relationships

To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before

So apparently I’ve reached that point in my life where, when I catch up with friends, all anyone wants to ask me is whether I’m seeing someone. I’m not sure if it’s my clitoris or my heart that people are most concerned with, but either way they aren’t concerned with any other achievement in my life. Correction – any actual achievement in my life. All they want to know is if I’m attached, and if I’m not, then why not?

“But you’re so pretty/funny/smart/successful/blah blah blah”…who cares? It’s all irrelevant if what you’ve got isn’t what’s on demand.

It’s weird. I guess I hit ‘married with children age’ a while ago, although I never really felt it happen. But suddenly I’m the single friend, and everyone wants to see me paired up. People look out for me, they feel sorry for me. They want to ‘see me happy’ as I keep getting told. For some reason, we’ve worked out that it’s not polite to ask if a woman is pregnant, but to put someone in a position of analysing their desirability is still okay. The reality is I’ve been dumped more times than a Channel Ten newsreader, and while I’d be kidding myself to say it didn’t hurt like hell to feel that I’ve never been worth holding on to, for the most part it’s not a big deal. I get that I’m a bit left of centre and most of the time I can handle that. My mother let me off the hook a long time ago when she told me that not everyone was meant to fly accompanied. I remember at the time feeling so much calmer with that thought. Shame the rest of the world didn’t get the memo.

Not that I don’t fall in love. I do, though rarely with the appropriate target. I seldom find people who spark my curiosity anyway, so it doesn’t often matter.

And then today someone commented on how many times my position as girlfriend has been made redundant, and I thought to myself “fuck this” – I may be single and live alone, at risk of becoming the crazy cat lady my brothers always said I’d be (bollocks to that, I’m a dog person), but without the knock downs I wouldn’t know I can get back up again…and I wouldn’t have such an extensive music collection. And sure, there are days where having to face another partnered friend and their well-intentioned questioning is just too hard. But it is the way it is.
So screw it. I might have a worse batting average than…um…some shit cricket player (I don’t know names)…but I have learned a lot from every single one of those relationships. They might not be good for a back massage any longer (actually none of them ever were), but these are the things I have accumulated along the way…

The world’s best taco recipe
Joan Armatrading
Learning to use my mirrors when I’m reverse parking
Champagne at midnight
Knowing that Calvin Klein men’s boxers are the most comfortable sleepwear ever
Bright red lipstick
Funny Girl
Brain Pickings
Kurt Vonnegut
Dusty Springfield
Wine appreciation
Carol King
Midnight in Paris
How to walk in super high heels
How to pitch a tent
M People
Honey Birdette
Brazilian waxing
The rules of AFL
How to order caviar
How to use a strap on (sorry mum and dad)
Amelie
Armagnac
How to ride pillion on a motorbike
The best way to eat oysters
Patsy Cline
The best Vietnamese in Sydney
How to apply a smoky eye
The Pretenders
How to cook a lamb roast
Friends (not the exes – ugh – but the people around them have almost always been worth it)
A million other little things that have made me who I am

I realise that most of these aren’t particularly exciting. But sing ‘em to the tune of Willie Nelson’s To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before, and you may just be on to a winner.

Alternatively, skull a bottle of red and cry yourself to sleep. It’ll all be okay tomorrow…

The Worst Two Words You’ll Say To Me

Have you ever played the Worst Word game? You know, the one that usually results in a group of people gagging over ‘panties’ or ‘gusset’ or ‘discharge’? I know, I know – and I’m sorry for making you read that – but I have two more I want to add to the list: ‘always’ and ‘never’.

I admit they don’t make me cringe the way I do when I hear ‘panties’, but it occurred to me recently that the further I travel in life the less I find myself using ‘always’ and ‘never’, and the less I want them said to me. They come laden with the weight of expectation, and my experiences tell me that expectation always precedes disappointment. I’d like to say I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve truly been disappointed in my life, but the truth is I remember every one. That’s what disappointment does; it leaves a mark that no amount of soul scrubbing can remove. And that’s okay. It’s through those disappointments I’ve learned the most about myself, but they remain what they were – great disappointments. And once I started to scrutinise it I realised that, in most of those situations, much of the heartbreak could have been avoided if ‘never’ or ‘always’ hadn’t been uttered.

I think what I’ve come to believe is that they’re used too flippantly to be bound as tightly as they are to human emotions. We promise never to cheat, never to stop loving someone, never to hurt another person, or that we’ll never want children. We say we’ll always be there, that we’ll always be together, and that we’ll always have each other. We talk about always loving people, declare that we’ll never give up, and promise to always look on the bright side of life.  But in truth we mean these things only as long as the conditions in which we say them remain the same. What we really should be saying is “I will never cheat on you provided nothing changes” or “I will always be here for you as long as something terrible doesn’t happen to me.” The reality is life can and does change quickly, and promises made under different circumstances can suddenly become unrealistic. This isn’t only related to romantic attachments. Illness, accidents and altered living circumstances all have the potential to break unbreakable promises. I can’t say “I never want someone I love to die” because I have watched people in the final stages of illness and, despite loving them very much, I did want them to die in the end. I guess I can say “I never wanted to see them sick in the first place” but that’s not really the same thing. Besides, I once wished for an ex with a drinking problem to fall sick because I was so desperate for her to give up alcohol. Despair can make for irrational requests of the world.

Even at the most basic day to day level ‘never’ and ‘always’ are hard to commit to. I can’t even say “I’ll never eat corned beef as long as I live” because there are stories of people who wake up from comas and everything about them has changed. Unlikely as that seems given my utter loathing for Silverside, I have to admit it’s possible. I doubt I’ll ever buy a Justin Bieber album either, but who knows? There’s a woman in America who woke from a coma speaking with a French accent; bet she never expected that to happen.

I don’t know, maybe I’m over-analysing like I always do. I’m not trying to be maudlin about it. I just can’t help thinking that some of our falls in life wouldn’t be so hard if these two words and the pressure to live up to them didn’t exist. But they do exist, and at the very least we should try and use them sparingly.

What do I want to hear instead? Well…I want someone to stand in front of me and say they’ll try their hardest despite the circumstances; that they’ll love me for as long as they can, that they’ll do their very best not to hurt me, and that they’ll fight to stay in my life for as long as they are able – and for them to understand that by offering the same in return, I am promising far more than I would be if I just said “I’ll never hurt you.” Maybe that way we’ll find delightful surprises far outweigh crushing disappointments.

And I can go back to believing ‘moist panties’ are the worst two words you’ll ever whisper in my ear.

Image

It’s a nice sentiment Dolly, but I just don’t believe you.

Never Noticed…

If I really were in love

I would notice

so much more about her

than I do.

 

The way she laughs

head back

girly

hand on knee.

 

A hand that brushes

her fringe aside

reapplies lipstick

after every wine.

 

She pins her hair

and repins her hair

as she speaks

as she listens.

 

The green of her eyes

the glow of her skin

or her lips

I never noticed her lips.

 

Her giggle

a rearranged skirt

a  straightened necklace

oblivious to her charms.

 

The way she says no

when she really means yes

her ability to persuade

to be persuaded.

 

Her self-doubt

her fragility

her search for inner calm

her vanity.

 

Thank goodness I never noticed

any of this

or I might just think

I was in love.

As Dreams Take Flight

I’ll sit amongst the trees today

And watch their branches sway

I’ll imagine that they’re fanning a breeze

To set you on your way.

I’ll lie upon the blades of grass

And make angels in the earth

I’ll wish that they could come to life

To prove to me love’s worth.

I’ll run along the esplanade

And watch the seagulls glide

I’ll let them lead me down a  path

I’ll let them be my guide.

I’ll follow them to the water’s edge

And say a little prayer

Of thanks for the fun we’ve had

The memories we’ll share.

A MOMENT

“Hold your hand up.”
“Why?”
“Just do it. Palm facing me.”
I held my hand up as she asked. She pressed her hand against mine, aligning our fingers and wrists.
“Do you feel that?”
“What?”
She pressed more firmly.
“That.”
Slowly I began to feel the gentle pulse of her blood and mine beating at my fingertips.
“Yes.”
“That’s our hearts beating together.”
I lifted my head to look at her face, and watched as a tear slid down her cheek. As I moved to wipe it away, she clenched her fingers around mine.
“Leave it” she whispered. “It’s happiness, that’s all.”
by caz.

Ramblings

And see, the funny thing is, occasionally you can read too much into a situation. You can over-analyse everything, and make something out of nothing. You can try and stop your heart with your head, which never really works out well. You can ask yourself and others a million questions in an attempt to figure it out, when you aren’t supposed to understand anyway. It’s just life, the reasons aren’t always clear. You can try to avoid situations in order to avoid pain and confusion. That never works, you just end up regretting not giving it a go. And you can drive yourself crazy wondering why you did it, why you always do it, why you are the way you are. And really, none of that matters. We are what we are and will always be.

by caz.

 

Before You

I wonder if the sky

was as blue before I met you

Or if the stars shone quite as brightly in the dark?

Were puppies just as cute

and did wine taste just as sweet

when I drank it without you?

Did flowers bloom as prettily

did birds fly round so gracefully

were people just as nice before I knew you?

You’ve made me see the light in life

and all the good that surrounds me.

I wonder when the Winter comes

will you still be around me?

by caz