actuality.log


Thursday, September the 16th, 2004

Or is that I.

So you see this lady across the street trying to get into her car. Fairly common a sight, until you realize she’s apparently recently been in some sort of accident, and is using crutches to wobble along. Clearly, she needs help with her bags, the annoying dog, the car door, and continuing to not fall through all of this. No you look, smile and approach her offering help (no, I don’t mean kicking the widdle puppy). You then have to face the wrath of her cold “how dare you give me that condescending-pity-filled look, don’t you think I can take care of myself?, just watch me” look.

Or you pretend to not notice and assume that she’s fine and go about your business, and end up facing the wrath of her cold “can’t you see I need help here, what sort of evil self centered bastard are you for not having the basic decency to help a soul in need?” look.

You can never win.

OK, so you’re at this restaurant with this woman and the waitress is ready to take your orders. You, through keen observation, extreme attentiveness and acute memory, know what she orders each time, and go ahead ordering for the two of you. You then have to face the wrath of her cold “how dare you? you control freak, you think you know what’s best for me?” look.

Or you pretend you don’t know what she likes and go about just placing an order for yourself. You end up facing the wrath of her “you’re so fishing inattentive. you have no clue as to what I want, or know my needs. I can’t believe I’m so invisible to you” look.

You can never win.

Or maybe it’s just me.

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “You can never win.” from actuality.log. Visit http://emphaticallystatic.org/earlier/you-can-never-win/ to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

13 Responses to “You can never win.”

  1. Adi says:

    Facing her wrath doesn’t mean you lose. She was probably being a !@#$%. If I were in your position, I would cooly walk away, not giving a damn.

  2. pUl| says:

    yes, you are correct. one can never WIN.

  3. desufnoc says:

    here is another one. There is a person who appreciates the other person for being very organized and efficient. And he gets a reply telling him that it is too silly to make such an observation.

  4. Anantha says:

    WIth regards to the old woman, I would say you should probably approach her and ask if she needs help and if she says yes, you should help her. and if she scornfully looks at you, walk away thinking nothing happened.

    Some people have a lot of self-respect that they would not accept any help from anyone, even if u ask them. The other kind of people are those whose self-respect prevents them from asking for help, but they would accept it if you went up to them and offered it.

    And with regards to the *chick* and the order, like Adi said I would care a !@*(^# and walk away ;)

    Do your karma! And forget the rest.

  5. Vigvg says:

    No comment. ;)

  6. wahgnube says:

    Adi: In some sense, you do. You can’t always not give a damn. Sometimes, people are important to you, and how they see you begins to matter to you. You don’t coolly walk away, you try to minimize annoyance and fully accept responsibility for the annoyance – though circumstance has it set up so that you look like the evil one either way.

    Actually that turns out to be some sort of super-secret hidden option 3, where you admit to being annoying, and that throws women who aren’t used to men apologizing off guard.

    You win.

  7. wahgnube says:

    pUl|: Glad you concur.

  8. wahgnube says:

    desufnoc: It’s absolutely not the same situation at all. Firstly, not saying anything is not a “loss” because the other person isn’t looking for appreciation, and won’t bother if it doesn’t exist.

    And secondly, it wasn’t proclaimed “too silly” because he appreciated the other’s organization skills. It was the use of the word “envious” which in the past, dare I say it, again, has lead to much unnecessary confusion.

  9. wahgnube says:

    Anantha: Ahh dude, you’re making assumptions as to the age of the first woman. I never once said old. What if she was, a *chick* (as you put it) too?

    What if your karma in both cases was to “make woman happy” (or at least not anger) as opposed to help/not help or order/not order as you’ve assumed.

    This is interesting, what then?

  10. wahgnube says:

    Vigvg: Ahh, one of them “I need to talk to my lawyers first” types you be.

  11. Anantha says:

    A woman is almost never “happy” ;)

  12. anita says:

    for the restaurant situation, i’d suggest that before the waitress comes, you ask the person something like “are you going to order ___ as usual, or try something new this time?” (in a pleasant way). that way, she knows that you remembered what she likes, but you’re not making the decision for her.

    for the woman getting into her car, i think offering to help is good. if she gets offended by it, then so what? it’s not like you’re going to see her again. chances are, she’d probably appreciate it. when in doubt, see if she makes eye-contact – if she seems to be looking around for someone to help, then you should definitely offer.

  13. wahgnube says:

    Ah, most wise suggestions. I wish I could think these things through and come up with such elegant solutions prior to being in awkward situations.


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