Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The tale of the tail.

So goes an old fable, One day an old dog came across a younger dog running in circles. "Hello, young one." He asked. "What are you doing?"

"Yo! W'zzup old dog" The younger dog replied. "I just discovered some bangin lil' secret that you ol timers probably didn't know. You see, I've just discovered that the secret of my happiness lies inside my tail, and I'm tynna catch it so that I can be happy forever!" and he went on running after his tail for all the world like he was a turbo-charged windmill.

The old dog regarded the younger dog for some time, and then he tapped him. "Excuse me, kiddo, but I got news for you. " He said, sagely. "You see, that happiness lies inside my tail is, to use your words, a 'bangin lil' secret' I discovered way back before your momma was a pup. But with time, I realised that running after it wasn't going to get me anywhere near it because the harder I chased it, the more it kept running away from me. But I also saw that when I stopped running after it and instead walked away and went about my business, it followed me!

I'm sure an overwhelming proportion of our esteemed readers must be conversant with the concept of reciprocity, that basis of social relations whereby everything we do for others is with the expectation that the person will give back, or 'reciprocate' in kind. For example when you go to the supermarket and you give the teller your cash, you expect that teller to clear you the goods you just picked from the supermarket shelves, or when you throw a dog your leftovers, you expect it to wag its tail and bark at shady-looking personalities that may venture near your premises from dusk till dawn.

This reciprocity exists in each and every aspect of human relationship. When your parents take care of you, they expect you to take care of them in their twilight years when the more muscular parts of their anatomy don't respond to instructions from the brain as readily as they used to. When your friend borrows your blouse, you'd hardly expect her to throw a tantrum when you inexplicably try to squeeze your substantial behind into that mini of hers you've always had your eyes on.

With relationships, reciprocity is even more pronounced. How many times have you ever heard the statement "After all I've done for him..." spoken by some damsel in distress after a breakup? Or the guy who believes that his Porsche, six figure paycheck and above average looks should get him the best female-world has to offer? It's all about reciprocity, and it is all natural thanks to the historical process of socialization to its values that humanity has been subjected to since the day Esau made a deal with Jacob over a bowl of bean soup.

However, the essence of reciprocity that most women are only too eager to miss by a solar system that includes Pluto is that this reciprocity ought to be balanced. Balanced reciprocity means, to use an economic perspective, expectation an equitable return for input in a venture. [Note: I said Equitable. NOT Equal.] So when I show the lady in my life some serious TLC, it is because I appreciate something that she has actually done for me, and I do it because I actually want to.

In the good old days of chivalry when moving mountains and crossing seas for love was not the product of soppy RnB howls and gutter Mills& Boon paperbacks but real honest-to-God actual stuff, men were ready to kill for a lady's handkerchief because they believed it was a worthy cause. This was because the ladies reciprocated by acting their station and never trying to usurp the natural order of things. They never demanded, but expected men to be chivalrous because they in turn didn't wait to be reminded to acted like ladies as men expected them to. Balanced reciprocity and everyone's happy.

But now ladies claim that we are all equal, [equal. Not equitable,] demanding for a place on top of the heirearchy, and yet still expect us to behave like we did when they had their rightful place a few notches down! Honestly, what else have they been smoking apart from good old Marijuana?

If you want me to be chivalrous and romantic, make me want to be chivalrous and romantic. And the best way of accomplishing this is by acting all vulnerable and in-need-of-protection. You see, nothing tugs at a guy's heartstrings more than the feeling of being in charge. The women of old knew this, and that's why men were willing to pander to their every whim.

So women, stop being aggressive and running after what you want like the little dog. Stop demanding equality. Likw the big dog, walk away and act nonchalant. The result, I promise you, will be beyond your wildest dreams.

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