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don't let me hear you say...
Bad, bad sleeping pattern. Poor-to-middling working pattern. And yet I feel fine. Isn't that strange?
A thought occurred to me the other day, quite a scary thought. I spend a lot of time thinking about girls and sex and relationships and all that, as you may have noticed. Anyway, it suddenly occurred to me that of all the people I know who are in relationship, none of them is in a relationship that I would want to be in myself. And... see, I don't just mean at the moment, either. I mean, I can't recall ever having been witness to a relationship of which I have been jealous. I have no role models. I would never accept the kind of relationship that my father and mother have. And I can't think of a single example of a real-life relationship where I have thought "I'd be happy to be in a relationship like that."
Now, suddenly, it seems like... it's so obvious that all of my relationships have failed. Because what I wanted... well, what I thought it would be like was something based purely on my speculative imagination. I'd built some kind of mental picture by taking bad relationships that I knew and subtracting the bad elements, or something. Or... I mean, think about romantic movies; they're always about the comical misunderstandings that impede the glorious beginning of a new relationship. Why don't we have fictional treatments of good relationships? Is there such a thing as a happy relationship?
Is it possible that every relationship is so bad? I mean... some are alright. I have some married friends who seem to do ok... but I couldn't live the way they live. It'd kill me. The happiest times for me have always been... the period before the relationship begins, when you're wondering what might happen next, and the period just after it's started, when it's... "the honeymoon period", when it seems like all of your hopes and wishes might be realised...
See, it's not that I expect everything to be wonderful and magical and fresh and new forever and ever. I'm willing to settle for something that is nice, insipid as that word may seem, something that is nice and something that is workable. But... I'm not willing to settle for... what? Why am I so appalled by so many relationships? With my parents it's the power thing. She makes the decisions, and he accepts them... it's like he's a bloody slave. Stable. That might be it... you know, the only truly stable relationship is between a person who has their foot on someone else's neck and the person whose neck their foot is on. Any other configuration contains the possibility of change. Friendships are a purely voluntary relationship and they shift and change all the time. Sometimes you're close, sometimes you drift apart, you argue and don't speak for a few weeks, sometimes you never speak again... or you suddenly find a common interest and you want to spend all of your time together. Friendships are unstable. Good friendships last a long time because there's enough of a fundamental connection between the two of you to survive whatever changes you go through, but you always go through changes. But the "happily ever after" fantasy of romantic relationships is that once you're committed to the other person then the relationship will never change again; and the only way you can actually achieve that is to put your foot on the other person's neck. You Can Make Your Dreams Come True. Ugh. Those are evil dreams.
"Chain around my
Chain around my neck" - Dan Bern
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