Monday, August 15, 2005


I’m a great lover -- of languages, that is. For as long as I can remember, I have loved words and marveled at how language works. As a small child my ambition was to be a writer, or an English teacher.

Well, like most children, it didn’t quite work out that way. I do some writing (other than this blog), but I certainly don’t make my living at it. And I took a swerve away from English and ended up being a Spanish teacher. But still… how many kids actually grow up to be what they always wanted to be? I think I’m pretty lucky to work in a field I’m truly passionate about.

Actually, truth be told, there was a time when I was about ten that I wanted to be an underwater archaeologist, but not because I was particularly interested in history. No, it was because I was fascinated by the sounds of all the vowels when you said the words “underwater archaeologist”, so I told people that’s what I wanted to be… just because I loved the way the words rolled off my tongue. (I know… I’m a geek. I’ve always been a geek. I’m O.K. with that.)

Even though I’ve spent the last dozen or so years teaching Spanish, my love of English has never waned. I’m particularly fond of Canadian English. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the expression “to deke” or “to deke someone out”… the word is related to “decoy” and comes from hockey. When you deke someone out, you fake a move, thus distracting them, so your team can get a goal… or something like that. For better explanations, check these sites:

You can deke someone out on the ice or at work (e.g. when you leave a meeting unnoticed)… or in any aspect of life. It’s not always a bad thing… in fact, it usually ends up in you reaching your goal.

Just recently, I have been watching someone I know “deke out” a man she’s crazy about, by pretending she doesn’t notice him, talking about other men when she is around him, and generally acting so uber-casual around him that even if the guy liked her, he would probably be left wondering if she even noticed him. One thing’s for damn sure… He’ll never know that she thinks of him “in that way”.

I ask her why she doesn’t just tell him directly what she thinks. But she won’t. She’s terrified of looking like a loser and being brushed off. So instead, she does the brushing off and Mr. Wonderful will never know he’s got this great (though somewhat insecure!) girl who secretly adores him. She’s substituted one goal – keeping her pride – for another, the possibility of a fantastic guy who may well think she’s fabulous, too.

She doesn’t want him to know how she really feels, so instead, she spends all her energy trying to deke him out. I don't get it...

Reminds me of another expression… “Be careful what you wish for… you just might get it.”

Na na na na. Na na na na. Hey hey hey. Good-bye…

1 comment:

CM said...

I get it. Absolutely get it. She'd make herself waaaay too vulnerable if she really let him know how she feels. She needs a lot more information before she could ever take that chance. The "deking out" process allows her to gauge his reactions and see how he behaves, which could give clues to how he actually does feel, and if she ever gets enough info from this process, then she could end up making a move. But the ultimate and first need is protect oneself from the vulnerability that inevitably accompanies letting someone else know your feelings. be avoided at all costs unless there is a very high likelihood of returned feelings. Otherwise you give them all the power. Never give them the power. Deke on...