Saturday, January 7, 2012

This is not the story of how two people who, initially on meeting, can’t stand the sight of each other and then argue with each other, but in a passionate sort of way where you know that really they are perfect for each other, and you, the audience realize they are already in love with each other, they just don’t know it yet themselves. And then, when they realize it independently, it confuses them both, but after a time they accept it and it’s amazing, really amazing, even though we’ve all heard the story before, it still gladdens our hearts greatly, every time. I know, that’s the best kind of story that you like to read or watch, and me too, but that’s just not what happened to these people, at this time. Sorry.

This is the story of friendship instead. I know, and the movie writers know, and clearly from the audience drop off in the last few moments, most blog readers know, and feel, that friendship stories aren’t half as interesting as the ‘how did you meet the love of your life’ ones, yet all of us, have more friendship in our lives right at this moment than we’ve ever had romantic love.

And, also to that point, who are you going to call when you have a fight with your partner and you need someone to rant at, or drink with, or both, to get over it? It’s not your ex, right? Well no, hopefully not, it’s your friends. But if it is your ex, then – well, I’m no Carrie Bradshaw, but …does ringing your ex-partner signal that your relationship could be in trouble? Yes. Yes it does. Like, and you’ve probably thought of this before, but - what the hell are you doing? That sense of unease about not having any close friends, that’s a very a good sign you should get some. Then perhaps you could talk to them about why, when you have a fight with your partner, you tend to call your ex, and after a few awkward so how are you’s, the words rush out of you down the line and into his waiting ear, with all the desire to get out of your mouth as people rushing from a burning building.

And as you talk you start to calm down and feel better, especially when he says something like ‘shit. That’s bad’, small, powerful words which kickstart a beat of pleasure in recognition, of ‘here is someone who understands me’ - when really, all he understands is that this is the response you want to hear from him. (He is making a sandwich while you talk, holding the phone between his ear and his shoulder, and wondering whether to put beef or cheese on the bread, and listening to you because he knows that at some point you could break up with your current partner and if there’s rebound sex then he’s securing his first in line place. He knows you, remember? The answer is of course, both. And the rest of that tomato chutney! Perfect.)

And then, after all the words have fled from you, he reminds you gently and with good-humour of some small thing about yourself and how you react that might have sprayed lighter fluid on the burning embers of the argument, something that only someone who’s been that intimate with you like he has would know to mention, and something about the way he puts it, you aren’t offended but instead think oh, yeah. Yeah, I do that. And you feel a bit abashed, and less affronted at the row. And this makes you feel better, that he knows and understands you, and accepts you are like this, that you have argument-igniting personal traits, and this is ok. Which makes you feel about seventeen shades brighter when you get off the phone.

And smiling at the change in your mood from your previous despair and sadness, you wonder – not on purpose, it just happens - why you ever did split up, and then you remind yourself of all the reasons you split up, and they were all very good and valid reasons, and being reminded of them you feel tired suddenly and full of despair and wonder if all relationships are doomed to failure, and this current fight with your current partner is just part of the slow rot towards the inevitable death of your relationship, of all relationships. So you feel gloomy again, and start eating or drinking like there’s no tomorrow, which given your current state of despair, you seriously and emphatically hope there isn’t.

Which is why you need to get some decent friends. They’ll tell you all sorts of soothing lies to make you feel better like ‘don’t worry, it’ll all be ok’ and ‘no I don’t think it’s a sign you two are over - all couples have rows’, because that, along with going with you to see American movies about romantic love solving all life’s problems, is what friends are for.

The End