Expiration dates, uninvited guests and easy options


What to say about the uninvited? Sure, there are no cookies waiting for them when they appear on your doorstep. OR even when they call 20 minutes before arriving. Mostly they don’t expect cookies anyway (but I don’t like being empty-handed when they arrive). It’s been a weird couple of days with people turning up without warning, some known, some unknown. Almost Three’s Company-like antics, with a first arrival hiding in one room while the second arrival hangs out in the kitchen having a cup of hastily prepared coffee (even though there was no logical reason for hiding). Forced communication and activity brings out the worst inside (and behavior I would do better not to engage in), but I continue to play nice.

I am always playing nice, though. It’s easy to fall into situations where you feel manipulated. The manipulator has been doing this trick and pulling this scam all of his life, to the point that it is natural and involuntary. He knows intuitively when to turn on the charm, sees when his victim is at her most vulnerable or at a breaking point, and thus knows when to push, when to back off. He knows exactly the tack to take in getting exactly what he wants and needs in any given situation.

Trouble is, he is too confident in imagining that his victim has no idea what he is up to. Just because she complies does not mean she has been putty in his hands. He imagines that the obvious reaction, should he be uncovered, would be for the victim to feel victimized, and then reject and run. After all, who needs someone targeting and taking advantage of them? But knowing the score fully and still choosing to give and be kind and display a kind of unconditional love, to which he has probably never been exposed – is there harm in that? Is there a true cost to simply offering warmth, kindness and care to a broken person who thinks for himself only far enough ahead to see an immediate gain or opportunity?

I am all elbows and standing in the way. Sometimes a means to an end but mostly a piece of luggage. How bitter the realization. The expiration date is just around the corner.

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