inspired by random and some not-so-random events and people in my life

Monday, December 19, 2005

An Honest Whine

In the words of my vocabulary-challenged students, competition sucks, but collaboration isn’t an option in this case – there can only be one winner – so it seems I must compete. Like any sore loser, I hate competing when I don’t stand a chance of winning. What competition – the odds have been stacked against me from Day 1. Of course, more likely than not, the competition exists only in my mind; I doubt if anyone else involved considers me a contestant, let alone a worthy one. Chances are, I was ruled ineligible from the start anyway, by accident of birth no less (I wave my fist in indignation).

So why can’t I leave well enough alone and walk away into the sunset, like the proverbial hero in cowboy westerns? I have after all lived my life thus far NOT playing by the rules, opting out of the rat race to slave in a bookstore when everyone else was climbing the corporate ladder, quitting the arts scene just when it was becoming an acceptable way to earn a living and kinder to the pocket too, choosing to teach blood-sucking monsters (and loving it!) when others were leaving the scene in droves. Hmmm, so maybe I am perverse. Where logic dictates that I walk away, I walk the other way…

Perhaps I should do what entrepreneurs do and redefine the competition, you know, rise above the situation, rewrite the rules, create demand where there is none. In simple terms, this translates into: Can’t be the boyfriend? Be the chauffeur, the shoulder to cry on, the joker. Can’t be the girlfriend? Be the gift-picker, the stylist, the agony aunt. And, specially for fag hags or fruit flies (terms I use with great affection), can’t be the girlfriend? (Of course not, don’t be silly!) Be the shopping sister, the mahjong kaki, the bitching partner.

With luck, one becomes Apple, only 2.5% of market share worldwide (for personal computers) but the way sexier option. The desired effect one wants to create is the wistful look, the “I wish had the money/opportunity/guts/fill-in-appropriate-factor to choose you” feeling. To achieve this, one must avoid the “spare tire” syndrome at all costs. Unfortunately, in the drive to create demand, one can overcompensate by being too easily available. God forbid one ends up becoming a generic PC, far too easily replaceable by another Sim Lim Square lookalike.

So how does one acquire the allure and mystique of an iBook, an iPOD? If I succeed, I’ll tell you, my readers. Your advice is most welcome in the meantime. Peace out lol.


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