I was having some problems with my girlfriend (well, to be strictly honest, I was having some problems with my own psyche that got projected onto her) the other day, and I happened to have some of her CDs at mine. Having only borrowed them for the time it takes to rip them to mp3, it was long overdue the time that I should have taken them back.

Now I had an ethical dilemma. Is one supposed to return the property of someone you're (transiently) pissed off with? Talking to her would be a bad idea: I didn't want an argument. I was in the state of mind where I'd break up with her if I wasn't so completely infatuated with her. I considered holding the CDs hostage, but ended up dismissing the idea as borderline immature. So, in an attempt at subtlety, I went over to her flat and posted the CDs back without going in or talking to anyone.

My flatmate (not nine9, the other one) had implied that this action was a little OTT and had a high probability of misinterpretation. I was beyond caring, and besides, it was about time I performed some action; I'll leave it to Fate to decide whether I'm misinterpreted or not. True to form, within twenty minutes I get an SMS text message reading "Thank you very much for my Cds back. The way you posted them like that was done in a very 'you dont want to see me, so i dont want to see you' way. Very mature."

So now I've gone from being furious to being immature. I can deal with that. In the meantime, Gary (the aforementioned flatmate) and I sat watching The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, while I studiously ignored the beeping phone. It felt good until Gary turned to me and said "Just ring her, for Christ's sake."

In my specific situation, I was convinced that I had the moral high ground. But it got me thinking: how many of the world's problems could be solved by people just ringing her, for Christ's sake? ("Her" in the previous sentence is not meant to mean my girlfriend, the number of suspicious phone calls she receives notwithstanding, but rather the second party in any dispute under consideration.) We're always too proud to make the first move toward reconciliation. Usually, we have no actual reason to be like that.

Which then got me thinking: if one is too proud to ring her, does one rationalise it by convincing oneself that one has the moral high ground? But I tried not to think too hard about that.

In conclusion, at the risk of sounding massively hypocritical, I urge people to make the first move and sort out your difficulties. Just ring her, for Christ's sake. Take some action that could not be misconstrued (or even properly construed) as immature. It might even work out well.

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