Saturday, 21 September 2013

Like Fruit Flies to Vinegar

I want to revisit and continue some of my thoughts from an older blog: Finding Edward.

I have reverted to those thoughts because of the recent epidemic of fruit flies (aka drosophila, if I remember correctly from the genetics class I so unceremoniously dropped and now wish I had not). My brother in-law suggested the best way to control them (or drown them) is with apple cider vinegar. So I got one of my less popular teacups out, filled it half way with apple cider vinegar (which I was surprised to find in my cupboard), put saran wrap on top, and poked some holes with a fork in the covering.

As I was watching this work slowly over the days, it was weird to see how the not-yet-dead drosophila were still lining up to get into the teacup, when there were already so many dead bodies in the vinegar - little black dots against a golden background. Why did the living flies decide it was a good idea to adventure inside? Well, not knowing much about fruit flies, I can still think of several explanations: a) they can't really see that well, hence the stagnant, floating bodies would not be a detraction; b) the scent of the vinegar neutralizes/prevents the scent of decay and is an overpowering aroma they cannot resist and c) they are attempting to go in and rescue their friends and family.

OK - C is not likely. I don't think so? A and B - maybe. I am resisting the urge to google.

So, there are lots of books and references out there: "catch your man", or "avoid the wrong one", or "keep your lover begging for more", etc. etc. I don't think those are the titles, but something along those lines. I have read my fair share: The Rules, How to think like a man and act like a woman, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and many, many excerpts from other books found on the internet. There are a lot of good lessons in those books! I am not discounting all of it - like how to recognize when to walk away from someone who is disrespectful.  And no, I am not going to pontificate on how being like vinegar will attract your mate so you can drown out all his or her old, bad habits.

Drosophilia are easily cross-bred/modified in one generation (I think-look at all those eye-colours in the picture). What occurred to me is that I, and potentially others, while trying to follow the advice bestowed upon us, will, no doubt, try to reincarnate ourselves with different characteristics each time, and in doing so, drown ourselves in the process. Are we determined that by constantly changing or adapting to what the latest craze in relationship strategy defines what we should be like, that we are more likely to keep the "we"? Find the "we"? I think the draw to change (aka the vinegar), is killing the "me" in all of this.

Some examples from these books include the recommendation to appear "mysterious", "not needy", even "bitchy" (that is for the female audience in particular, although you could apply to men just the same). I have tried this - and sometimes it works, at least in the short-term. And maybe it could have kept working in the long-term. Most likely with the wrong person. But it is way, way too hard to keep this up when most of it goes against my nature (thinking back to the "it should be easy" or at least easier at the beginning). I have drown myself over and over again with trying to promote the new "me".

So I decided - I need to remove the vinegar. I need to stop overloading myself with thoughts and advice from books on who I should be. I need to do what feels right and say what I am thinking. I have a friend who is doing this now, and I think it is working, so far anyway. There is no magic formula she can sell me, other than being honest and being open to vulnerability (see my blog on The Heart Chain).

I wonder how many more blogs on this topic I will have to write before I convince myself it's true.

I found this quote, which has been attributed to Dr. Suess, but I am not going to validate that. I am going to share though, just because I like it:

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.

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