No, Taylor Swift. No, I don't.
Let me start out by saying I am the least competitive human on the planet. I couldn't do sports--organized or even in the neighborhood--as a tot because I just did not care to win. In school gym class, we would play games of basketball and someone playing offense would come at me while I was defending and like mock smack talk or give the body language of a tease or smack talk and I would seriously step aside and be like go ahead. My entire team would hate me, but I'm just like eh pass. It's gym class. NCAA tournament time is my personal hell because of all the ugliness on social media about the game. It's so boring to me because I could not even fake caring for one minute. Now, I appreciate team spirit, school spirit, passion, etc. I really do. I love UC and the Bearcats so so so much. I'll go to a Reds game and cheer. I'll play a pick up game of basketball. But I just do not feel competitive about it. It's just a game.
At times, I am envious that I do not feel this sense of competition because it makes me feel a little broken, but it's my truth. I'm just not competitive--sports, grades, attention, anything. I guess I'm "competitive against myself", which is something that people say sometimes, but by definition of the word competition, that isn't really possible. I just have high expectations for myself.
Sports, the classroom, and love---they're all just games and I'm really not interested in playing.
*warning: this blog gets really real*
I have never been one to date around much. Or really at all. Now that I am a *mature grown up* (lol not at all), I can really see that it is because I have never liked the games. Being in college, it is actually such a ridiculous spectacle--romance. Let's just review here.
It's a Friday night and everyone is preparing for battle.
The girls have been in the bathroom for three hours. An extra long shower to prepare for the long night (and probably long morning) ahead. Shampooing and Conditioning twice for the luscious locks. Buffing and polishing every inch. Carefully shaving so everything is smooth and clean. Drying, primping, straightening, curling, teasing, spraying, fluffing, brushing her hair so it looks healthy, shiny, yet ironically effortless considering the time she put into it. Painting her face with the *right* amount of makeup because she needs some to really sparkle, but she doesn't want to look like she tried too hard. She sends countless mirror pictures of outfit options to her best friend captioned "ok but what about this one". She runs to Party Source or International Market or wherever and stocks up on whatever is going to get her drunk and get her drunk fast.
The boys....well I do not exactly know, but I'll assume theres a shower, an outfit decision, and the same trip to the liquor store.
Everyone is wondering who they will see tonight. Will I see that boy that bought be drinks the last time we were out but never actually made a move so I'm hoping he asks for my number tonight? Will I see that girl I went home with last weekend and intentionally didn't text back because I heard she was on the prowl for a boyfriend? Will I see that boy I always make-out at the end of the night when something else isn't going to happen but I won't actually give him a chance to be my first choice? Will I see my ex-girlfriend with that new guy she uses to make me jealous? Will I see that guy that texted me asking if I'm going out tonight even though I do not know what that actually means for us? Will both girls that I hooked up with last weekend be at the bar tonight? Will that guy with whom I claim to be only friends but when I'm drunk I flirt with him and now I don't know?
It all sounds exhausting. And we haven't even left our bathrooms yet. Girls have been putting on war paint to go into this battle, everyone is wondering how the game will play out.
I'm exhausted just from typing all of that. I can't do it! I just do not care enough! I watch people do this ritual every weekend and for what? To be left to spend Saturday morning in tears. To be left to swipe your life away on Tinder for the next week. To be left to post moody tweeted like "another one bites the dust...".
It shouldn't have to be like that. I truly believe it isn't like that, but we make it that way. We've all gotten stuck in this never ending carousel that someone just has to stop. Easier said than done, right?
Here are a few simple ways you can refuse to play the game, this goes for all genders:
Let's elaborate on point 11, shall we? Because this one seems to be very hard for everyone, myself included. When our expectations, hopes, etc do not align with someone else's we tend to distance ourselves from them by using some ugly titles. We've all had *those* people who seem to be seriously crazy. Maybe they KEEP texting you when you said stop, maybe they show up everywhere you seem to be, or something else. But you have to step back and look at it from their point of view. We've all been on the other side. (Maybe we didn't take it to the extreme that they did). But we've all bee the heartbreakee. I do not even like calling it that because sometimes you aren't even heartbroken, but you just wanted something the other person did not. You all know what that feels like. Even though this person is texting you non-stop, showing up at the bar, telling his/her friends about you, etc, you have to give them a little credit. At least they are trying! At least they are putting themselves out there for the prize. Maybe the prize isn't you (you are a prize, sweet cheeks, but just not this persons), but the prize is love or something i don't know puke. If we do not stop calling people who are willing to look stupid, seem crazy, or do not know when to stop thinks like clingy, desperate, crazy, obsessed, stalkerish then we are going to scare everyone off from taking a chance, being bold, and trying!
I'm not saying what they are doing is right or cool, but let me give you an example. You have this person who you, I dunno, kissed at the bar one time. Whoopsy. They're nice enough and you always have good conversations but you really didn't mean to kiss them because you just aren't interested in that way. No problem. They text you the next day and are trying to go on a date. You politely tell said person like hey you rock but I'm just not interested in that. I know we kissed but to me, it was just a kiss I hope we can be friends okay bye. So then this person goes a little too far and texts you every weekend night for the next three months *how did they get my number omg*. They show up at your friends parties. Too much dude. So you call your friend and you're like "OMG what do I do? That person I kissed at the bar last month is a *crazy* person, *stalking me*, seriously *obsessed with me*, gosh so *desperate*, why are they so *clingy*." Now your friend who kissed someone at the bar last night was about to ask you what they should say to person they kissed because they want to hang out again and I told them I would text in the AM, but now friend is like omg I'm going to looks *crazy*, *stalky*, *obsessive*, *desperate*, *clingy*, I'm not doing it. Great. So the person they kissed was also very interested, but didn't receive a correspondence this morning, thus is like dang it I'm hideous people only want to kiss me when they're drunk I'm so stupid I'm forever alone blah blah.
See how that happens? See where all the issues arise?
It's all very exhausting. It shouldn't have to be like this. It doesn't have to be like this.
Someone famous said "be the change you want to see in the world". I have no idea who, but it's a good one. Ghandi? Maya Angelou? Beyonce? Not sure.
So, if Taylor Swift is right and love is a game, what happens if we all just stop playing?