I wish I knew where to begin. And I wish that the place to begin weren’t always `it’s in the middle` between a black and a white. I wish I could choose and/or plead for heart-on-your-sleeve instead of sarcasm – or the other way round. I wish I could stand up for things with more firmness and not falteringly (is that even an accepted adverb?). But then, in order to do that, I would have to get off the fence once in a while…

And just as there is control and safety in sarcasm (as a personal shield of good-humoured meanness), just as there is control in puppy-like rolling-over and putting your belly right there for the enemy to attack, which also determines the conditions of the game, there is control in being on the fence. An illusion of control, as always, but the urge to solomonically say – `yes, you are right, but to a certain degree, so is the other side` is just as powerful (and possibly just as innate).

Let me elaborate. I hate to be in the position of `playing with the boys` according to their rules, but being soft and vulnerable does not only determine how I would position myself in that particular interaction or the amount of grown-upness others will allot to me, it also determines the playing field, as in limiting the amount of moves of the others. If they have to handle `girly`, they don’t have the full range of their regular shields to use, which, of course, can be a strategy on the part of the `girly`-player – but, to me, it is just limiting freedom and intelligent exchanges for all parties involved. Therefore I will mostly choose to earn my place by playing the sarcasm, the macho games, the drinking games even – because on the other side of them, if people have decided that you are worth seeing, they see you and you see them for real. Before that, if those are the rules of engagement, rolling over and being soft only means, to me, being allowed at the table with a pat on the head.

And yes, mostly the rules are playing it cool – which has never prevented me from falling flat on my face by declaring in all candidness every single feeling ever identified as amorous, generally long before the interlocutor knew what hit him. Sarcasm at work, school, wherever, perfectly fine. Waiting for a guy to make any kind of first step – plain impossible. (you’d think one learns with time, but there are always some learning curves that stay flat). And somehow, that kind of vulnerability, once in a blue moon, paid off. I think the equivalent of it nowadays is this exhibitionism of writing this kind of open diary, allowing both for the different sorts of pain to come quite close to the surface and for the potential sorts of inflicters of pain to see past shields.

Pretty hard to draw a conclusion when the strategy is not to choose any single strategy, eh?


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