Tuesday, August 12, 2014
*This post is testament to what happens when you attempt to process your musings on the bus ride home with half-hearted regression analysis. Both Econometrics and Storytelling were harmed in the making of this post.
There are some girls who have their wedding dresses picked out at age nine. Age and body mass changes may make some alterations to this design, but the final wedding dress will be a beautiful princess cut ivory dress with a sweetheart neckline and delicate sleeves, just like she drew at Kowah’s 9th birthday sleepover.
There are others who have to be cajoled and prodded by nature and society to contemplate their wedding days. Even then, they (brandishing a risk aversion fashioned by experience and/or inherent nature) reluctantly enter the pool and readily grasp on to any mishap as reason to head back to shore and stay there.
Time and tide doth happen to both groups, and it’s interesting to note a convergence in attitude towards marriage with time.
Your college years are purported to be prime partner-finding time. You will never again have as big a pool of eligible, relatively untouched suitors within ready reach. The ‘relatively untouched’ is crucial because as you grow, you realize that people’s college and post-college experiences changes them. And if the liaisons before you did not end at the altar, they invariably carry some baggage which adds another level of difficulty to being with them.
It follows then that the years right after college are the years you see the most nuptials. Those who sustained their campus (and sometimes high school) relationships make it official, and those whose progress was impeded by perceived immaturity quickly grow up once thrown into the jungle that is today’s workplace and if so inclined, find mates thereafter.
Receiving wedding invitation after invitation takes its toll on a soul, and this is the time where the desire to one day (sooner or later) get married is strongest. This lasts one to four years after which the invitations become infrequent, and controlling for the fact that you lose touch with old friends, it is at this stage that those who got married have gotten over the honeymoon phase and the cracks if any start to show.
Thus, amidst the tales of infidelity and divorce, the marriage stock falls, making you more likely to invest your time, energy or emotions elsewhere, or at the very least, make some reallocations in your investment portfolio. Of course, there is a mixed effect here due to invitations to offspring events potentially pulling at your maternal and paternal strings to be accounted for.
It is easy to see why the propensity to get married sees a steady decline once you reach thirty. At this stage, you know exactly what you do and don’t want. Worse, you’ve probably figured out (rightly or falsely so) that you let someone who was exactly what you needed go and so tend to measure everyone by them, requiring that they be at least as good as. I know. Life…
After thirty, the decline slows down and your curve approaches the axis as time approaches infinity, never quite touching it.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run…” ~ Kenny Rogers, ‘The Gambler’.
Sometimes Life feels like a bad game of cards and you wish you could just throw all your cards on the table and surrender, giving up the game. But sometimes you can’t, and this worsens your feeling of being trapped at Life’s table, playing cards and making polite conversation (even if just using nods and grunts) when you’d rather be anywhere else in the world. Well, not ANYwhere, but you get the picture.
‘The Gambler’ became one of my favorite songs on first listen because of how apt a metaphor gambling is for Life. We are all sitting at the table trying to make the best of whatever cards get handed us. Depending on which card game your table is playing, a favorable hand may be aces, or twos and threes. Depending on the rules of the game, you may have very little control over the game once your cards are handed to you, and that is one of the scariest and most frustrating things to us as human beings – the absence/loss of control. It is no coincidence that one of the most common nightmares in Life is falling – there’s absolutely nothing you can do till you land.
When Life hands you a miserable hand, you have little to no control over the game. Your best bet is to put on a poker face, and hope that those dealt better hands stumble and create an opportunity you can grab and run with. Of course, there are those games where you can exchange or add to your cards, and those possibilities can give a bit of a boost in overcoming being dealt a bad hand to win or at least break even in the game.
But most of the time, it’s a matter of waiting for the right opportunity to put the cards you’ve been dealt on the table, instantly winning or taking control of the game. And in the meanwhile, you keep a vigilant eye out on the table and another on the selection of cards in your hand, permuting all possibilities and opportunities, and recalibrating your strategy every time a play is made.
And since we cannot stop playing for as long as we live, and since the ending of each game whether we win or lose leads to another game (with the occasional change of table or particular game of cards); we wait, pounce, rinse and repeat, hoping to at least break even at the end.