Friday, August 05, 2005

what kind of fish am I

I have a problem with relationships (let’s face it I’m sure there’s a very long list, this is just one that I’m aware of). I can’t argue.

I’ve watched couples have terrifying, public arguments, I mean real spittle-flying, spite ridden, skin shredders that don’t seem to have any ill effect on their relationship, in fact it seems to make them stronger? I’m sure it’s all down to personality. Some people seem to live their lives on an emotional roller coaster equidistant between moments of exquisite and vocal joy, and desperate anger and despair. They’re like loons, creatures driven by overcompensating hormones and I am very, very jealous.

Consider this, having twenty years worth of the feelings you normally associate with Christmas morning, your first kiss, your football team winning the FA cup, the best joke you’ve ever heard all rolled into a single day. Granted all of those shiny pennies have flip sides too, so they’re interspersed with the emotional equivalents of the dog getting run over, being stuck in a 12 mile traffic jam, and the injustice of being short changed at the fair. But it’s such a rich and colourful way to live?

As I said, I’m jealous. I just don’t have those drivers, of course I have ups and downs, but they’ve more in common with the Mendips than the Himalayas. This can be a fatal flaw in a relationship (allow me a moment here to indulge myself with the whimsy that this might be the reason, and not that I snore like a hound, fart at inappropriate moments or simply bore the tits off the object of my affection).

I’ve been out with some real tea-cup throwers. Girls who could have made Genghis Kahn turn on the water works. I’ve been publicly harangued and even, (on one notable occasion hospitalised), physically assaulted - and been totally unable to raise any defence. It’s just not there. Even when I know I’m right, that the furious, mottled face before me is talking drivel, I look inside for some motivation and inspiration to fight back and there’s bugger all. Worse still (and this may be a feminine thing, answers on a postcard please) the adrenalin-pumped-grotesque that your loved one has become – interprets your silence and straight face as some deliberate defence. There seems to be nothing worse, to someone who has worked themselves up into a frenzy, than someone who won’t fight back.

My trip to casualty was my own fault, I can see that now, it’s just that I tried so hard to argue (to please her), that I got the giggles – I mean, what kind of signal was that?, and the ashtray was so handy…..

It’s not always been this way. I don’t mean I’ve been more prone to anger and argument in the past, but I used to live in a world that was at least black and white. It’s all so much more grey these days. It seems that growing up is a process, in part, of realising that other people’s opinions are just as valid as your own, right and wrong are intrinsically simply a matter of perspective – let’s face it, in any scenario, it’s unlikely that anyone is going to entirely right, or 100% wrong?

In a relationship, for me at least, that uncertainty is compounded. I can see the light of my life standing in front of me in an ecstasy of self –righteous indignation, and even though I know that it can’t be all my fault, that she’s twisted some of the things that I may have done for the right reasons into heinous crimes – I can feel myself agreeing, and trying to see her point of view. What would be vastly preferable would be to rail back, making no sense but in a loud voice with lots of swearing, and then when the air is cleared go straight to bed for a community chest bunk up.

To the lady, in full spittle-ridden flow, who managed to summon up and shriek at her startled husband, (in Tesco), the immortal: “and another thing, you’re the reason our kids are ugly!!!” I salute you.


Katya said...

i could give you lessons, but i suppose you would need a bloke to help you, i would just cause things to escalate beyond the point of any return...i can cause a row in an empty house...

i've never hospitalised anyone though...theres always something more to aspire


Aims said...

I get the giggles in arguments too!
Usually when I hear what I am saying! Sometimes altho obviously not in your case, getting the giggles in an argument can just end the argument. Hubby & I have had that, get the giggles & just say "what the hell are we arguing about anyway!"

karla said...

Do not think you need to become a psychotic furniture-throwing madman in order to have a fulfilling relationship. These people you're desribing, the ones who scream and cry and break things over one another's heads--they're insane. There's no need to live your life that way. My husband and I have been married for 2.5 years, together for 5+, and we NEVER fight. We discuss, disagree, but never fight. And I've been in relationships in the past where both of us were screaming banshees. It's not worth it. So much nicer to be reasonable adults.

Amy said...

As mentioned on previous personal posts, I'm a redhead, Leo, middle child, single mom... to argue passionately is my gift. but I'm not much of a yeller. I get mad, oh man can I get mad, but if you simply winked at me, I would surely break. I realize I can never be that right, I'm just waiting for someone to care enough to prove it to me.

Jessica said...

Been reading your archives after my initial visit (thank you for returning the favor, by the way).

I adore this post...great stuff!

Also, I should admit to you as you are likely to stumble upon it somewhere in my blog that I have an obsession with London. Having wanted to see it for half of my life, I finally got to go this year.