Love and the Art of Self Loathing

I’m back bitches. Worst blogger award goes to…

So The Good Girl and I have set each other a blogging challenge to blog every week and this week, Week 1, is catch up week as we’ve both been very naughty little non-bloggers.

Anyhoo… I’ve been busy doing weird, fucked up relationship shit. Breaking up, getting back together, moving in together, breaking up. In summary the Joker and I have left no stone unturned in our quest to prove that love is not enough to sustain a relationship.

We’ve proven beyond reasonable doubt that a mutual love of Frank Turner, doughnuts and dark humour isn’t enough to sustain a workable, live-in relationship between two broken, fucked up middle aged people with a Mack truck full of baggage. At least it wasn’t enough for us.

All the pretty words and good intentions  count for bugger all when after a short while your love emotionally vacates the metaphorical premises and you’re left wondering what the fuck happened, twisting yourself into a pretzel to fit the uncomfortable and unreadable parameters of your situation. Bottom line: you’re back being lonely in your (now live-in) relationship and reading the tea leaves for how it came to this. In my case this turns love into self loathing. Why aren’t I good enough??!! Why can’t I fix this?

So it’s over and it was hard but this time at least I feel that it’s 200% done and dusted. There are no doubts that for the Joker and I love was not enough. I’ll let Jeff Buckley have the final word: “It’s never over, (he’s) the tear that hangs inside my soul forever”.  Except it is most certainly over.

Onwards. A couple of weeks after the END Miss M and I left for our much anticipated girls’ trip to Medellin, Colombia and NYC. It was just what the doctor ordered. Travel takes focus, especially when traveling alone with a child.

It was truly wonderful to revisit Miss M’s city of birth. This time it felt like a very different sort of adventure. The city had changed, it was safer and we were able to explore further afield. While the opportunity to meet Miss M’s birthmother did not happen it was still very much a worthwhile trip.

Then onto NYC. While Sydney is my home and my life, NYC is my love. I truly adore that city and yearn for it. I recently listened to an interview with the writer Bill Hayes talking about how he’s never lonely in NYC. I concur. Anthony talks about LA being his companion in “Under The Bridge”, that is how I feel about this city. I can simply walk along any street, at any time, and feel whole and happy and loved.

Of course quality time with my darling sister and BIL was great. We went to Philly for the day which was really fun…mmm, doughnuts…mmm, fried chicken… Where was I? Oh…we saw Tim Minchin’s Groundhog Day on Broadway. Brilliant. Wouldn’t be dead for quids.

On the last night we sat on the roof of our hotel, in the flower district – 28th Street, and listened to a fabulous singer kicking around some cool covers with her little band under the New York sky. A beautiful way to end a wonderful holiday.

I’ve been home a month. Back into work and school stuff and a little volunteering and exploring new possibilities. I never stay still long enough to contemplate things too deeply; at least not on the surface. Like a shark I’m always in motion but underneath the cogs turn and the gears grind and at odd times, like at the Botero Museum in Medellin, the tears come and the familiar punch-in-the-gut feeling visits.

Who knows where things are headed but I have my kids, my family, my friends, Frank Turner and endless Trump memes…to name a few of my favourite things. Life could be much, much worse.

Why I hated Trainwreck (or time to re-write the rom-com)

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I was so looking forward to seeing Trainwreck. I’d seen the shorts and it seemed like it may have a different take on the rom-com. It looked like it could show a woman who was slutty, wild and having a shitload of fun…sort of like men are regularly portrayed. I thought Amy Schumer could be the one to do this, take it up a step, take the Hollywood rom-com to where it needed to go.

But no, I was wrong and I was very disappointed. It did what rom-coms do so [cough] well: show a slutty, out of control girl who can only find happiness in the form of a “good” man. I know rom-coms do the reverse as well but I’m kind of sick of it. Is it not time to look at relationships differently? To examine other possibilities for how it could all be done?

I certainly don’t have the answers. I’m old and have grown up to be conditioned for the one man, one woman, eternal love, eternal happiness, blah blah blah, bullshit bullshit. It’s not that I’m a negative nelly or just plain old bitter and twisted (well, a little of both actually). I’m talking about the reality of my own life and the lives of most people I know, I’m talking about the news and social media and Ashley Madison.

Monogamy is a lovely ideal but I have come to believe that serial monogamy is truly the best we can hope for. We have all been socialised to believe monogamy is how the world works and how relationships should work. But it has historic and sociological roots (pardon the pun) related to “ownership” of children, descendants, estates, etc. All the moral stuff is just tied up to the ownership of women, children and real estate. Nothing more, nothing less. Love and romance have just been overlayed onto that bleak reality to make it a prettier, more palatable package.

So as a 47 year old, twice divorced single mother I know there isn’t much hope for me to truly live by a different model. I still yearn for that “my one and only true love” crappola. My logical self wishes it was otherwise because it’s really not got me very far but it’s been hammered into my DNA. I don’t know how to think in a different way.

But I would like for my children to grow up thinking about things in a different way. To value themselves as individuals and not crave the love of another person to validate them. To have sex with as many or as few people as they want to and not feel that makes them a good or a bad person. Just a person.

Getting back to Trainwreck. Having seen some of Amy’s comedy I thought she may have the skill set to take things up a notch on the rom-com. Take the slutty girl and make her the hero. But she did no such thing. She took the slutty girl, shamed the fuck out of her and gifted her with “happiness” in the form of Mr Dullsville. That’s right slutty, drunk girl… clean up your act, douche the old vag and you might be worthy of being Mrs Doctor and have the house in the burbs and the 2.3 kids and the Volvo… because fuck knows there’s no other way of being happy.

I’m not sure if she actually wrote something edgier and it was watered down by the Hollywood powers that be or if she’s really just wanting a piece of the Hollywood pie and beige is good enough. Either way it’s kind of sad and kind of a waste of time.