Being Played



Most of the time we judge people by their actions toward us as an indicator of their true feelings. I believe the things they do not say or do is far more telling. While it’s hurtful to be on the receiving end of this situation, at least it is open and out there.

Giving someone the short end in a situation or “playing them” is sneaky and underhanded. “Players” assume their victims have diminished intelligence and are not capable of recognizing the ruse.

• There is the “rescue me” play.

“You are the first person I thought of when I blah blah blah”, implying you have expertise in handling whatever their dilemma of the moment is. The truth is you were their last attempt to grant some thankless favor.

• Service providers who attempt “cuteness” play in anticipation of a big tip.

Last week while my BFF and I queued up for lunch at the local deli, the waiter sidled up to us and commented, “You two look like troublemakers to me”. How so? We weren’t packing heat and were appropriately dressed. I am certain he has no proof of our drive exiting a twelve-story parking garage via the entrance ramp. He received a very small tip.

• “I can’t meet you for longstanding event/lunch because I have a cold” play.

Don’t even think about calling me at the last minute with a hoarse, fake nasal twang and expect to be believable. In a previous life, I perfected the upper respiratory “code in my node” voice.

• “Why don’t you call the so and so’s. You’re so much better at explanations” play.

Yes, I am and the reason I am better is because you have afforded me more practice. This applies to spouses, who believe they are clever enough to play you and should know better, but why spoil their fun?

• “Shall we let the little woman select the color of the car” play.

If it is not a Mercedes, my selection of a color is a poor consolation. It is tantamount to throwing a dog a bone.

• “Have you tried our Diva department” play.

That’s retail speak for move to the fat gal’s section. They can call it whatever they like, but we all know it is double speak for chubby.

People who practice indifference can look forward to the experience of being on the receiving end. Player’s skills eventually unravel making them vulnerable to the more experienced.

Sometimes the universe is slow delivering justice, but it always arrives.

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