But I love this life you have given me
But I love you and I need you here...
Every once and awhile I get ticked off at the world in general. Actually, it happens at least a few times nearly every day. Today was certainly no exception.
Early this morning my Mom and I took the bus downtown together. There's a guy who gets on the bus at our stop, and on Thursday mornings his girlfriend is already on from a previous stop and saves a spot for him. They usually get really close, kiss until they near the borderline of making out in public (but don't really cross it), then get off and walk to the Tim Hortons, holding hands. It's a joyful reunion for them, and they always seem so happy... I've seen them on the bus for over a year. Every Thursday when we're on the bus together, the four of us, my Mom scoffs at them with commentary. Depending on my mood, I may or may not reply, or react, or scoff.
Today my Mom said, "I know a cure for that kind of behavior! Marriage!" She laughed cynically. An understandable opinion from her point of view.
"Mom, that's not funny." I said sadly. And it isn't.
We've been studying the "white wedding" and wedding photos meme in Art History - and before you go all internet culture on me, the word meme existed long before the internets. And it's pronounced mem, not Me-Me. And it means a small unit of well to universally known, rapidly shared culture that acts much like genetics. Anyway, one of the things that was said in class that totally floored me - made me wonder why I'd never seen it before - is that marriage in pop culture is one of two things. Happily ever after... or laughably dysfunctional. Not interesting, not loving, not realistic. Mostly, there are no visual or cultural representations of a "good" marriage. At all. Just try to think of one. If there is, it's just vague - the marriage is good and they get on with the story, right? So where do we learn, as humans with all learned behaviours - to be married? From your parents, for one. Which helps the whole dysfunctional world to stay that way. And helps people like me with no father figure to become a negative statistic.
Today at work I used my breaktime to surf LJ and the net for a little while... I ended up reading comics by XKCD, the geek comic. An interesting perspective on love, I guess. A few of the comics there relate to my current train of thought. There were some posts on Metaquotes about relationships and stuff. Possibly because it is approaching Valentines Day I'm blogging it, but for different reasons than one would expect me to, I think. I've had the patience to listen to a few love songs, but only to analyze them for what I like about them, for how honest and real they are. But not really in a personal way.
I've had a staggering number of meaningful conversations about relationships with girls and guys since they ceased to be my major focus (for better or for worse, heh) and each of these conversations taught me something. An attractive male friend of mine, a pretty decent guy, broke up with his girlfriend during finals in December. "At least I didn't buy her a Christmas gift. I would've been out $40." he laughed it off. I talked to a female friend who had recently come out of a long relationship a little while back. Apparently they'd decided they had irreconcilable differences in what they would settle for. I heard people making fun of the new "Family Day" holiday - who would actually spend it with their families? Who would've thought? Then I said to my one married friend, "Hey, you've got a date for V-day!" and they answer, "Yeah, but it's by default."
It makes me wonder. Sometimes when my dog comes to just spend time with me, gaze adoringly into my eyes as I pet him - I wonder about long term relationships of unconditional love, like the one I have with my dog. Where you're just happy to see the person at the end of the day. Sharing a meal together is a big deal. Enjoying their presence beside you completes the picture. That's all you really care about.
And then there's the tiny concept in the back of my mind that re-iterates that relationships and marriages... they aren't really about sex. They're about the relationship, and the sex is a bonus. Society doesn't treat it that way, though. Culturally, marriage is just about monogamous sexuality. Forget a great relationship. Drama is fine, and funny is great. But real? Real and with mistakes, without perfect lighting or consistently dramatic moments... That's a real adventure.
Another (unlikely) friend and I were talking about how much it sucks that God's plan is for a man and woman to have doubly awkward sex for the first time - both of you innocent virgins. I was thinking about that conversation walking down the street the other day in the cold with a hot Starbucks in my hand, and it occurred to me that no, it doesn't suck. It's actually a gift of relationship - mutually loving, understanding that there should be low expectations for the initial learning process on both sides, and a long time to perfect it. How did I come on to that topic? A guy and his friend were talking about awkwardness and it sparked the question in my mind - what's the most awkward thing people are going to do in their lives? After a few moments of thought I figured, probably having sex for the first time. Even if you really do love the person. The whole concept is as attractive as it is terrifying. Maybe someday.
Where am I going with this? I don't know yet. It's an ongoing thing that bounces back over and over again. At least this influx of information allows me to do a personal re-focus. Maybe someday... Valentines Day will be a positive event that doesn't make me angry at the way we treat relationships as a culture, and as people.