If you’ve been following my blathering, you have maybe gotten the idea that I like having answers.  If I could have all the answers, I would – I do realize that some things are inherently unknowable, I just try to know more about the unknowable than everyone else.  It has gotten to the point where some people no longer want to play Trivial Pursuit with me.  I try not to get all Cliff Clavin or anything, and I do sometimes hold my tongue when I feel like I may have talked too much in class (sometimes I’ll break down and speak again, but usually when I sense that no one else is going to talk – professors hate silence when they’re trying to engage a class – I feel bad for them).  But I’m not oblivious – some people in my class may get tired of hearing my voice – hey, sometimes Iget tired of hearing my voice (note how it doesn’t stop me from blogging nearly every day).  So yes, I realize not everyone is as thrilled with my being right (or right-ish – everyone has an off day, you know) as I am.  But being right in class has advantages; you know you’re on the right track, you learn more because you are able to pick up on nuances, and hey, it doesn’t hurt the grades at all.  In my personal life…being right can be a pain in the ass.  Although I haven’t had a personal life for awhile.  More of an impersonal life.

I am perceptively gifted, so to speak.  I have a good sense of how people are feeling.  It is good and bad, as with anything.   But in the past my desire to be right has battled with my desire to have things turn out the way I want.  It is hard to be optimistic when you think you see the handwriting on the wall. 

This brings me to one of my more truthful, if sad and pathetic, anecdotes.  This happened way back in the 90s, the first time I was in college.  I had an infatuation with a Philosophy major (please, don’t mock me – he was drop dead gorgeous, if a little mumbly), but I knew, on a cellular level, that it just wasn’t going to happen.  We could talk pretentious, rambling nonsense all we wanted, but he wasn’t going to go for anything else.  A friend of mine was trying to give me a pep talk, telling me how fabulous I was, and how maybe I shouldn’t automatically think the worst.  “You actually sound like you want to be right about this,” he said (or something approximating that).  I assured him that while I wanted this Philosophy major to have romantic feelings for me, I could sense that he simply did not have them.  If you want to get all anachronistic and catch-phrasey, no, he was not that into me.  My friend, exasperated, accused me of preferring to be right over having a relationship with this young man.  I said (and this is an exact quote), “Yes, I would rather be right than to get laid,” as if it were some either/or proposition.  I guarantee you, if I had had to jettison accuracy for sex, I would have done so in a minute.  But, unfortunately, wanting something doesn’t make it happen, no matter what some self-help gurus may claim.  I did, in case anyone was wondering, ask the Philosophy major out.  He turned me down, kindly but definitely.  I did not make another first move on a man for the next 9 years (Puppy Mama, I’m only counting sober moves, so don’t call me out on my statistics).  Of course, 9 years later, I did make a first move on a man; I was turned down (again).  As you can imagine, that will be an end to that.  That’s right, in this matter, I turn back on my feminist principles, do you hear?  But I digress.  We could all drag out some 5-cent psychoanalysis, à la Lucy Van Pelt, and theorize that maybe, for lo, these many years, I have sabotaged my love life, because I’d rather be right.  But you know, I’m not that screwed up (I am not!).  I just have dueling impulses – my hopeful side really really wants things to work out, and sees no reason why they can’t; my cynical side would like things to work out too, but has far too much experience to really believe it.  If I may extend this metaphor (perhaps past the breaking point), my hopeful side is the chatty one, the one who wants to prove that she’s right, so she keeps talking.  My cynical side knows no one wants to hear it, and pipes up only when absolutely necessary.

So, what are the benefits of being right?  Um…good grades…and…I was on a game show once (I lost – other people are right too, you know).  Anything else?  I’ll get back to you on that, once I figure it out.