Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Musings After Watching A Volleyball Game Last Night

I never really liked competition.

That’s one of the main reasons why I stay away from UAAP championships between my alma mater and our fiercest (and I mean it not in a Tyra Banks way) rival. I get too emotionally involved in the game, and the stress just gets to me.

I remember when I first watched a live basketball game in full; it was our team versus another university (not our rival), held at our gym. Our team was often ahead, but once in a while the other team would rally, and they’d inch dangerously close to tying the score. For me, it was so nerve-wracking watching the game and screaming myself hoarse as I, and the rest of my schoolmates, would goad our team on, as if our collective noise could help win the game. We did win that day, but while I was leaving the gymnasium, I swore to myself that it would be the last time I’d watch a game live.

Actually that was the last time I really watched a full game, whether live or televised.

So whenever it’s a championship game between the two rival schools, I learned to detach myself emotionally, so that I won’t be too stressed. I would walk away from the TV, preoccupy myself with something else, and just wait for the game to end before asking someone, “So who won?”

When I also started playing volleyball again with the MGGFF members, I noticed that so long as the competition is friendly, I’m okay with it. But the moment the game becomes too serious and competitive, that’s when I have the urge to just walk off the court.

Recently I’ve been asking myself why I need to detach myself when watching a game, and why I’m wary of competition. And what I realized was simple: I hated losing. I grew up thinking that being a loser was the worst thing that can happen to anyone. It was always drummed into our heads: to whom much is given, much is expected. But no one taught us how to lose gracefully.

And I guess that’s also one explanation as to why I was single for the longest time. I didn’t want to be a failure in my relationships.

What was so bad about losing? More than anything, it’s the sense of napahiya (shamed) that I was most conscious of. D himself observed that I have difficulty admitting that I may be wrong, or that I never want to appear mistaken, especially if it is someone else who points out my fault or flaw. (I don’t seem to have a problem admitting my mistakes, so long as it is I who brought it to people’s attention first, and not the other way around.)

So this is still part of me trying to be The Perfect Son in the eyes of my parents and of the world. You see, I thought that being The Perfect Son would somehow compensate for me being queer.

At age 45, I am still learning and growing up.


Aleph's id said...

love this post, actually naisip kong magtanong somewhere along those lines ("and i guess that's also... single for the longest time") in the future, yet here it is.

cheers to (still) learning and growing!

joelmcvie said...

@ALEPH: Thanks. I'm not sure if it's a "common" problem among those from the same alma mater, thanks to the "much is given, much is expected" mantra; well, maybe to just those who took that saying to heart, hahaha.

Sadly most of my growing seems to be horizontal and concentrated on my belly and sides, UGH! Hahaha!

JAY see said...

i guess we wont be watching a hockey game. hahaha.

joelmcvie said...

@JAYsee: On the contrary. Since I have next-to-zero knowledge of the sport, watching a hockey game would be more of learning the sport. And since I have zero emotional involvement with any of the teams, I wouldn't care who wins or loses.

You, on the other hand, might end up a wreck, hehehe.

Kane said...

McVie! Finally I have some time to comment on this. What you said really struck me because I have noticed the same thing, I think, during our conversations before.

D really seems like a remarkable person to see through your layers. And what you said helped me understand why. I'm glad you are allowing yourself to learn.