black holes

Avoiding Black Holes and Vacuums

It’s happened to me. It’s happened to you. We got sucked into black holes: other people’s vacuums.   

In other words, we’ve all been sucked into a vacuum.

In high school, I asked the prom queen out on a date. She turned me down. Wasn’t even polite about it. 

My friends and I knew she was aloof. condescending and hard to get. We didn’t really want to be with her (nobody would). We wanted her because she was hard to get. We were sucked into her vacuum.

My freshman year at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) I desperately wanted to join the Sigma Chi fraternity. It was the hardest frat to get into. They turned me down. I’ve written about it before. They were the blue-eyed, blonde-haired, chiseled girl-magnets. I wasn’t. 

I didn’t apply to be a Sigma Chi because they were fun, smart or athletic. I wanted in because it was hard to get into. I was sucked into their “hard-to-get” vacuum.  

After graduating law school I joined Hyde Park Country Club in Cincinnati (where I grew up). The club wasn’t close to my house. Its golf course wasn’t the best. Its facilities were drab. But it was hard to get into. So I wanted to belong. I could have joined a nicer club (for less money),but my ego sucked into a “hard-to-get” vacuum.  

How do you avoid black holes and vacuums?

In my book, How Fathers Change Lives, a friend shared a lesson that she learned from her dad. Here’s her story: 

Dad and I were on vacation in Hawaii. It was incredibly fun. The last day, while walking on the beach, Dad asked, “Megan, have you ever been sucked into a vacuum?”

“What do you mean?” I asked. 

Dad continued. “In outer space there are things called black holes. They are vacuums, sucking in everything that comes close, never letting it go free again.” 

“People can be just like that,” Dad suggested. “They instinctively rush to fill voids. This is true even when they know they could easily get hurt. They just can’t resist.”

“Megan, have you ever noticed when someone doesn’t want to be your friend that you want them even more?” Dad asked. I thought for a second. Yes, it had happened to me more than once.

Dad concluded, “you wanted that person because they didn’t want you. They created a negative vacuum. You were sucked in.”

What are your black holes? 

We’ve all fallen into the trap. Bought stuff because it was hard to get. Joined clubs because they were hard to get into. Maneuvered to meet people because they were hard to get close to. 

Any vacuums sucking you in right now?  

“I can resist everything except temptation.” – Oscar Wilde