Sunday, July 7, 2013

Laying it on - a better game?

It can be very uplifting to play competitive games and sports.  Our local paper often has as much print devoted to local sports as to other news.  My relatives are always playing Scrabble-like games against each other, regardless of their location, through their iPads.  Girls and guys have found new parts of themselves in the wins and losses of sports.

I was once insensitive to competition among women.  I knew of course about vying for the title of most beautiful or most well-dressed but I wasn't up on one grandmother trying to offer the grandkids better cookies than her opposite.  Now, I see contests all over the place.  Two rugged hombres with holsters tied to their legs going for their irons is only one sort of competition. 

Two women competing for a man's allegiance might move along quite different paths.

Guys can be charmed by compliments:"Ooo!  Don't you have big muscles?"  However, since they have experienced charm as a tool, they are wary.  But both sexes learn as they age, that indeed "Honey works better than vinegar."  Pretty soon, after just three or four decades, the game changes to "Who Can Lay It On Better?". 

In this game, I try to beat out the competition with compliments.  First, I try physical compliments, those big muscles again or how much I like your hair.  But then, I might switch to more intellectual/emotional compliments, such as how much I admire your investment insights or the size and variety of your portfolio.  

More subtle compliments might be to note your favorite books, music and movies and read, listen and watch.  Later, I might let you catch me doing that or I might mention that thanks to you, I am enriched with a new author or a moving movie. If I want to be explicitly competitive, I might try to do a demonstrably better job at giving you happy or strengthening thoughts than your mother or your mate.  If I would rather take on a tougher, subtler opponent, I will simply try to add to your life more than the fearful and negative sides of your personality can tear down.

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