I’m a chronic oscillator. Not a “circuit that produces an alternating output current of a certain frequency determined by the characteristics of the circuit components” (courtesy of dictionary.com), nor the fan kind that moves from side to side while blowing. Rather, I am an oscillator in that I “waver, as between conflicting opinions or courses of action; vacillate” (also courtesy of dictionary.com).
I oscillate regarding whether a relationship is worth it.
Imagine that you frequent a particular restaurant and you order a burger and while you immensely enjoy the experience of eating your burger, you wind up with food poisoning after. And imagine that you then continue to order the very same burger, and it perpetually produces the same miserable result. What sane person would repeatedly continue to place this order?
None! Because nobody who consistently experiences a gut-wrenchingly painful reaction to a specific event continues to infinitely invite that same gut-wrenchingly painful repercussion.
So why do we exempt ourselves from this most basic common-sense principle of operant conditioning in forging new romantic relationships? Why do we think our odds are better this time around?
And this is where I oscillate. The angel on my right shoulder (actually I envision her as a carton of Tillamook mint chocolate chip ice cream with wings, but don’t tell anybody, because that’s weird) says to release my reluctance and expose everything—-everything that is rated PG—-because to anticipate failure is already to have failed. And I listen to her, and I actually manage to entrust entirely my heart to somebody else.
Which gives the devil on my left shoulder (actually, I envision him as a corporate businessman wearing a red suit with the underdog suspended from the prongs of his pitchfork, but don’t tell anybody, because that’s weird) just cause to tap dance over the remaining shards of my heart, belting out his Dr. Evil laugh as he berates my lapse into unconditional love of another person and marks another tally on the Board of Failed Relationships (I’m actually the chairperson of that Board; they wanted somebody with extensive experience).
And I have to give him his due credit. Because he remembered that love given promises no returns, and I forgot.
So I oscillate from side to side like a rotating fan. Oh yeah, and I waver, as between conflicting opinions or courses of action (still courtesy of dictionary.com). Between on the one hand believing that the burger is worth the food poisoning—-for those less discerning members of my readership, I don’t actually eat burgers, so that’s a metaphor—-and on the other hand deciding to forgo all future trips to restaurants to permanently obviate potential food poisoning.
Give me one good reason to eat a burger.