Wednesday, March 13

Kilig Theory: How to Open the Stone Cold Heart

We know that figure well: The One Who Keeps to Herself, The Ice Queen, aloof and mysterious, doesn't say too many words, and when she does talk it's in a voice that's usually small, and then commences an even more  more awkward silence.

In theory and in story, it's the distance and silence that makes her alluring. This is why she is pursued, and for every step forward that allows a glimpse of What Goes On Inside That Head, where we see the slight shadow of a past hurt, we are forced to take two steps back. There might be whispers of What Went Down: a spectacular breakdown uploaded on YouTube, the beloved who met an untimely end, a heartbreak so devastating that the only response is to build a fortress and not let anyone in.

Sometimes the hurt is shaded by Words and Acts of Cruelty, a General Meanness that is sometimes viewed as a quirk, ie, if her feet are hurt by uncomfortable shoes, then she forces the boy to switch shoes with her. And then have him march around in public, with an escalation of humiliation. But we are told to see this awful treatment of other human beings as adorable. That is she is merely a sassy girl or a shrew who can be tamed into possession later on, or perhaps he's a sparkly vampire boy who is only avoiding you because he doesn't want you to be his next meal.

The only way to get through The Armor of False Strength is by wearing her down with your Constant Badgering Presence. If meanness is shown, accept it. Endure it all the cruelties. If she asks you to go away and leave her the fuck alone, do it. But keep her in your mind. Learn new skills that will impress her later on. Or you can annoy her with your own quirk: a passionate assertion that music will heal the soul, or that John Hughes' entire ouvre can be summed in that last scene where Judd Nelson raises his fist at the end of The Breakfast Club.

In real life, the mystery of the silent one can only be endured for so long. It will most likely annoy and frustrate you to no end. Why don't you call? Why won't you text me to tell me you will be late instead of making me wait for the better part of the day? Disappearing will no longer be a quirk but a dangerous fault. Camels burying their heads in the sand are charming only if done by camels or if accompanied by an ironic statement in 42 point text.  Like Beca in Pitch Perfect, the shutting out is a passive-aggressive tactic: a blanket offensive, a defensive move to protect oneself and not targeted at a specific person. 

It is never easy to open up to anyone, ever. It doesn't matter if Madonna offers to "give you love if you turn the key." Nobody wants to display their vulnerability out in the front lawn. Badgering can only make things worse. But at the same time, it is only by persistence that one can get used to someone else's presence.

Someday, after she has succeeded in shoving out everyone who ever cared for her, she will remember that annoying assertion and watch all the movies and listen to all the songs. Only then, when she has processed it all by herself will she be convinced that somehow, you were right. This is the start of The Conversion.

She will begin to reach out and open a shutter to her locked out heart. A sliver of light will creep in and the thawing of her cold, cold heart will begin. The cause of the hurt that drove her to be mean will be revealed, and suddenly, it all makes sense.

She will reciprocate your feelings by echoing your formerly annoying assertion in song, by mashing up that song in the end credits in the middle of a playlist made for public singing. Or the crowd will part in a crowded train station and the two of you will be reunited. And it will be revealed that you were meant to be together all along.

You can never force open a broken heart that's been sewn shut. The sutures will bleed if it has not healed yet. The ice will be smashed to pieces with the use of force. One can only wait. And thus, if one wants to pursue The One With the Stone Cold Heart, the One Who Keeps to Herself, the one requires extreme amounts of patience. It will be difficult and frustrating to keep up with this one step forward, two steps back. But if one endures, when trust is earned, it is only a matter of time before the ice begins to thaw, before a word is said and war wounds would have healed. Then all that's left is the scar and the story behind it that begs to be told. And so we hope that this will be proven to be true in real life as in story.

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