember the first word the doorman said, but the second was definitely “0ff”. We circled the city like 2 homeless dog-lovers, trying to construct a new plan, eventually ending up in a pub in Stoneybatter, frequented at that time. Reluctantly, they let us in. The dog was put in the yard, where the barrels were stored. After a shaky start, things were looking up.

Friend Arrives: 

By complete chance my friend Ray arrived with his girlfriend. We listened to the band and the night was approaching normality. Then Ray (black sense of humour) coming back from the toilet, announced that there had been a huge commotion. According to him, an enormous German Shepherd guard dog had “savaged” a Poodle in the yard (it didn’t actually happen). Even when it became apparent that it was a joke, my date was somewhat less than amused. Herself and the dog headed home, a sorry end to an evening that had held so much promise. If Carlsberg did disappointment, this night would be a contender.

Great Expectations: 

There are many things in life which follow a similar trajectory. They start out well, high expectations. But, for whatever reason, the plan goes south. At that point you have two choices. Either stay with it, citing stick-ability and true grit.  Or you walk. In psychology, there’s a (well-researched) concept  called ‘Too much invested to quit’. The title is self-explanatory. Central Point: Just like Poker players, it’s often difficult to know when to ‘hold em’ and when to ‘fold em’. We become invested in particular projects, jobs or relationships. We over-commit when every nerve-ending in our body is screaming ‘depart’. WC Fields said: “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.” When something goes wrong or the overall pattern is not working, sometimes you have to admit you’ve made a wrong call and you have to ‘up sticks’. That lucky girl saved herself from a lifetime of schoolboy jokes while I have to content myself with the loss of the Northsides’ first Poodle Parlour. Ah well!

Does anything in ‘too much invested to quit’ resonate in terms of your work or personal life? You know the old line that a ship is safest in the harbour – but that’s not what it’s built for. Do you need to sail into new waters!