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from "girl, interrupted":

Susanna: I'm ambivalent. In fact that's my new favorite word.
Dr. Wick: Do you know what that means, ambivalence?
Susanna: I don't care.
Dr. Wick: If it's your favorite word, I would've thought you would...
Susanna: It means I don't care. That's what it means.
Dr. Wick: On the contrary, Susanna. Ambivalence suggests strong feelings... in opposition. The prefix, as in "ambidextrous," means "both." The rest of it, in Latin, means "vigor." The word suggests that you are torn... between two opposing courses of action.
Susanna: Will I stay or will I go?
Dr. Wick: Am I sane... or, am I crazy?
Susanna: Those aren't courses of action.
Dr. Wick: They can be, dear - for some.
Susanna: Well, then - it's the wrong word.
Dr. Wick: No. I think it's perfect.

from dictionary.com:

am·biv·a·lence n.
    1. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.
    2. Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow
    3. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings toward a person, an object, or an idea.
    4. Simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action
    5. Mixed feelings or emotions

ambivalence. like susanna, i always thought the word described a lack of feeling; instead, it's the polar opposite. this is the word that sums up my emotionally irrational entry from july, and to some extent my entry about the human condition a few weeks ago. there is something strangely comforting in that; in knowing that there are four simple syllables that can describe one's momentary craziness. because, of course, this implies that the craziness is not craziness after all. it tells me that others feel this way at times. it tells me that it might even be normal. it tells me that i am not alone.

quite frankly, i could do without dealing with ambivalence for the rest of my days and be a pretty happy camper, thankyouverymuch. unfortunately it seems to think that i enjoy its company, and it shows up uninvited and in various forms at the strangest times. why must you taunt me so?
Posted on Monday, October 4, 2004 at 10:26PM by Registered Commentermdog | CommentsPost a Comment

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