March 11, 2010


Posted in *cringe*, Darth Vaguer, Guilt, Oubliette, The Angry, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty, The WTF at 7:57 am by Dagny Taggart

That’s what it’s like.  Except that this whackamole game is rrrrrreeeeaaaalllllyyyyyyy slow.  Also, the whacking doesn’t push the mole back down right away.  It requires repeated whacking, for a much longer time than is convenient.


It’s that project that you flubbed three years ago – and every once in a while, it flashes into your memory with perfect clarity, nibbling away at your professional confidence and wreaking subtle havoc with second-guesses and paralyzing self-doubt.

It’s that time when you should have been forthright, but said that you’d call, and then you didn’t.  After the third date.  And now you run into the guy, or someone who knows him, and you get that sickening, hot flush of shame that makes you turn noticeably red for entire minutes to follow.

It’s that guy you cannot believe you dated.  The one that you can’t believe you introduced to your friends, the one who is still on the fringes of some aspect of your social life.  And everyone KNOWS you dated this person.  And whenever you’re reminded of that, you suspect they think less of you for it.

It’s a mole named Voldemort.  And you do your best not to name it.  You’ve taken it out and looked at it and tried to deal with it, and then you tried to shove it into the deepest recesses of your psyche when dealing with it didn’t make it disappear.  But in mole-like fashion, it quietly tunnels its way up to the surface, and peeks its head out, squeaking and sniffing, eating your garden along with your confidence, and no matter how many times you employ the mallet, the little rodent goes away only when it’s good and ready.  And you know that normal people could let this go.  Normal people would not be playing imaginary whackamole against themselves.  Normal people would just put the memory away, where it belonged, and it would stay there.

And you wonder if the only way to get rid of it for good, is to smash the game or leave the arcade altogether.



  1. AliasFaux said,

    1) I propose that the name be officially changed to Voldemole. (I like it better than Moldemort)

    2) This may come off as very “there is no spoon”-ish, but the moles only pop up because the game is plugged into the wall. The solution (as I’m sure you know) isn’t to keep whacking the moles, but to address the base problem, and unplug the game.

    [DrPhil]3) None of us is perfect, and a deep seated fear of failure (likely due at least in part to overbearing parents) prevents you from accepting your own imperfection. The confidence that comes from knowing that small failures (or even big ones) do not lower your value, and that you are capable of recovering from them is something that you probably need more of. You are a good person, not perfect, but good, and that’s good enough. So stop obsessing about times you flubed up, and stop worrying that you do not measure up, and take a realistic view of yourself.[/DrPhil]

  2. Brian said,

    Voldemole: He Who Shall Not Be Whacked.

    (Bill Murray will star as BumbleMore, as he tries to thwart Voldemole using the magic of cleverly-shaped plastic explosives. Hijinks and hilarity, of course, ensue)

    “Normal people would not be playing imaginary whackamole against themselves. Normal people would just put the memory away, where it belonged, and it would stay there.”

    Just more proof that “normal people” don’t exist. I don’t know anyone who manages to avoid doing this, at least from time to time.

    I’m not sure that those things ever truly go away; it’s more a matter of giving them proper perspective. What lessons that stick are ever really learned the easy way? Previous flubs should help avoid future flubs, which is a good thing, right?

    The only thing in your description that would worry me is the “paralyzing” part. None of the mistakes you make define you, or prove you are less than capable as a result. They are part of the process that, in the end, makes you more capable, on more levels.

    Can we change the game to Own-a-Mole, maybe? Might be a little harder to play, but the ending’s a hell of a lot better.

  3. vvk said,

    I’ve had a lot of these in my past… and still hold on to a few of them…

    I don’ t think there is a universal solution to these… For some of them, I’ve found that the solution involves time, distance, and the self control not to pick at the scab. For others, I’ve found that the difficult step of publicly giving up and/or accepting defeat helped me let go. I found that the public, or at least semi-public aspect of it was important for letting go.

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