…this link was written 40 years ago- yet still remains true for a significant proportion of my female friends.
Archive for July 16th, 2009
So I got this message. Which, in my technophobic state, I accidentally deleted. Anyway, the message asked why I didnt blog about men and relationships. I am not sure what the answer to that is really- I think they just dont puzzle me as much as other things, and quite honestly, romantic love is not the most important thing in my life. I happen to be very lucky with the men I have had in my life, and have in my life- but unlike trying to parent Rachel, or sort my career out, or get by financially..or buy shoes…they just dont puzzle me enough that I would write constantly about them. And thats what this blog is, its me venting and rambling, about the things I am figuring out.
Sure, I have read chick lit. Where the female protagonist is in search of Mr.Right- and in order to be fulfilled- that, above all else has to be sorted- but it has never spoke to anything in me, with anything that is truthful. I watched a film called ‘He’s not that into you’ the other day.(Not even under duress, I may add!), and by the time the film had gone half way through, I had decided that unless it turned into a massacre movie at some point soon, I was switching it off. By half way through the required massacre had not appeared, and I watched Torchwood instead.
In this film were a group of arguably, the worlds most beautiful women. Jennifer Connelly(who I am sorry to say, will always be known as ‘ass to ass’ girl from Requiem for a Dream), the girl from Friends with the dark blonde hair, who used to be married to Brad Pitt, and a few others. In this film, these great beautiful women, with great careers, with great friends, were obsessed with one true love, and marriage.
The film showed a dating game that left me cold. A world of analysing texts, and waiting for someone who has treated you like shit, to call. A film where men say what they mean, and women are too stupid to take that word on face value, and where fidelity is the be all and end all= cos doncha know we all have a soul mate- and even if that guy treats you like crap- the fact that you love him, is enough to make it worth working at.
This film, and the seven gzillion films and books like it, were not about love. Not about two adults, finding a way to make each other happy, through their relationship. This was about something else entirely.
Its not that I am anti-love. I certainly am, and have, been lucky enough to experience loving people, who loved me in a way that has made certain aspects of my life infinitely richer and happier. But the idea of one man for eternity, and if I have that sorted, I will be happy, leaves me cold to be honest.
If you treat love, as what one person whose name I dont remember called ‘an inescapable virus that should be allowed to ride roughshod over every rational instinct of self preservation and reason we posess’(and I may be paraphrasing..from god knows where) then you are asking for trouble.
I am a member of a group- its just a group of women, with similar responsibilities- namely children. None of us are alike- but a more fiery group of intelligent, bolshy, kind, remarkable women, you will never come across. We clash, and we talk, but when the shit hits the fan- we are absolutely there(Ta for helping me buy the shoes yesterday Rach!! And to those who were on the end of the phone when Rachel was ill-you have my eternal gratitude).
We were talking about relationships- more specifically monogamy. I am aware that my views on monogamy are not shared- and that for many people- the idea that actually, there just isnt one person for everyone, and attraction to someone else isnt a dealbreaker, doesnt appeal. The thing that shocks me though, are the things that people wont treat as a dealbreaker.
When a bloke is literally leaving you to run his life, exhausted, and still refusing to do a thing as trivial as housework-even though him helping is the difference between you being able to function, and you living life on a wheel of exhausting perpetual domestic motion. When a guy is so fiscally irresponsible, that he will put your home and your childrens home, in jeapordy. Behaviour which verges on the physically, and emotionally abusive. Why is that not seen as the dealbreaker= yet either of you being attracted to someone else, is?
Divorce laws give adultery as a sole ground for seperation-yet until my lifetime you could rape or beat your wife with impunity(and lets just pretend that the law is workable, and you cant actually do those things and get away with them…..).
I dont blog about men and relationships, in the way that I suppose others do- because if I was to blog about men and relationships-these arent the things I would blog about. I dont care about 16 rules to understand a man, or make him like you. Or how to interpret things they say ‘with what they really mean’.
I care that the person I am with treats me with respect, makes my life better, that I make theirs better. If I am not with someone, its not particularly a big deal- because at the end of the day even without them I am not alone, I have a life, a child, good friends, a purpose. If I want to know if someone I am with loves me, or respects me, I ask them. If they treat me in a way that hurts me, my child, or makes me feel shit, I tell them-and if that negative effect on my life outweighs any positive benefit they bring- then they arent in my life anymore- or their place in my life, and their capacity to do that changes.
I think I do probably blog about men and relationships really- you just cant see it. Because relationships are not supposed to be dramatic love stories, that cause anxiety and turmoil- they are part of the thread that holds our lives together. They just arent the only thread- and I certainly dont think that thread is so singularly important, that if it comes loose I should allow it to bring my life crashing down around my ears.
I do care about how to live, so that I, and the people around me, dont inadvertently hurt each other- but that wouldnt be as interesting as a glib article with ’10 signs that he loves you’- or dramatic stories about how this woman who is trying to keep her life together- really shouldnt worry about the important stuff, cos if true love is there, it will all be ok. I am a romantic- but my idea of romance is relationships that are fulfilling, and work on their own terms, without adhering to ideas where you can be treated with little respect, and watch the lives of you and your children go down the toilet, but its worth it, because its ‘true love’.
(Realised who was quoting-thanks to Marielle Frostrup-http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jul/12/mariella-frostrup)
But just look at these sales…
Summer sales are a reason to find paid employment. Must stop looking at net. Must do useful things today.