The Nature of Ambivalence

When you are ambivalent about something you have two different conflicting feelings about one object or issue.
E.G.: Oh, wow, man, that is the Juicy Couture pale pink chiffon mini skirt of my dreams! If only it didn’t cost 487.56!

One solution to ambivalence is to get a friend, enemy, partner or colleague to take on half of your ambivalence. Then you can- to use a psychological term- externalize the conflict.
EG: “Hey! 487.56 is a steal! You can open a new credit card, get 15% off, and pay it over three years. Besides, you’ll look like dynamite in that skirt!”

At which point you realize that you really hate the skirt and don’t want it nor do you need it. In this sort of situation, be careful not to take along a Lutheran friend who will chide you about indecency, extravagance and God’s will. You’ll end up with the skirt.

Okay, now that I have explained ambivalence to you the way I do to my clients, let me say that October is Annual Ambivalence Month here at OutsideIn. I am always in conflict throughout the month of October.

On the one hand: October marks the beginning of hibernation season. Here in the Midwest it is essential to put on fat stores for the winter. It lasts a long time. Winter that is. I guess the fat stores do also. And even though, throughout the winter, you won’t actually be asleep and burning off fat stores but rather hunkered under the down comforter watching TV and getting up at 20 minute intervals for more fat- still, it’s a long cold winter. When you dress like a bear anyway. October marks the transition to “white foods.” While I am perfectly happy with tomatoes and greens and melon and peaches all summer long beginning in October I must turn to potatoes, rice, pasta, cream, popcorn and butter- which would be white if they didn’t add the yellow. Lots of butter. A good meal is scalloped potatoes with ham. Made with cream and butter. Or maybe fettuccine Alfredo. And then, of course, the bread machine comes out in October…

On the other hand: I’ve mentioned that Rich works in the Sports and Leisure Intelligence industry. He does research (he has a PhD in psychology and communication) on how and why people engage in leisure and sports activities. This means he has information that is relevant to both public health and sports marketing. Every October he gives the keynote address at a sponsor’s meeting for the Xterra World Championship Triathlon. On Maui. This is a week when the resort is filled with about 400 triathletes who come from all  over the world to swim the ocean, bike the volcano and run the island. It’s also host to sponsor-related people: K2 Bikes, Nissan Xterra, Paul Mitchell, Saucony shoes. Chic, fit, tan, athletic beautiful people. Also, coincidentally, it coincides with my birthday- that all important day when I remember that I’m not getting any younger. This year I will be half-way between 50 and 60. That means the only people I know who are older than me are Hoss, my parents and another blog friend who is a florist but I won’t embarrass her by naming her here.

Are you starting to understand the nature of my ambivalence? Yes, indeedy. It’s this simple: Do I eat or not eat? (read the fine print on the label on the cookware. Those Taiwanese get what I’m talking about.)Mentaltools

I have a new bathing suit I bought while shopping with Abby in Florida. She was wonderfully enthusiastic about how great it looks. She reminded me of how much I like to snorkel. I’ve scheduled the dreaded annual bikini wax for after work today. I leave in  6 days for Hawaii. To be truly happy I need to lose a pound a day between now and then. I have 2 yoga classes, 4 pilates classes and the treadmill working for me.

And yet.  You, my friends, came flooding back after I wrote no posts, no comments for a week and I was so grateful to you- what could I do? I had to cook you a lovely Fall dinner. Tomorrow’s post will be menu, recipes and pictures…it involves a lot of cheese

14 responses to “The Nature of Ambivalence

  1. Well, this made me laugh out loud. Lucky for my keyboard that I had finished my coffee already. The white foods!!! Haha!! The weight loss/happiness ratio!!! Haha!!

  2. I like the ‘white foods’ in October too. I also begin to crave sweet potatoes and greens and rutabagas and dried beans -good comfort foods. Last weekend I cooked a huge Sunday dinner on Saturday. I just couldn’t wait. I cooked enough that I put half in the freezer. Fall is also when I start thinking about ham and pork chops and pork loin and pork roasts. I can’t wait to see your recipes! 🙂

  3. Scalloped potatoes might possibly be the world’s most perfect food. Oh, and I’m thrilled to find that you are not a bread machine snob. Anytime I mention I own one, I find my hardcore bread baking friends looking down their noses on me. If you happen to have a cinnamon-raisin bread recipe to share, please send it my way.

    Ouch on the bikini wax and WooHoo on Hawaii!

    Hibernation sounds heavenly to me…..

  4. That’s too bad you have to go to Hawaii. Because then you don’t get to eat any of what you are about to whip up, for we all know cheese ain’t exactly a Weight Watchers “yes-yes.”

    In any case, don’t be puttin’ any damn parsley on my plate and saying, “Why of course you can eat parsley.” Bullshit to that. I got a little me(n)tal when somebody says to eat parsley.

  5. I can be ambivalent about the Spartans, which means it doesn’t bother me to cheer them on so long as they’re not facing the Wolverines.

    Thought that Bonnie’s “see a shrink” comment was meant to needle me. I get enough needling on my Wolverine fanatacism from friends, family and co-workers. Thought I could escape that in the blogosphere.

    Nothing wrong with psychiatry as a whole, though. In fact, I remember a psychiatrist going into practice with a proctologist somewhere. Interesting combination. They called their practice ‘nuts and butts’ IIRC. No wait, it was ‘rears and queers.’ No, that wasn’t it either. Ah, got it. ‘Odds and ends.’

    We don’t live in Ann Arbor, but I list A2 as our hometown as it’s more familiar than where we live, which is one of the smaller nooks out in the country.

    Thanks for visiting my blog again!

  6. Did you know that below a size 4; it is brain matter that you lose when you diet? Eat the potatoes, girl, and be glad you found out in time. I am about to be 58 yrs. Lets celebrate together.

  7. I am just crazy about cheese. I eat it every day. When I was in Wisconsin, I even bought a Cheese Head at the Mall of America and wore it every time I had a beer. Then I had to give it up to my daughter’s friend whose gift it really was. I would LOVE to go to Hawaii; it is one of my favorite places in the world. Have fun no matter what.

  8. Pink chiffon mini-skirts, chiding Lutherans, Maui triathlons, teflon pan labels, YOGA, and cheese knitted together into one hilarious post – How do you do it, Vicki?!

    Ambivalent Spartan is an oxymoron.

    Cheer up – October is the month of the Reformation! May I offer up three decidedly unchiding Martin Luther quotations to lighten your load?

    1. “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”
    2. “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”
    3. “Pray, and let God worry.”

  9. Missed you. Love the new template. Gorgeous. Ambivalence is life. Sometimes.

  10. Age wise I am only three years behind. Ambivalence – I just want to go to Hawaii. And if you have a bread machine, boy does this girl who does not cook except for this main bread item, have a recipe for you…..Potica bread. I have to make it for the JOY club next week if my dad gets to where he can sit on his behind (long story), so I will try to take pictures. Did I say I am so jealous that you go to Hawaii in six days?

  11. Age wise I am only three years behind. Ambivalence – I just want to go to Hawaii. And if you have a bread machine, boy does this girl who does not cook except for this main bread item, have a recipe for you…..Potica bread. I have to make it for the JOY club next week if my dad gets to where he can sit on his behind (long story), so I will try to take pictures. Did I say I am so jealous that you go to Hawaii in six days?

  12. I am so jealous too, Vicki, you are going to my very favorite place in all the world. Thanks for the almost mention up there. You know I will be 65 on the 30th, so I do have a few years on ya’.

    I am packing on the pounds for winter, too, although I started that back in June, I think. I crave mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and everything sweet and fattening. ICK! The way I look in a bathing suit nowadays, I couldn’t go to HI anyway! Have a great time and so what if you don’t lose the weight? There will be loads of people there bigger than you, I’ll bet.

  13. Cheese is my favorite! Yum!

  14. I don’t want to think what my mental tools would do to a smooth, non-stick surface; the way I’ve been feeling recently, they might not leave a mark.

    Is there a psychological-state-of-the-month for each month here at OutsideIn? Your explanation of ambivalence was so great that I’m hoping there will be others forthcoming. (My mother does a pretty good Lutheran for a Presbyterian turned Baptist; I have that skirt… in several colors.) I was going to leave a couple of suggestions for PSOTMs, but I’m not coming up with anything right now. Yup, non-stick pans are safe from me tonight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s