(We don't know where we'll end up ... but we're all starting at single.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The RN: Participation Trophy Temper Tantrums

I generally try not to be political and I try to stick to topics at least partially related to dating. You know, since that's what we started this blog to talk about. But, well, let's face it, my dating life recently (does 2 years count as recently?) has been a little lack luster. So today I'm going to get a ... little political. Hopefully not boring political, but political nonetheless.

First, I'd like to state my heart goes out to all the victims, those close to them, and their losses in the stories I am about to talk about.

Photo Credit

I'm noticing a ... trend in ... a lot of headlines lately. Someone is always shooting up something and killing a lot of people. And to me (maybe these are just the stories I remember) it seem as though many of these shootings have to do with young men (stereotype, I know) shooting up people because they didn't get their way. Girls won't sleep with you? Shoot them up. Don't like your job? Shoot them up. Don't want to do your job? Shoot them up. Paranoid the police are watching you? Shoot them up. Family won't give you the bible you want? Shoot them up. Wish you were Batman? Go to a theater, and shoot them up. Don't want to be gay? Go to the club, and shoot them up. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Northern Illinois University, Virginia Tech, the list goes on.

My intention here is not to be callous about any of these events. Merely to point out how many of them there are. Did a single one of you need to look up the list at the end? While these events have started some important conversations in our country, and made us all look at things in a hard light, I can't help but think, these incidents all seem to stem from one person feeling like another person, or group, was not giving said person enough ... respect, opportunity, sex, you name it.

I'm reminded of a two-year-old's temper tantrum in a grocery store, "BUT, I WANT THE CANDY BAR! YOU CAN'T SAY NO TO ME! IT'S NOT FAIR! I SHOULD GET IT BECAUSE I WANT IT; I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO WAIT FOR YOU TO WANT TO GIVE IT TO ME! I EARNED IT JUST BY WANTING IT!" (Hello? Stanford rapist, anyone?) I'm not sure if there is a common root to all this violence, but I don't see how rewarding people for showing up, having a "ceremony" for graduating every grade, and having a free, trophy girl at the end of every video game level can help.

Real life doesn't work that way. You don't get a promotion and raise for showing up to your job every day. You don't even get a promotion and raise for doing your job well everyday. You have to show the company you are worth more than they are paying you. Do your job so well the company is concerned you'll decide to work somewhere else, and they reward you to keep you working there. You have to work for it and you have to earn it. Just showing up is not enough in real life.

A graduation "ceremony" at every grade level ceases to be a ceremony:
ceremony (n): the ritual observances and procedures performed at grand and formal occasions.
When you do it every year, no one thinks it's grand; it's normal. Nothing happening that often is treated as formal; it's run-of-the-mill, everyday ... the same. You're not making every year special; you're making no year special. You are teaching us as a society we should be rewarded for showing up. Not for giving our best, not for truly accomplishing something, just for showing up. And then the harsh reality of life outside of school sets in ... and no one is prepared. No one has been told, "No." No one has learned how to deal with disappointment, failure, other people ... their own emotions. It's quite sad, to have been so cruel as to take away the ability to live life by cushioning every blow. Real life is mean ... and wonderful.

In the real world, girls (pardon the CIS-gender perspective here) don't just fall into your lap because you jumped over the lava and beat the dragon. (I'll always be a Mario fan.) We are complex creatures in our own right. We also have hopes and dreams and goals we're trying to accomplish. We have our own lava to jump over and our own dragons to beat. We are not your prize; you are not our prize. We won't sleep with you just because you showed up. You have to earn our affection. Don't try to take our controller away (OMG, this analogy is never ending ... sorry ... kind of), we want to jump over our own lava and beat our own dragons. We like the challenge. We like the sense of accomplishment, just like you do. Want to start a 2-player game? Now you're talking.

Working together? I can get behind that.

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