Word of the Week #192:

Lamina

Are some people better than others?

“He/she could do so much better…”
“How on Earth did he/she land someone like that!”
“He/she is just not good enough for you…”

How often have we heard these words? How often have we said them ourselves?

It is probably a natural thing to say, I suppose, considering:

  1. I’m at that age where scores of my acquaintances are getting engaged or married every passing week
  2. How pervasive arranged marriages are in my geographical vicinity
  3. I actually said all three of those over the past weekend

However, the question remains… Are some people better than others? 

If we really thought about it, we would conclude that humans are—obviously—too complex to be assigned a single, objective rating, right?

What if we considered something simpler? Something inanimate?

Can we rate different tools in terms of their utility? Are hammers better than crowbars? Pliers over screwdrivers?

The answer would probably depend on whom you ask when. Sure, power drills are useful—and objectively cool—but one would not really use them to fit a new sink, right?

I suppose the same could be true of humans, right? The person I want on my basketball team might not be the one I want on my publicity team. The person I want as a business partner might not be the one I want as a romantic partner.

And, in hindsight, if someone ever questioned my choice of mate, I might be tempted to bash their skull in with a crowbar. Just saying.

Word of the Week #167:

Dredge

You know, life is like a cake.

Now, now, stay with me. I’m going somewhere with this.

You see, first, you spend a lot of time getting the ingredients ready. You might have a lot of specific ideas about the ingredients you want to choose but, in the end, you have to take what you get and work with it.

Then you work the ingredients such that they are ready to rise and grow.

Then you put everything in the right conditions, and you hope everything goes well.

Lastly, you add icing and sprinkles and, well, whatever you think you want to make this cake perfect.

Now, I would say that the icing represents the romantic relationships in your life: Some cannot imagine a cake without the icing, while others couldn’t care for it one bit.

I believe I understand cakes well enough to tell a good cake from a bad one, no matter how well you try to hide it under the most flattering of frostings. 

Nonetheless, I won’t imply that I prefer cakes without frosting.

Just, it should be a good cake and a good icing, and the two should match.

Now, when do things go bad? When you try to add icing to raw batter. While the results may be edible, it is not what you wanted, right?

So this is generally sound advice: Don’t add icing to your half-baked life. It is a recipe for disaster.

Word of the Week #166:

Paragon

“This is my everything.”

“That is my entire world.”

We have all heard such lines being used in popular art, right?

The concept is quite common in books and movies and songs. But does it really exist? And if it does, is it really a good thing.

If you cease to function without something, or someone, is that really healthy?

I think we have been conditioned to want things that we do not need, and, often enough, even things that are positively bad for us.

What do you need in a relationship? A fairytale romance? No, that is what you want, not what you need. What you is trust, mutual respect, stability, all that boring stuff that doesn’t quite jump off a page.

How often have we seen people give up on something beautiful, or at least promising, just because it was less than ideal?

How often are we seeing young couples getting divorced less than two years into marriage?

How often are we seeing new recruits quit their jobs within months?

Of course, I’m not one to stop someone from quitting something that is not good for you; indeed, the sooner you do it, the better.

Nor am I one to ask someone not to pursue what they want, or seek to change anything they seem necessary to make their lives better.

Knowing the difference between what you want and what you need is, according to me, something each one of us needs to learn.

I, for one, have always needed to pursue my craziest of wants, irrespective of practicalitities and feasibilities.

I am but a crazy guy, and I would rather die of passion than of boredom.

Honestly, sometimes I think I might be just one bout of extreme boredom away from being a comic book villain.

Wait… What was I talking about?

Eh… Nothing really matters… To me…

Word of the Week #137:

Proposition

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I am currently in the process of querying, and for the first time I feel like I am actually doing a good job.

Now, for those unfamiliar with the term, querying refers to contacting literary agents and hoping they like your work enough to want to work with you.

Over the past few weeks, I have noticed that the process is eerily similar to asking a girl out.

Think about it.

Firstly, you always present yourself in the best light. You talk about yourself and what you do, and hope they like what they see.

You learn about their interests and preferences, and modify your approach to convince them how you can cater to those.

You adhere to their rules, even if you do not understand or appreciate them.

“Double-spaced manuscript? Sure! Why? Well, this is not for me to ask, is it?”

You start feeling good about yourself. Why wouldn’t you? You’re nice. You have worked hard all your life. You should have confidence in what you bring to the table.

After you have poured your heart on the page and hit the send button, however, you find every single thing you would have done differently, from that one comma before a conjunctive adverb to that shirt you wore to your high school graduation. What teenager appreciates Pink Floyd! Well, there is nothing to be done about it now.

And once you do send it, you are consumed by your curiosity. You cannot possibly just sit there and wait for a response; you have way too much on the line. Unfortunately, that is what you have to do. You cannot keep badgering them.

“Did you read it? Did you like it? Did you like me? Say, want to make this official?”

You may keep thinking that the whole day, but saying that will get you labelled a creep. You do not want that, do you?

And if, as is quite likely, maybe you get a rejection. And not even a thoughtful, well-crafted rejection that tells you what you did wrong or what you could have done better. Nothing that shows you that they respect the efforts you made. Just, “Yeah, I don’t wanna…”

Obviously, your heart sinks. You are devastated. You want to ask, “Why? Why not me? What do I lack?”

It is true. It is natural. But ask yourself this, is that the kind of men you want to be? Really, are you going to be that guy?

Surely, there could’ve been many reasons why you did not make the cut.

Maybe they’ve never seen a guy like you and don’t want to take a risk. Maybe they’ve seen too many guys like you and want something new. Maybe this is just not the right time for them. Maybe they are already with someone. Or maybe they believe you are just not ready.

All understandable reasons, you would realise.

So, what do you do now? Well, you cannot keep wallowing forever, right?

Maybe you work on yourself a little more. Understand what sets you apart, and what holds you back. Present yourself better. Maybe trim down on some of that mass around the middle.

You keep improving, and you keep looking. Because you know that once you find the right now, together you are going to build something magical.

In the end, that is what makes this endeavour worth it.

HWAITING!