Monday, May 10, 2010

"I've been roaming around,
I was looking down at all I see.
Painted faces fill the places I can't reach.
You know that I could use somebody."

Use Somebody (live) :: Kings Of Leon

Growing up in the shadows of broken homes, television show (non) realism, and the echoes of childhood fairytales it becomes quite the feat of strength and persistance, and belief, to be in love. We are encouraged to be independent, to not need anyone, to play games and act coy, and not let it out how much you care. It is some kind of strike against feminism, and the good fight those who came before us (of the female variety) to admit to needing someone, or letting on that you are vulnerable to a man.

On the other hand we are also encouraged to spend all of our adolescent to adulthood years, while single that is, pursuing a relationship. Time out with other female friends are almost always set and planned at places where a relationship might be sought out, or at least the company of someone for the night. Everything depends on the attention one gets while out - from the initial plan of where, the clothes chosen, even the music played on the way. There is always the overwhelming expectation of meeting someone, or at least being noticed by someone.

Of course, flipping back the page to the other side again, these are the same friends who often treat you strangely once you are in a relationship. They talk amongst themselves, behind your back, accusatory of many "crimes" committed - "she never has time for anyone but him", "she puts up with xxxfill in the blankxxx", "I don't like him", "she's stupid because xxxfill in the blankxxx", "it will never last".

And then there are the familial expectations that follow a woman everywhere. Around the water cooler conversations, when female, almost always start off with "are you married" or "are you dating anyone?" or "do you have kids?". I can hardly remember the last time someone at work asked me anything that was not focused on a relationship, or family brought on by a relationship.

What if you were to say no to all the questions? Or what if you were to say the truth, the real truth, about whatever you are currently in? What if you said "well yeah, I'm with someone but I'm still unsure about where its going", or "I think he likes me, but I think I text him too much", or "I am so in love right now I can hardly concentrate on anything, including work or even what this coffee tastes like", or "I think I'd rather swallow glass shards and razor blades than date anyone, but thanks for asking"

And what if you sent out post-cards to all your friends when you did fall in love that said "hey, yeah, he's not perfect, I'm not perfect, but I really dig him so I'm giving it a go", or "I may not have as much time right now, but I'm trying to balance it all, I am. It would help if you did not constantly say negative things about love and drag me to singles bars everytime we did try to hang out though", or "Hi, I'm a strong woman, I'm still a feminist, I am still independent, but I really love this person and they make me happy, and yeah, I need that".

Love does not have to be the damn poison apple, nor does it have to be the be all and end all to happy ever after, and it does not have to turn you into some weak, cartoon-cliched princess - it does not have to be everything, but its okay if sometimes it is.

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