All is Fair in Love and War
As I’ve mentioned before, I love to drive. It’s like a moving meditation for me and on Sunday I had close to 5 hours worth of asphalt therapy.
I had been looking forward to the long drive up to Delaware for a wake and the long drive back to just let my mind go and deal with everything that was going to happen that day. But, since I’d sold my car I am now a car renter (as opposed to a car owner) that meant that I had to take the train to Budget Rental Car…
Which would have been fine save for one little detail.
When I got to the metro, looking and feeling somber in my black suit, I found waiting for the train going in the other direction…
This marked the first time that I’d seen her since I’d gone back to pick up my stuff and found out how angry I was about the whole situation. I saw her first, and then a split second later she saw me, smiled, and turned off her iPod to say “hi”.
There was a hug. There was the “it’s good to see you”…the “how have you been”…she asked why I was dressed up on a Sunday and I told her…there were “I’m so sorry’s” and “it’s Ok’s”. And overall…it was good. Good enough, anyhow.
A short time later I was in a shiny mostly new maroon Subaru Forester heading out 50E towards the Maryland Shore.
Fast forward through the day…
On the way back, I started thinking about all kinds of things…the wake I’d attended, Lou’s Mom, the obvious love his father had been a part of for the past 38 years (38 YEARS, folks) and of course…
It’s kicked around in my head since Sunday…and for some reason so has the phrase “All is Fair in Love and War”.
It occurs to me that we do what we do to get what we want, and that’s that. Men will say “I don’t trust women because” blah blah blah…women will say “I don’t trust men because” etc etc etc…and only occasionally will either of us admit that what we do is just as bad as what they do. That there are damned good reasons for both sides to say “I don’t trust your actions or the motivations behind them”.
Ahh, the motivations behind them.
Isn’t this the sticking point? What is it that motivates the game playing? The sexual dynamics? The little white lies and the withheld or outright false information? The cheating and the flirting? The “rules” and the tests and all of the reasons that we look at each other and lable the opposite sex as “suspect”…why do we do it?
As usual, I’ve got a theory.
We do it because at the end of the day it’s all we know…it’s how we stumble towards what we think is happiness. It’s not because we’re mean or spiteful. It’s what we think is going to lead to some better place. I really believe that, even about some people that don’t deserve any sort of benefit of any sort of doubt.
I also believe that when we stop playing the games and stop giving in to our fear induced patterns and we put ourselves out there…that’s the only time you’re being truly yourself. It’s the only time you’re alive.
So why don’t we all take a deep breath and stop?
Because all is fair in love and war and it’s much easier to play games than to be exposed. We want to feel a certain way, so we do and say whatever we need to in order for that to happen. We’re like children, really.
Bad fucking children.
So you can’t be shocked, really, when someone does do something that just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Just because you wouldn’t have done what they did to you, does NOT mean you wouldn’t do something to someone else that they wouldn’t have dreamed of doing to you. To think otherwise is just plain dumb.
What I think I’ve learned of late is that we’re fear based creatures until something gives us cause to be otherwise. At first, we come out of the womb screaming and crying and terrified of everything we see. It’s all too bright, too loud, and too cold and it’s our mothers that teach us to trust. That teach us not to scream and cry and carry on…to not pout when we want something and to be “big boys and girls”.
Then we go out in to the world and see it from somewhere other than our parents protected home and again, it’s all just too bright, too loud, and too cold. We take our old lessons and we learn new ones. But somewhere along the line we learn that those that aren’t connected to us don’t deserve our trust…so we put them through games and hoops to make them earn it…
But like bad children we often don’t realize that we have to earn their’s too.
So the world, for lots of us, is going to remain too bright, too loud, and too cold. It stays that way because of the “three day rule” and the “Factor of 3”. Because of big things like false “I love you’s” and petty bullshit like ignoring someone to get their attention. It stays that way until we find someone who’s games and bullshit somehow matches up with our own in a way that makes us feel safe. And in that safety we let go over time and find ourselves (hopefully) 30 years later looking back and knowing that what we had made it so much better than how it could have been if we’d held on to all that crap that gave us meaning before.
So…was I mad at exFiance? Sure. Like I’ve said, that had more to do with me than her…but there were a few of her “rules of engagement” that rubbed me wrong. But all’s fair…
And now? I’m hanging up my cleats and gloves because I’m not interested in games anymore. I don’t have the energry or the desire to play ’em and when I see it being played against me I think I’ll just pass.
I’m more of a “tell it like it is” guy than a “how long has it been/can I call now” guy.
Unless she’s…you know…like, totally hot or something.