I am completely bewildered by the human need to constantly be involved with a significant other. What makes another significant? Their ability to find perfection in your flaws? Their ability to find flaws in your perfection? And love you anyway? I have plenty of significant others in my life, past, present and future. Some more so than others. Some came to me for purely physical reasons, fulfilling a significant need in that moment. Some I have never had a physical relationship with and that’s who we are to each other. We are close, we are able to be free with one another because we have meaning for one another. We are significant. We don’t exist for each other, but we certainly find existence a little more fun because the other is around. Ok, that was way too many times using the word other, I’ll switch it up a bit.
I think often people consider that there is only one significant lover type person who will come into their lives. Everyone else is practice for that one. If they are fortunate, it happens early and they can spend the rest of their lives actually living them. Instead of attempting to live while searching for a soul mate who suits the lifestyle they’ve worked so hard to create while waiting for that one special. Perhaps they date, perhaps not. But there always seems to be an expectation that ‘the one’ will be waiting just around the corner and one day, when they are ready, the orchestral music will swell, the bus will come careening towards, is this the end? And suddenly, rescued! By blue eyes and biceps. Or whatever. I think this is absolutely crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near a cynic. I am a hopeful romantic of the highest order. I’m a practical romantic, at least when it comes to myself. That’s the thing, I can’t actually ever hope to speak for the views or experiences of anyone else. If your belief is in a one true prince charming, then yay. Mine is not. I don’t believe that humans are naturally monogamous. I used to think that people cheat because of the times we live in. We are the distractable generation. We like shiny, we like new, we like feeling as though we’re ‘in the moment.’ (I’ve got rants about that one too) Sometimes the moment carries us away into extracurricular activities we weren’t necessarily planning to get involved in. We cheat, we’re jerks, it’s true. Adultery is nothing new. Ok, so we’ve been cheating jerks throughout history. Am I speaking of walking down the street and being taken by a stunning human walking the other way? Hell, no. Even to the extent of sharing a flirtatious smile or wink..human is human. Pheromones, biological imperative, etc are tough things to subvert. There is nothing wrong with stopping to smell the roses. It’s the desire and of the act of picking them that tends to get one into trouble.
I am not morally opposed to dalliances. It could be that there is a connection of strong physical/emotional/spiritual whatever with one person that maintains one’s existence, but every so often, you meet someone who’s just supercool, sexy, fun. Not someone you’d want to spend eternity with, but perhaps the weekend. Where’s the harm? Because of the guilt suffered as a result of a percieved commitment to someone else. Because of the heartbreak suffered by the one who feels betrayed by the contract breaker. I often wonder how many couples actually sit down and have a discussion about those things they consider deal breakers. Don’t have sex with my friends, or relatives. Don’t leave the cap off the toothpaste. Don’t put the juice jug back in the fridge empty. Likely very few, because somethings are just expected to be followed through on. Expectations lead to…disappointment.
I try not to have expectations of anyone I get involved with. (Yeah, good luck with that.) I like to think that I’m not prone to jealousy, my only request is that you not bring home anything you wouldn’t want to share. Like herpes. While I am not opposed to indulgences, I will never knowingly get involved with someone who is already involved. One time I’m pretty sure I was the other woman. It wasn’t fun. Mostly because of the guilt involved and the fact that he found it so easy to lie to someone he professed to love. What? It’s just so crazy to me. I prefer, most of the time, to opt out. I think I’m kind of unique in this. I like living alone. I like being alone. I also like being with other people, both on a social and intimate level. Balance. I don’t want to get married, except for the obvious reason of a european/argentinian/australian/wherever I feel like living at this moment passport.. ok if I ever get married, I hope the agents investigating my love filled marriage of convenience don’t read this. I don’t want children. (A woman in her early 30’s who doesn’t want children? WTF??? How does that even happen? She must have a shortage of them girly hormones..or an excess of sense, how about that?) I don’t feel compelled to be with someone in order to justify my ability to love and be loved. I can get a dog for that. If I have physical need, there are humans aplenty who are single and more or less willing. If I need emotional support, I have Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, 72 different varieties of tea, one biological sister and dozens of others. Not to mention hulahoops.
I’m not opposed to dating. Well, actually kind of. It’s very strange to me to go out with someone all dressed up, spend the evening evaluating one another and trying to hide your own flaws, while striving to seem like someone you may or may not be in reality, all in the hope that they’ll be adequate and you won’t have to do this again. I like food. I like music. I like watching movies. So, if that’s the requirement then I have no opposition to dating. Except for the awkwardness of it all.
Ok, so why am I ranting about this? This is nothing new for me, most who know me are well aware of how I feel about this kind of thing, especially the marriage and babies. I guess it’s because the other night, while innocently playing video games, there was a particularly long cut scene. So, being interested in distractably shiny things in the moment, I flipped the input over to the television while the cutscene played out. I should have left it. There was a movie on. It’s newish, I think, I’ve never seen it or heard of it really, which doesn’t make me sad after watching about 10 minutes of it. Within that span of time, I was introduced to one character who was going to break up with her commited and loving long term boyfriend because he wouldn’t marry her. And another character who met a boy she was pretty sure might kind of like her, so immediately started imagining what their wedding would be like. And a third (who might have been the only one actually married) who spent the 30 seconds she was onscreen finding out that her husband was not actually commited or faithful. I turned it off in disgust by this point, fairly sure that the lesson there was not that marriage equals people instantly becoming disloyal and untrustworthy.
I’m actually amazed that I discovered as much as I did within that short space of time. It could be that there was something insightful about human relationships within the film, but I can’t get past this insane obssession to be paired up! Do I sound bitter, could it be that I am just jealous of people in relationships because I am alone? Dreadfully, pitifully, pathetically alone? Yes, of course that’s it. I must be ovulating as well. Since my body knows that because I am alone it won’t become infected with parasitic seed which will blossom into progeny that will make me immortal in a sense, even as it steals my youth and vitality for it’s own desperately helpless lifeforce…yes, I can see how that could make me sad.
I acknowledge the allure of this silver screen ideal of romantic love, a love that will swoop in and carry us away from our humdrum day to day. That moment at a party when some hoopy frood walks up to you and says, you wanna get out of here? You better damn well say yes! And don’t even think of asking him to wait while you get your purse. In my movie, it’s Callum Keith Rennie and he’s driving a shiny black 69 chevelle. Mmm…bad boys and muscle cars…but I digress..
I don’t deny that being genetically encoded to want to propagate the species is a natural thing. I don’t deny that the idea that something that starts off as a single cell grows to become a complex multifaceted organism capable of rational thought is utterly astounding.
What upsets me is that rational thought and responsibility towards a healthy humanity seems to be the rarity, wheras demented ideas of selfworth and irresponsible proliferation of bad spellers with no immunity to dirt and falling down without deciding someone needs to be sued are commonplace. This is nothing new, but I was feeling a little ranty and it seemed appropriate. Lesson learned though, from now on I’ll stick to the cutscenes on my super violent video games which rock because they are completely devoid of women who want to get married and have babies and never once stop to wonder if that is a good idea. It doesn’t have to be a good idea, it’s just what we do.
Now, that said, I love the idea of women who stop to wonder about it, and decide that yes, it is a good idea. This is something that could work for them. And they go about it eyes open. I’m not asking anyone to stop getting married and having babies and obssessing over why they aren’t in fulfilling relationships and whether their fat ass makes their ass look fat and wearing uncomfortable shoes because they’re pretty sure he’s looking at their feet (uh-huh). I’m not asking anyone to do anything. Most of the time, I’m really not very concerned with what’s going on for other people. Like most people.
(I must admit, at this moment, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about peeps in Haiti and how much it must suck for them right now.)
But it would be nice if people would think about what their biological imperative is always pushing them to do.
At any rate, I think it was Olin Miller who suggested that “people would worry less what others thought of them, if they realized how seldom they did.” That seems as good a place as any to end this rambly rant. Like most times, I think I started out with a point, somewhere along the way… It’s always nice when there’s a point to be made and somehow I inadvertently come to it. Fortunately that happens rarely enough that when I do have a moment like that, it almost feels cosmic. Otherwise it would just be a standard day to day occurrence And who wants that? Variety is the spice of..hmm..moussaka? Quiche? Oh, no, that’s right, variety is the spice of life! All of it! Not just the shiny parts.
If you want something silly for distraction from the day to day? This Dude. I’m glad that people like him have time for daily cleverness such as he does, because I know I don’t. Plus he thinks Tesla is pretty cool, which denotes an fair amount of intelligence. Tesla needs more airtime. Perhaps I shall rant about him tomorrow.