actuality.log


Sunday, March the 19th, 2006

For the longest time (the past few years anyway), the range of my reactions to the news that my friends were getting married spanned anywhere from sitting in the corner of a dark room with a sick feeling in my stomach—moping—to feeling elated and joyous while I excitedly supported the union; showering the couple with kind words and thoughtful gifts.

My exact reaction to the situation was a function of my actual relationship with the guy or girl in question. You know I’d definitely be moping if the woman getting hitched was someone I deemed attractive. The same reaction was sure to ensue if I felt that the guy I knew was undeserving (unintelligent, immature, unattractive …), and remarkably fortunate to “land such a gig”. (In actuality, predicting “how much happiness he deserved”, extrapolating from what I knew of him as a child, and sulking when he exceeded my expectations; especially since he got there before me. Jealous, in other words.)

Of course, there were other situations—like not finding her particularly attractive in the first place—which resulted in a more mellow response. But, after a few years of artificially induced(?) emotions, I just realised that I am too old for this. I needed to come up with a more standard response, something that worked for all such situations; and not have to go through the ordeal of carefully evaluating each circumstance before determining how I felt about the matter. Apart from taking too much time, I was occasionally unprepared to stomach the starkly enlightening realisations that popped up while I pondered.

So, I’ve finally decided to go with a one-size-fits-all approach that basically involves the perfunctory show of support (the wishes, the presents, the smiling presence at the wedding …) while moping when no one else is looking.

That’s it.

You don’t need my blessings. You don’t really care (or need to) about what I feel about the sequence of events, so why would you even want my support?

So I won’t. Of course, I’ll look like I am, but on the inside, I’m not. And you can’t make me. This works for both of us; whoever the other person in question is.

Addendum: This same treatment will be extended to any readers of this journal who may be getting married (unless it’s to me). I’m sorry, but rules are rules.

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “Homogenising responses” from actuality.log. Visit http://emphaticallystatic.org/earlier/homogenising-responses/ to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

3 Responses to “Homogenising responses”

  1. pUl| says:

    Seriously, and more importantly out of sheer curiosity, what’s bothering you so much? I mean yes, you probably want to get married (soon), and in most probability, you will; so why prepare all this homogenous response and stuff, which may well not hold once you get married[1]?

    [1] Yes, I know you did not say so, but I don’t want to discount that possibility.

  2. pundit says:

    pUl|: This has nothing to do with a time-frame on ‘my want’ to get married. I don’t deem myself nearly emotionally capable of such a commitment, but that is story for another day.

    Why can’t I just be bothered by the fact that every single (even moderately) attractive woman I know is getting hitched at around the same time? All this while—not that I did anything about it—it felt nice, warm and fuzzy to know that there were plenty of very pleasant options out there that I was comfortable with. Now I begin to realise that there are few; nearly none.

    I think it is a perfectly legitimate reason to be very bothered. And I don’t see why I should be all happy-happy?

    (And I said right in the post that it won’t hold if this concerns me. “… who may be getting married (unless it’s to me).”


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