Friday, July 16, 2004

Relationships

Dan's finally back from field camp, all smelly and grubby, but he's back and it's nice to once again have a bedfellow. Sleeping with his T shirt just didn't cut it. It was a strange few days that he was away. I wasn't sad or miserable, like I used to be when I was younger and my boyfriends were away for various reasons. But there's something strange about coming home and not talking to anyone at all from the time you step in till the time you go to bed. I missed his presence in the house. And I thought to myself, that was what people who lived alone had to contend with- an empty house that echoes.

I never thought about relationships that way, I suppose. When I was young, I wanted a boyfriend because that meant someone liked you and my brothers had girlfriends so I wanted one of those as well. Then, when I was older, I realised the perils of relationships and understood that they weren't all pretty and being in a relationship could at times suck big time. Plus, there was always the added element of being hurt.

But what I've realised lately is that we all have different standards when it comes to relationships- whatever relationships they may be.

My parents-in-law are in a little bit of whirl because Dan's younger brother has finally moved out and I think it's hit them big time that their nestlings have all flown the coop. There seems to be an undercurrent of anxiety with them because fundamentally, I don't think you're ever ready for your kids leaving you and it takes a very secure set of parents to not think that your kids don't need you anymore. So, they're trying hard to disguise it by coming up with ideas of setting up French inspired businesses. On occasion, I've compared them to my parents and wondered why they are so anxious about whether their children will come home to have dinner with them. My mother never asks and seems to be utterly nonchalant when I show up on her doorstep asking her if there's food in the house for lunch. But then again, my mother's always been pretty much whatever about us and leaving it up to us and we've never disappointed her that way. My parents-in-law have yet to realise that, so they're still anxious and trying to keep that anxiety just under the surface with carefully placed, seemingly "by the way" questions.

But then again, they have each other and it's always nice to see couples who are married to one another for the longest time, still enjoying and wanting each other's company and teasing one another. My godparents are another pair who seem to share that sort of relationship where they make fun of one another and still actually hold hands when they go out. You know they have their off days and you know they may quibble and fight but you also know that at the bottom of it all, there's a deep affection and respect there that's been there from the beginning but also has deepened because of all the years together. They epitomise for me what it would be like to grow old together.

Perhaps, it's the little girl in me that still believes in "happily ever after" even if it's not in a "far far away land" but I believe in some of that. A colleague of mine, whenever she's unhappy about her husband or if they've had a fight, her first response is "divorce". It's such a toss around word with her- a first resort rather than a last. But what the both of us do agree on is how we have every right to expect our spouses to treat us with respect.

Like I said to another friend some days back, all women have this general sense of blurness about us causing us to ask stupid questions at times or state the obvious.
And by my book, it should never invite a mean, "I can't believe you are that stupid", roll your eyes in full, malicious disdain response. I do know of friends who tolerate that from my partners and I have been told to leave it be since it really is a "to each his/her own" situation. But how do you stand by and let your friend's partner be so rude about him or her so blatantly and let said rude person get away with thinking that's the accepted way of treating your partner?

In the same vein, how do you stand by and watch a dear friend plunge into a relationship knowing that he will end up getting so badly hurt by it? How do you tell him that you don't trust his newly-acquired partner and having a relationship in such close quarters with a previous interest also working in the same environment, is a recipe for disaster?

At the end of it all, my conclusion is we all expect different things from relationships and we should really just let be. I can't control how other people behave in their relationships even though I harbour great fear or resentment on their behalf. We all have fantasies of how we would like our relationships to be. If I had a daughter, I would so love to be able to have what Rory and Lorelai have on Gilmore Girls , even though Dan thinks it's a little too freaky. And with Dan, I would like to be able to grow old with him and still want to hold his hand and he mine.






Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:59

3 thoughts...

3 thoughts...

At 2:03 pm Blogger albert said...

Sometimes, when we're in a relationship, we obviously want something out of it for ourselves too. Even in a bad relationship, a person might be paying a price in the end, but he or she is obviously willing to take risk for something that you may not see without being in his or her shoes.

Such are the mysteries of falling in love ;)

 
At 3:31 pm Blogger Ondine said...

That is true. But it doesn't stop you from fearing from them. Update on one of the relationships I talked about, it ended with my friend's heart ripped out and trampled upon. Sigh...

 
At 10:25 am Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd let you know I like your style of writing and what you write about. Yours is one of the few blogs that by my definition does NOT fall under the 'whinings' category.

 

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