08.08.2021 Feature Article

Dancing With Porcupines Without Getting Hurt Part 1

Dancing With Porcupines Without Getting Hurt Part 1
08.08.2021 LISTEN

In stores where they sell untested goods, you will find goods available at greatly reduced prices. The tip-off is a particular tag you will see on all those items in that in that corner of the store. Each tag carries the same words: as is.

This is a nice way of saying, “These are damaged goods”. The seller is issuing you a fair warning. You are going to find a flaw with these goods. These items are not normal. The seller is not going to tell where the flaw is. You will have to look for it. So when you find it –and you will find it – don’t go whining and sniveling to the seller. Because there is a fundamental rule when dealing with untested goods. No returns. No refunds. No exchanges. If you were looking for perfection, you walked down the wrong place of the store. You received a fair warning. If you want these goods, there is only one way to obtain it. You must take it as is.

When you deal with human beings you have come to the ‘as is’ corner of the universe. Take a moment and think about someone in your life. Maybe your wife, your husband, your best friend or someone you love most. That person is not ‘normal’, ‘slightly irregular’. Your wife, your husband, your best friend or that person you love most comes with a tag: There is a flaw here. A streak of deception, a cruel tongue, a passive spirit, an out-of-control temper. They won’t tell you where it is but it’s there. So when you find it – and will find it – don’t be surprise. If you are planning to enter a relationship with anyone, there is only way. “AS IS”. If you are looking for perfection, you’ve walked down the wrong aisle.

We are always tempted to live under the illusion that somewhere out there are people who are normal. If you have watched this movie: As Good As It Gets, Helen Hunt is wracked by ambivalence toward Jack Nicholson. He is kind and generous to her and her sick son, but he is agoraphobic, obsessive – compulsive, and terminally offensive. In desperation, Helen finally cries to her mother: I just want a normal boyfriend. Oh, her mother responds in empathy, everybody wants one of those. There is no such thing dear.

When you enter relationships with the illusion that people are normal, you resist the truth that they are not. You will enter an endless attempt to fix them, control them, or pretend that they are what they are not. One of the greatest mark of maturity is to accept the fact that everybody comes with an abnormality. I am weird, you are weird, everybody is weird.

The most painful part is realising that you and I are in the ‘as is’ department as well. Throughout history, human beings have resisted owning up to that little tag. We try to separate the world into normal, healthy people (like you and I) and difficult people. Sometime ago I went to a bookshop in Adum to buy a book (The 48 Laws To Power) and the title of a magazine article caught my eye: Totally Normal Women Who Stalk Their Ex-Boyfriends. The phrase that actually struck me was “totally normal women”. What would one of those women look like?

This is just the beginning. WATCH OUT FOR PART 2

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