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Monday, April 23, 2007
5:55 pm

territorial, not possessive.

After spending the entire Sunday discussing certain issues with my sister, it struck me how despite our (very vast) differences, we can still connect so easily and thoroughly understand what the other is trying to say. Others may be puzzled or in more extreme cases, even enraged at some of the things we believe in, and label us according to what THEY think we are: Selfish. Petty. Possessive.

But as I have said many times, it is not about being possessive - it is about being territorial as we have been brought up to respect boundaries. We have been brought up to learn what is appropriate or not, what is respect, and what is a clearly demarcated line that you should not cross. If not, be prepared to be on the receiving end of our ire.

I am perhaps a very much watered down version of my sister, as I always try my best to bite down on my tongue, refraining from uttering a particularly barbed retort to those who annoy me. My sister, on the other hand, does not shy away from telling you bluntly what she thinks of you if you should trod on her tail. Let me just quote her latest blog entry, for an instance - one that I totally understand and agree with wholeheartedly, but one that I could and would never have written:


After 24 years, I have finally found the word to describe my annoyance towards certain "trivial" situations, that enrages me.
Da calls it Territorial. Hah!

I was just sharing with her how annoyed, or rather how trivial situations like these, never fails to bring out the snappier, angrier side of me.

You must be wondering what exactly am I driving at, but hands up for those who have been in various situations that left you enraged, crying out "foul!", that left you pissed for as long as it takes, until you managed to share your territorial woes with like minded friends?

Scenario one.
You bought a skirt, at an incredibly cheap price.
Your buddies comments how pretty it is.

The next day, while you were out shopping with them, they saw the exact same skirt at a different price, and they each bought the exact skirt, right under your nose, without checking if it was alright with you.

Scenario two.
You brought your buddies to an "exclusive" place, having in mind that all good things should be shared with good friends of yours. Little did you know that the exclusivity was highly publicised by your friends ( probably because your friends thought that all good things should also be shared with their other friends), and the place soon lost its exclusivity.

Firstly, there is absolutely nothing morally wrong with both the situations.
In scenario one, you cannot stop anyone from getting the same skirt as you.

Not that auntie you see around your neighbourhood HDB market,
or that fat blubber whom just scrolled across the street in orchard,
nor the tranny that just happened to be flouncing around in it,
or even the store owner who brought in hundreds of that same skirt to sell.

So why the sheer cry of outrage, when your friends choose to buy the exact skirt, right under your nose, without checking if it was alright with you?

Let me lead you into the psychological make up of Daphne's Territorial view.

Technically speaking, in my snob opinion, when i purchase ANYTHING, i expect it to have a certain amount exclusivity to it, which is one of the reasons why some people are willing to pay thousands of dollars, just to lay their hands on limited edition items.

If i purchase the item FIRST, the least my immediate group of "friends" could do, is to respect the fact that the skirt was first spotted and worn by me, and not habour thoughts to owning it as well.

However, IF you really, really need to buy the exact same thing, respect me, by checking if i am fine with it, before doing it.

Afterall, figurative speaking, if you need a favor from my boyfriend, it is only polite to tell me about it, before asking my boyfriend, instead of disregarding my presence, and call him up directly, do you? Well, at least i am appalled by it.

While in scenario two, a benefit was extented to you, when your friend shares with you a place that was deemed exclusive to her, and it was solely to be enjoyed by people whom she deem "worthy", ie good friends.

A good analogy of what is wrong with "spreading the love around" , would be like sharing a pie.

You eat the pie alone, you get 100% of the pie, but no one to accompany you.

You share the pie with your friend, you eat 50% of the pie, but you have someone to enjoy the goodness of the pie with you.

You share your pie with 3 other friends, you only get 25% of the pie, but you have a party.

Overcrowding happens when you eat only 5% or lesser of the pie.
Would that huge amount of sharing be considered enjoyable? No. 5% is less than a mouthful. That is when something is no longer enjoyable, and non exclusive.

It is afterall appropriate and polite to ask ie you receive an invite to a dinner party, if you want to bring a friend along, it is only right to inform the host about it. That is manners.
Selfish - For the lack of a better word to describe my perspectives towards the above scenarios.
I expect a certain amount of "respect" and confidentiality from my "exclusive" group that i share or extent personal benefits to.

Self admittedly, i am a snob.
A friend snob.

Not that i am conceited enough to say that my "pie" is great or anything, but i am a true believer of balance.

I would not eat the pie alone, because i am not greedy by nature.
However, I would not be dumb enough to share my pie with every pig, dog or cat that comes along, and end up not eating the pie.
Afterall, i am not running a charitable organization.

Rather, the pie would be properly shared, by my inner circle. This is what i call balance.

The price of my friendship?
Just simply respect how much i value exclusiveness and confidentiality in my life, and not attempt to "spread the love" around, because i value my balance in life very much.
Just because you had an insight to it, does not mean you have to broadcast them.

Just because they are your friends, doesnt necessary mean that they are mine.
Even if they are my friend, it does not necessary mean that they truly ARE my friends and i would fancy sharing anything with them.
In short, I am not benevolent.

Overcrowding upsets my balance, and it disses me off big time.
Except for sheer coincidence, i would not fancy seeing any uninvited friends in the same chill out place that i have discovered, or salon that i frequent, or just plain wearing the same piece of clothing as i am, and anything in equivolent, unless i say it is okay.

It is only appropriate and polite, because i am anal about appropriateness and extremely fussy about everyone being in their appropriate place - Da calls it hierarchical friendship. i.e, know where you stand and not overstep your boundaries.

I dont give a hoot about the people you deem as friends.
Just enjoy the generousity i extented, and learn how to contain the enthusiasm to share.

Thank you for your understanding.


Sounds like we're making a mountain out of a molehill? Perhaps, but honestly, it is the little molehills like this that are very telling of what any one person will react in the face of the traditional "mountain". It is the trivial things like this that do let us figure out who we can lean on. After all, if you fail us in the arena of the insignificant, would you really expect us to trust you with bigger matters? Obviously not. You must be a fool if you did.