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The mensch↔hardass scale

When my dorks schedule games and then want to change dates after it’s already been set, one could take two approaches.

One would be being a mensch and trying to accomodate that at the expense of my own time.

The other would be being very strict, for purposes of being normative and didactive and trying to not reward this behavior long term. A.k.a. being an obstinate hardass.

Making a zero to hundred mensch↔hardass scale, I feel that both exactly zero and and exactly hundred are pretty reasonable positions to take. Good, consistent philosophies that take long-term outcomes into account.

The problem is when you land anywhere in between. Which I do. I’m probably at somewhere between 75 to 95 on that scale, as in, I give in maybe somewhere between one fourth to one twentieth of the times. Sure, this is more on the hard-ass end of the scale than most people. But it’s still an inbetween position, with all the problems that that position entails.

Being all mensch all the time would be fine. That’s a good, generous way to live your life.

Being a hardass all the time also has some purpose. It’s to counteract people’s assumption that everyone else’s schedule is worthless, super-flexible, completely penciled in. “The rest of you are just a video game that I can boot up whenever I want to. You stop existing when I close my eyes.”

Being “mostly-mensch” means trying to say “yeah, sure, we can move it” as often as you can, and then apologizing profusely the rare times you can’t move it.

Being “mostly-hardass” means “grumble grumble I guess we can move it just this once” the rare times you do give in.

Neither of those “compromised” positions feel great, but, that’s just the nature of human life; it’s not possible to be all-mensch-all-the-time unless you’re some super self-sacrificing breaking-the-waves type heroine. Being all-hardass-all-the-time is possible but requires an iron will that I’ve not been able to muster.

Our D&D game is coming up on year seven soon. Pretty sure my dorks see me as an unapologetic hardass that really really hates to move days. But the first few months before I had my routines in place, scheduling was tearing me apart with stress. Trying to heard the cats by saying “Oh, hi Alice! Bob probably can’t make it Sunday, what do you think, how about Tuesday?” and then three seconds later “Oh, hi again, Alice, I’m sorry, Bob says Sunday is better than Tuesday after all” and then three seconds later getting a message from Carol saying “What’s this I hear about the game moving to Tuesday? That’s fine. Sunday was not great.” It’s hard for me to convey how much that sucked and how much time that took. It’s one text for you, but six hours of scrambling and trying to contact everyone for me. I don’t have that kind of energy and I don’t have that kind of time. That’s the story of how I became mensch-no-more and how my heart hardened into the strict scheduler I am today.