Relationships – seriously, who’d have them?
I’ve had (probably more than) my fair share of boyfriends. The Samoan Stallion, the Brooding Builder, the Showpony, the Slutty Soccer Superstar, the Tagging Menances (x 2 – 16-year-old Pop was into a bit of bad boy), the Stoned Gentle Giant, the Adorable Alty Sweetheart, the “Good Guy”…. I think we shall stop there.
Some were fleeting, others prolonged, but each relationship contributed to how I conducted myself in the following one and reinforced what was becoming increasingly clearer as I grew older: I can be quite the heartless bitch.
It’s a weird stage-age relationship-wise for those in their early to mid 20s. Looking around at friends and peers, it’s a smogasboard of situations. There’s the we’ve-been-together-since-we-were-16-do-we-get-married-or-move-on ones, the my-first-proper-relationship-let’s-be-full-on-from-the-get-go few and the we’re-sleeping-together-but-aren’t-together-together conundrums. I’m not saying all couples slot into one of the three categorisations, not at all. There are definitely those who have found their soulmate (for lack of a better word) and are set – I know plenty of cases personally. But for many, it’s a case of being a solo soul, even when they are involved with a significant other.
A “relationship” is defined as “the way in which two people regard and behave towards each other”; it’s pretty simplistic for such an umbrella term that encompasses so many different scenarios. I prefer the term “liasion” with the description: “the binding or thickening agent of a sauce, often based on egg yolks”. Obviously it isn’t referring to human relationships, but in my eyes relationships are rather like a fiddly cake mix. Both parties chuck in bits of them, either full force or incrementally, and the ingredients either blend to make a lovely fluffy batter or react to be an unbinding bowl of mismatch. And when it’s all over, extracting the individual items added is often excruciatingly tedious and painful.
I always felt extremely sorry for people from other cultures who had no choice but to submit to an arranged marriage. How awful to be forced into being with someone for the rest of your life without even getting to choose them yourself! But being here and talking to some of the men and women, the tradition doesn’t seem quite so appalling.
The love grows, they say. You get to know each other with respect because your parents – who always know what’s best for you (cough cough) – have chosen the “right” one. I’ve always thought the Western way was correct; you know, root through a few frogs (crass, I apologise) before settling down and finding your prince (or as close to it as poss). But I’m starting to see the sense in the predetermined pairings. Relationships I’ve been in and witnessed are full of lust and fire that fizzles out or erupts with catastrophic aftermath, often because they haven’t flowered from friendship. It’s making my head hurt rethinking all I thought was “right”. As with “normal”, “weird”, “good” and so forth, “relationship” is a relative term.
And talking of lust, a little addition here: what is up with me suddenly checking out all these men from the Asian assembly?! Today we went to Little Budha Cafe and the waiter who has been there the last two Sundays was on once again.
First week I appreciated his beauty in an aloof light. Last week I noted his badass low riding jeans and his ‘tude (complete with Swag hat). And today? Today I kept trying to catch his eye. Honestly, I’m turning into an Asian-attracted hussy.
He was gorgeous though. With Nepalese ethnicity, his skin was this smooth milk chocolate (I’m sorry, I don’t know why my descriptions of males always turn to confectionary) cashmere sprinkled with freckles and broken up with a big, white grin. When I went to leave after a good while chattering to him about his job/Nepal/the weather (anything to keep him around really), he clasped my hand and made me promise to come back and see him.
I think up until now, I was extremely ethnocentric in my “type” of male. Now, I’m slowly starting to see the beauty in personal magneticism rather than appreciation from afar.
Hank is going to have a field day.