Tag Archives: growing up

Beta Wolf Behavior

Posted at 8:24 PM, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2009

I was talking to Kate Bornstein the other day (yup, that Kate Bornstein. Yeah, I know, that’s kinda the coolest thing I’ve ever been able to say). She mentioned something she called “beta wolf behavior” — a survival mechanism, a way to protect oneself in a hostile environment. Essentially, beta wolf behavior is making oneself really vulnerable and inoffensive, like a really cute puppy, rolling around on its back and exposing its belly — “I’m vulnerable; I’m showing you my throat, and you could kill me, but you don’t want to because I’m just so dang cute! You don’t want to hurt me because I’m just so cute and adorable.” Continue reading

Broken Promises and Castles Built On Air

When I was little, there was someone I idolized. She was brilliant, and I loved her. She was always full of grandiose ideas. She always made plans — we’ll make Christmas cookies, complete with edible silver dragees; we’ll go for sushi at the place where her friend works; we’ll go see you in your high school play. Some of the ideas I knew would never come true — that wasn’t even really the point of them — tours around California, for example — these wonderful, brilliant plans that I knew weren’t real, but I couldn’t help but get swept up in her enthusiasm, imagining just for a moment how incredible it would be if they were true. Some of them . . . some of them I really thought were meant as promises, not just building castles in the air — those were the ones that really hurt when nothing ever happened. Continue reading