onsdag, november 17, 2010

Ask me if I miss(ed) you

When he asked her in earnest anticipation if she missed him, she replied, "Do you desire truth or happiness?"

She knew that such an answer would lead him to subconsciously assume that there was a dichotomy between truth and happiness, that the two were mutually exclusive, that the possession of one necessarily entailed the loss of the other. Such is the wonder of the human mind - the seemingly inevitable failure to recognise that truth and happiness do not have to be understood as polarities even when framed in a manner which implies that they are. He did not consider the fact that, regardless of his choice between happiness and truth, he might have gotten the answer he really wanted to hear anyway. When humans ponder over a query which exists in the general form of "A or B?", they very often ignore the possibility that A = B, that the outcome would be the same regardless of their eventual choice. The careless tendencies of the human mind have been most instrumental in facilitating the countless psychological games we often witness in the arena of social interactions - those who have a firm grasp of the workings and the inadequacies of the human psyche dominate by exploiting their knowledge.

She is one of the experts in this field, and she employs her skills to mask her unfortunate bashfulness. She knew that he would immediately jump to the conclusion that she did not miss him. She knew that, instead of answering openly if he wanted truth or happiness, he would leave the question lingering in the air unresolved while changing the the conversation topic in an attempt to conceal his despondence, without realising that his sadness was perhaps due only to his own guesswork. She would be able to take comfort in the fact that she did not lie to him - she merely allowed him to make his own assumption. Perhaps she was selfish for not declaring her feelings directly, for making him crestfallen, for involving him in such convolution, but her pride overwhelmed her considerate nature at that moment, and she couldn't erase what she said.

If he'd told her bravely, "I want the truth, even if it hurts", she'd have dropped all her shyness in a beautiful act of courage to reward his; she would have told him without reservation, "I miss you", and he would have experienced the beginning of a dizzying romance under the lovely auspices of truth.

2 kommentarer:

Anonym sagde ...

I'll tell you the perfect truth, from a male point of view.

It's more likely he thought something like "uh-oh: smarty-pants female put-downs."

Miao 妙 sagde ...

Of course. Men are simple creatures. This is a compliment.

Anyway the trick used by the female in the story can be employed in non-romantic situations as well. It's fun watching people's reactions.