Damned if you do,

(and) damned if you don’t.

While some will know the meanings of these adages:

Damned if you do, damned if you don't
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t
(Caught/Stuck/Trapped) between the devil and the deep blue sea.
(Caught/Stuck/Trapped) between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Between a rock and a hard place.
Between a rock and a hard place.
If you are like me, you’ll not have known that they all stem from:

Being between Scylla and Charybdis

…an idiom deriving from Greek mythology (but doesn’t so much seem to stem from Ancient Greece?!?). Being stuck between Scylla and Charybdis informs the more recent proverbial advice, that is, “to choose the lesser of two evils.” This is true too for the saying, “on the horns of a dilemma.” But nowadays, phrases like: (1) “between the devil and the deep blue sea,” (2) “between a rock and a hard place” and (3), “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” imply both evils are as bad as each other. In essence these phrases now mean having to choose between two equally bad choices which both lead (almost categorically) to disaster. Is this the same as a Hobson’s choice, well yes I think so, see this post: Hobson’s choice, explained. (I mean, there really isn’t a choice is there, take the left fork and you’ll be screwed, take the right fork and you’ll be fucked (either, or, not in any pleasurable sense)).

“Britannia between Scylla and Charybdis.”
A satirical cartoon/sketch commenting on a British political dilemma of yesteryear.
Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters/dangers noted by Homer in the Iliad. Scylla was said to be a rock shoal (described as a six-headed sea monster) on one side of a Mediterranean strait and Charybdis was a whirlpool off the coast of the other side (they were regarded as maritime hazards located close enough to each other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors)–would either mode of death be the lesser of two evils?

Are these, strictly speaking, allegories? Do they reveal a hidden meaning? Not really. Look here and decide if you agree of disagree: Allegorically speaking…

Anyway,

Now on to the point and purpose of this post:

I am damned if I do

because it was said to me

“If you love me, you’ll leave me the fuck alone”

and thus, by not contacting you, I am currently dying repeatedly on the inside; this occurs during every minute of every waking hour. Therefore, I am:

damned if I don’t.

Get me? Do you get what I’m saying to you my sweet succulent honey bee? I’m dead without you; you became and now are my:

raison d’être

/French noun/
— the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence

‘Wax poetic’

= to speak or write about something in a poetic and/or overly exaggerated way

Fresco showing a woman holding writing implements (c. 50 AD)
Fresco showing a woman holding writing implements, a wax tablet and stylus. From Pompeii, c. 50 AD.
On wax……we’ve:

Wax lyrical
— To talk in a highly enthusiastic and effusive way (i.e, to wax poetic).
— “He waxed lyrical about his splendid and amazing mentor-cum-muse.”

Wax and wane
— To undergo alternate increases and decreases.
— “The ebb and flow of the ocean tides wax and wane but my love for you stays at a constant fever pitch.”

In terms of waxing poetically these other words come to mind:

Histrionics
— Melodramatic behaviour designed to attract attention.
— “By now, she was accustomed to to his hysterical histrionics.”

Verbose
— Using more words than are needed.
— “It is said that much academic language is obscure and verbose.”

Melodramatic
— Characteristic of melodrama, especially in being exaggerated or overemotional.
— “Dr Josē flung the door open with a melodramatic flourish.”

Exaggerate
— To represent (something) as being larger, better, or worse than it really is.

Drama queen
noun (informal)
— A person who habitually responds to situations in a melodramatic way.

Paint it black
I want everything to be painted black ⚫️

p.s.
Why not see these posts too:
‘Poetic license’
‘Poetic justice’

‘Poetic license’

= bending the rules to make one’s art more captivating.

Poetic Licence...?
Curse those giants’ shoulders! ****

Poetic license means the ‘license’ or ‘liberty’ taken by a poet, prose writer, or other artist in deviating from facts and genre conventions etc. so as to be able to produce more interesting and/or effective artwork.

For instance, we know that we should follow poetic rhyming conventions and syllable and stanza counts but sometimes, the message is more important than the mode so, we take the liberty of scrapping some of the rules every once in a while (see: “Sun, Sand &”).


p.s.
Why not see this post too: ‘Poetic justice’

**** Standing on the shoulders of giants.  This metaphor/phrase/idiom: ‘of dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants’ (Latin: nanos gigantum humeris insidentes) means, discovering truth by building on previous discoveries. This idea/notion has been traced to the 12th c. and is attributed to Bernard of Chartres. Famously, in 1675, Isaac Newton wrote the following, “if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

Me, upon you.
I was carried by you, I was nestled upon your shoulders my dearest one.

‘Poetic justice’

has now been served

Poetic justice is a literary device in which ultimately virtue is rewarded and viciousness is punished. In current usage it is often accompanied by an ironic twist of fate related to the individual in question’s own actions and behaviour.

‘Getting a taste of one’s own medicine’

Typically medicine don’t taste nice. Thus, if you make people feel unappreciated, insecure, jealous and anxious, you’ve little right to complain if they turn around and do the same back to you.

‘What goes around, comes around’

Similarly, what goes around comes around, means that if you treat people badly, you can’t be too surprised if one day you find yourself being treated in that same kind of way.


Poetic justice
noun
The fact of experiencing a fitting or deserved retribution for one’s actions.

Retribution
noun
The punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for their wrong doing or criminal actions.

Vengeance
noun
The punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for causing an injury or having done something wrong.

Virtue
noun
A form of behaviour showing high moral standards.

Vicious
adjective
To be deliberately cruel and/or violent.

‘By hook or by crook’

any means necessary

‘By hook or by crook’ is an English phrase meaning “by any means necessary”, suggesting that any means possible should be taken to accomplish a goal. The phrase is old and the first currently known written instance of it is the Middle English Controversial Tracts of John Wycliffe.

Do what you have to do
Do what you have to do

One way, or another, I’m gunna gunna get ya


John Wycliffe (c. 1323–1384) was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, reformer and a professor at the University of Oxford. He became an influential dissident within the Roman Catholic priesthood during the 14th c. and is considered an important predecessor to Protestantism.

Hook / Crook
^ Look at how they spell John.

‘Message in a bottle’

Save. Our. Soul.

Bottles out at sea
This one goes out…

A message in a bottle is a form of communication in which a message is sealed in a container (typically a bottle) and thrown into the sea.

Messages in bottles have been used to send (1) distress messages and/or to carry letters or reports from those believing themselves to be doomed (2), in scientific studies of ocean currents, as memorial tributes and (3), to send deceased loved ones’ ashes on a final journey.

Love letters have also been sent as messages in bottles. Indeed, the lore surrounding messages in bottles has often been of a romantic or poetic nature.

Nowadays, the phrase, message in a bottle, has expanded to include metaphorical uses (uses beyond its traditional and literal meaning). Say for example, sending an estranged lover an email begging for a reprieve whilst knowing a reply, let alone a reprieve is rather unlikely.

message in a bottle

Pioneer 10 plaque
…to the one I love.

‘Clutching at straws’

= to be willing to try anything to improve a difficult situation, even if there’s little chance of success.

The etymology of the phrase, clutching at straws, is thought to have originated in the work of Thomas More called, Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation (1534).


See More’s Utopia on this blog.


The idiom clutching at straws is therefore meant to refer to a drowning person grasping for anything, even a straw, to save their life (straw, like wooden logs, floats on water but, whereas a log wouldn’t sink if a person were to hold on to it for dear life*, straw probably would sink). Nowadays, the phrase has come to mean something like this:

to act or make a decision, usually in desperation, without there being much hope of success.

desperate
Desperate, I am.

p.s.
* British English 🇬🇧 is full of references to the sea because, being an island, have a deep relationship with the seas and, if you were at sea and had fallen overboard (off of a boat or a ship) you’d hope not to end up in, Davy Jones’ Locker
.

Davy Jones’ Locker is an idiom for the bottom of the sea: the state of death among drowned sailors and shipwrecks. The phrase then is used as a euphemism for drowning (at sea) 🏴‍☠️.