Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Remember: I'm Rosencrantz. You're Guildenstern!

Anyone who’s ever been to my house has witnessed this interaction:

- Bella whines at the door –

P: “Can you take her?”

me: “I don’t wanna. Let’s shoot for it.” I hold out my fist, a determined look on my face.

P: “Ok. Evens or Odds?”

me: “Odds.” (Or evens, whichever. I try really hard to make the pattern random.)

We pump our fists in unison 1, 2, 3 times. I pick a random number. She picks a random number. The total always comes out in her favor. Whatever I pick, odds or evens, it doesn’t seem to matter. Whatever number I show after my three silly little tough girl pumps, it doesn’t matter. I always loose. I’ve started to think she’s cheating. I keep asking her how she’s doing it.

me: “Are you cheating?”

P: (laughing) “No.”

me: “You ARE. You’ve gotta be. I’m starting to feel like Rosencrantz.”

P: “Or is it Guildenstern?”

me: “Both, I guess. It doesn’t matter. This is impossible.”

P: (more laughing)

me: I’m serious. Have you figured out some sort of equation or strategy? Is it like that tic-tac-toe thing it took me years to figure out? Am I just dumb?”

P: (laughing still) “You better take your coat. It’s getting cold outside and the girls are waiting.”

You see, they know the game, too.

Tonight she finally admitted to me how the hell she’s been doing it. Or rather, how I’ve been doing it. It seems I’ve been consistently (randomly) picking whatever type of number I choose in the beginning. Penny says I unfailingly choose an odd number if I say “Odd” and an even number if I say “Even.”

(For those of you who don’t have any idea what the fuck I’m talking about because your family didn’t fight over chores like doing the dishes or taking out the dog, here’s how it works: You choose Odds or Evens. You shake you fists at each other (menacingly) three times. On the third time you open your fists and show a number between 1 and 5. You and your opponent tally the numbers. The winner DOESN’T have to do whatever chore has been proposed. Got it?)

So. All this time I’ve been CONVINCED that she was somehow cheating, or that she somehow knew something I didn’t know and was withholding that knowledge from me; I though that SHE was the cause of my consistent loosing streak. That something outside of me was impacting the outcome of my endeavor. But really, this whole time, it was ME. I was the only thing impacting the outcome. All she had to do was pay attention.

And this got me thinking:

I heard someone say once that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different response. Why do so many of us encounter the same shitty circumstances over and over that put us between the same shitty rock and a hard place? It’s always someone or something else’s fault, isn’t it?

Do we really expect the circumstances to change? We’re making them ourselves, aren’t we? Fuck randomness. How can anything that comes in contact with my programmed, biased, propaganda-filled, and self destructive mind be random?

I’m going to start walking the dog every night without offering to shoot for it. Screw trying to control a not so random craps shoot.

You know what? I’m almost 30. I think it’s time I started learning from my mistakes.

2 Comments:

Blogger Amanda B. said...

I LOVE "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead".

And your pic on SPD is very nicely done.

9:26 PM  
Blogger the Tattooed Social Worker said...

Thanks! and Welcome! I didn't expect to be on SPD today. I guess I need to write a new post, huh?

5:51 AM  

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