Monday, August 14, 2006

I Call Bullshit

It's three fifteen in the morning, and I can't stop thinking. This is not unusual. I'm a bit riled, though, so you get a rambling essay.

I've been calling bullshit on the idea of True Love since the sixth grade. That's capitalized because it denoted a very specific notion: a True Love that conquers all, survives any fuck-up, can be fixed with a simple apology, is absolutely irreplaceable (though can be mistaken), and retroactively disappears should it's accompanying romantic relationship end. I call bullshit just looking at that description. Whether it's your mother, child, lover, husband, sister, aunt, best friend, or your dog, loving someone will always be work. Getting along with them will always be work. Relationships are work, even if all you have to do is pick up a phone and have a conversation every couple of weeks; still involves effort. Much of that work is communication, which is what this conceptualization of True Love seems to seek to avoid: we love each other, so we don't have to talk about it; our True Love will fix the problem magically. Bullshit. Romance is not a Get Out Of Work Free card.

I'd love to babble something about living in an era of disposability and affluence here, but I don't really care where it comes from at this point. It's everywhere, and it's making me crazy. Why? I'm single, right? Don't really like romantic relationships enough to seek them out, don't really see my sex drive as something that can't be sorted without the help of a second party. But here's the thing: take all of the "oh, you'll find someone someday" shit that you ever heard when you were single and MULTIPLY IT BY A FUCKING MILLION and you'll get what I get when I try to tell people this. Because as soon as folks hear that I'm not buying what they're selling, the become the used car salesmen of romance. "You're just not looking in the right place. You have to kiss a lot of frogs. You won't find anyone if you don't make an effort. Do you really want to be alone forever?"

OK, face it, I'm hardly alone. I live in my mother's basement; alone is a blissful state that I rarely achieve. And I'm the first person to admit my disinterest in romantic relationships is not a permanent condition. It's likely that I'll date in the future; I'm an attractive person and it'd be a shame to deprive potential suitors of my piss-poor communication skills. Right now, though, I find that the non-romantic relationships I have with the folks I love require all of the effort I'm willing to give. In fact, I've skipped some regular play-dates because I just wasn't up for them. I'm an introvert, yo. I feel socially over-extended fairly easily. And frankly, my experience with romantic relationships tells me that they take more effort than I put in with my three closest friends, with a higher likelihood of making me feel like shit in return.

Oh, I hear you: I just haven't found my True Love yet. Shut the fuck up. When your lover finds it in his or her heart to throw furniture at you, you tell me if love can still conquer all. What's that? Must not have been my True Love, then? I'm sorry, I don't retcon my life. We were talking cohabitation and combining bank accounts and rest-of-our-lives. Prior to that? Engaged to someone I couldn't imagine living without. Loved them both, could not stay with either one. And yet I live and am happy.

Because guess what? We're all blessed with self-control. I'm surrounded every time I go out in public by attractive people and yet I do not jump them. I am surrounded by people I would like to bitchslap, and yet they remain unharmed. I am barraged with email from, and yet I do not sign up. My friends are all beautiful people, and yet I do not molest them (well, not so's they'd have to point on an anatomically correct doll, anyway). Get it? I don't want the headache any of these things would cause.

(OK, the dating sites have been calling to me lately, but that's mostly because I've been lacking blog fodder; it would be utterly mean to seriously implement any of the dastardly schemes I've thought up for your amusement. Self-control, yo.)

Until I feel like I can enter into a romantic relationship that doesn't smack of desperation, I'll pass. I don't need to be someone's One And Only, their One True Love, their Everything. The last time I was I turned into a personal therapist. And yeah, I keep hearing about how True Love and rationally don't mix, that I ought to think with my heart rather than my head about it. And really, Shut The Fuck Up. My heart fucking agrees with my head. It remembers being toyed with, and has decided to remit these matters to my brain for proper disposition. Yeah, it still loves people; hell, it sometimes mentions that the whole of me might not mind dating one or several of them. And hell if I haven't considered it, and usually decided it ain't gonna happen.

There you are again: "if you don't try, how will you ever know?" OK, you're seriously getting on my nerves now, Cliche Voice. STFU, and all that. I have tried. I have also Not Tried, that is, been attracted to someone and said nothing. I have felt both awful and joyful at the outcomes of both of these courses of action, but what is most important is that the world has continued to turn throughout all outcomes. My friends still make fun of me, I still get all flustered and tell them to shut up, the fucking US Army still decides to send my cousin to Iraq, and my mother continues to think I'm not trying hard enough to find a job. I'm not missing out. Hell, on the rare occasioin that people ask me out, I'm usually too polite to say no (of course, they usually turn out to be forty years old and look disturbingly like my uncle, but that's not something I can help).

I guess I'd just really like folks to stop treating me like an incomplete person. I am me, and I am how I will be, and I am whole. I'm happy for folks who have found happy partnerships. I just don't think partnership is the only way to be happy, and I don't like knowing that some of my friends and family feel that my life needs "fixing."

And now it's 4:45 in the morning, and I'm thinking, if they wanted to fix things by finding me a job, I might not complain. Goodnight, y'all.


Blogger Bill said...

lol hear hear. Now if only I could tell myself some of that stuff.

8:05 AM  

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