Following the Leader
Have you ever been to the far-off, exotic Phi Phi Island in Thailand? No? I haven’t either. When I decide to traverse there (it’s now on my list of places to go before I die), I’ll most certainly consult tourist’s guides and maps to find my way to the island’s best attractions.
That was a part of Christopher Columbus’ problem, when he sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and landed on the coast of the New World, you know? He was delighted to have found, India and the Indian people, so the misguided, ignorant explorer thought. He had it all wrong. He had no map with him, though Leif Ericson had travelled there a few hundred years before.
Maps are a good thing. When you’re discovering unchartered territory, it’s best, I think, to do some consultation along the way, especially among the locals.
Intuition is good, but sometimes, it can lead us astray.
That being said, if I tell you how to get to get to me, follow my admonishments. If you’re creative, I can admire your enterprising spirit. But at the end of the day, there are only a few steps necessary to getting to from point A to B and B to C for me.
If we lived in my idealized world, there wouldn’t be need for a map. People, especially men, would just figure things out during the dating/hanging out phase. They’d figure out that they’d get more play if they listened. Ask questions, listen to the answers; open car doors; be clever but don’t tell me you are; ask how you can help me; show me your vulnerable side and be gentle enough with me that I want to show you mine. The men I’ve met (with the exception of two) don’t figure it out, and I’ve relieved myself of the frustration of hoping one of them will. So I tell them what to do. I give them the map. Ask questions, listen to the answers …
And still there are some who don’t follow. When this happens, is it wiser to say: “Hey! No, dummy! Listen! This is what you do” or do I just chalk the wayward soul’s turning left when I told him to turn right to uninterested deafness?