Captain Captious

Sit down boys and girls and let me regale you with a classic Generation Y tale. Girl meets boy, Girl likes boy, there’s interaction but things don’t work out, girl is sad and left to deal with esteem issues. I don’t mean to be heteronormative, you can replace the previous with any gender you like – essentially though it’s an unfortunate reality that the majority of the romantic liaisons we are excited about will end with us seemingly holding the short end of the stick.

For whatever reason our calls or messages are never being answered, plans are being postponed or cancelled and we are forced to contend with the fact that we may be getting blown off, and not in the good way.  This is about as pleasant as dropping your phone in a toilet or accidentally inhaling a fly and it takes awhile before we’re ready to accept the fact that someone may not want us – a concept which is, quite frankly, almost too ridiculous to consider.

At first we probably are in a little bit of denial and make excuses for the other person – but once if becomes clear they didn’t suffer a 3 day paralysis of their fingers and we try and convince ourselves that we didn’t even want a romantic connection with the said person to begin with. If a person genuinely wants to move on from a person, the best and quickest way to do so is embracing a little thing Alice and I like to call ‘activating the captious cannons’.

Alice activating captious cannons – artist’s rendition

Being captious is an artform of sorts, it requires a keen eye and an unwavering will to completely turn anything and everything about a person into something pitiful and disgusting. Alice is somewhat of a master at being captious, she has managed to pull me through many failed crushes and dates by assuring me that it didn’t matter it didn’t work out, because they weren’t even worth it to begin with. Some of the things she says would make a sailor blush and she’s particularly masterful when it comes to men who have denied her.

At first I thought that being captious was perhaps a little immature. By it’s very definition being captious is being petty and overcritical. I asked Alice whether she had thought about whether her newfound critiques were simply a result of a guy not responding to her the way she wanted.

“Fucking duh” she responded, “of course it is”

I suppose it was incredibly naïve of me to assume that someone would be that unself-aware, but it was an interesting concept to see the metamorphosis of a crush tuning into pure disdain. As they say, “love and hate are next door neighbours” – Quote Nobody Ever. Honestly the two are so interchangeable probably because the same amount of obsessive energy is required for the two.

You may be reading this and thinking, “Why can’t you just accept things that don’t work out like and adult and move on?”

I had a semi awakening the other day that the only way I was able to get over the more disappointing failed romantic liaisons of my life was to convince myself, or open my eyes to the fact that the person was not everything I was romanticising the person to be. I have hidden the majority of the ghosts of my past on Facebook and Instagram and even visiting their profiles causes me to eyeroll so hard I’m concerned I may have to hospitalised one day when they eventually get stuck back there. Despite captiousness being petty and immature, I feel that it is perfectly fine and valid when applied to the complicated process of getting over a bruised ego. Calling out someone on their imperfections may not be the most mature thing, but what’s the alternative? The alternative is levelling yet again with the feeling that you aren’t good enough to love or hell to even go on a second coffee with.

Being denied is unfortunately one of the biggest one-way aphrodisiacs that creates a crazy need for validation. If you find yourself in this situation but can’t bring yourself to be self-validating and vicious at least give yourself a chance to see a person completely objectively, you may find that you weren’t as an amazing fit as you have romanticised.


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