This is a folk tale, so it is told in the third person.
Once upon a long time ago, when the Gryphon was still limber and spry, she attended a modern dance class on a regular basis. This was part of the course requirements at a state university where all the students were otherwise sober and industrious. A couple of Gryphon's step-roomies also attended this class, which is how Gryphon got involved in the first place.
One of the usual problems set for the class was, in groups of five or six persons, to perform an improvisational dance. On one occasion each dancer was told to choose one of her group to stay as close to as possible and choose another to avoid during the course of the dance. Gryphon's step-roomies were in other groups, so she chose two others whom she knew slightly and the dance began. Avoiding the one young lady was fairly easy, as she appeared to be chasing after someone else. However, the other chosen dancer was very difficult to approach. The dancers twirled and writhed as the music played. Gryphon was a step away from catching up to her chosen dancer when the music ended.
The chosen dancer put her hands on her hips and said to Gryphon, "I chose to avoid you, but every time I turned, there you were. It was awful."
Gryphon explained that she was sorry, she hadn't meant to discompose her classmate's well-being, but that was the rules of the excercise—to stay with the one chosen. She had really meant to honor this classmate and, eventually, develop a friendship. That burgeoning friendship died in the course of a three-minute dance.
Now, I wonder about the surfeit of stalking that has swept our nation, our world. Do stalkers feel entitled by their perception of the rules of life to discommode their chosen victims? So many times we hear that the stalking victim has enlisted friends and family, or even the police, attempting to avoid the predator to no avail. Stalkers seem to think that an absent smile is a come-on, when the rest of us recognise it for the polite dismissal that it truly is.
So, just why is it that stalkers miss or ignore the clues telling them to back off, find someone who might possibly care on whom to lavish their attentions? Do they listen to too much 1950s Rock & Roll—"Take Good Care of My Baby", "There Goes My Baby", all those "she's mine and if I can't have her I'll die" songs. Do they have delusions of grandeur: think they are as good as the rest of us?
The word of the day for March 5, 2009 is "aversion" Pronunciation: \ə-'vər-zhən, -shən\
1obsolete : the act of turning away. 2 a: a feeling of repugnance toward something with a desire to avoid or turn from it [regards drunkenness with aversion]. b: a settled dislike : antipathy [expressed an aversion to parties]. c: a tendency to extinguish a behavior or to avoid a thing or situation and especially a usually pleasurable one because it is or has been associated with a noxious stimulus. 3: an object of aversion [inconstancy is my aversion — Jane Austen].
Our quote for the day is from Agnes Repplier (1858–1950), U.S. author, social critic. “A Kitten,” In the Dozy Hours (1894):
Why does not the kitten betray some of the attributes common to the adult puss? A puppy is but a dog, plus high spirits, and minus common sense. We never hear our friends say they love puppies, but cannot bear dogs. A kitten is a thing apart; and many people who lack the discriminating enthusiasm for cats, who regard these beautiful beasts with aversion and mistrust, are won over easily, and cajoled out of their prejudices, by the deceitful wiles of kittenhood.