Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I watched Juno (finally!) last night. It was quite lovely and quirky - and not in an annoying way. This particular quote from one of my favourite character actors (J K Simmons) particularly struck me - partly for how true it is and partly for how much it leaves out:

Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you; the right person will still think the sun shines out your ass.
- Mac MacGuff

This is true and right and the way it should be. The flip side is that you should feel the same way about them. And there's where the whole house of cards comes fluttering down.

It seems, at least in my experience, that when that irrefutable feeling arises in someone it's rare that the other person feels the same. In fact I would say it has happened all of once in my life - and even then the rightness didn't last. Although, to be fair, the odds were pretty firmly stacked against that one ever working out. But that's a story for another evening children...

My most successful relationships have been built on love, yes, but familiarity and respect and trust and all the other far less romantic things that really are much more important. But still - I want to feel that surety again. That unwavering certainty - the knowledge that this person fits - without ignoring the quirks, foibles and faults that obviously do exist. Eyes-open love.

I'm trying to find it encouraging that lately I've felt those things for someone. Even if, inevitably, they don't feel the same. As the Placebo song says (yes, an entire lobe of my brain is devoted to movie & song quotes.. and the complete Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series) "a heart that hurts is a heart that works". It should be encouraging that I can still encounter that depth of emotion in myself. I tell myself that often. And weep softly into my pillow every night.

I kid.

But, jokes aside, it almost pains me to realise how much of a romantic I really am. All these years of weary cynicism have apparently been an affectation - who knew? Casting that aside is difficult: I wear it like a protective covering. But I need to crack the shell and reveal my soft inner workings for the gulls to feast on.

Ok, that analogy got away from me..

I'm not even sure why I am changing myself. I'm not convinced it'll bring me any more happiness, contentment or even a greater understanding of myself. Possibly this is just a masochistic phase I'm going through - flagellating in the hopes of achieving some kind of catharsis or absolving myself of something.

I really don't know. I'm hoping to discover some answers somewhere along the track but lately all I've been turning up are more questions.


Anonymous said...

This can't be very comforting, but ... it took me 55 years to find the love of my life. In the meantime I was married to someone I finally realized could never be my "soulmate."

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a perfect union. When/if it comes along, you'll know it, and the other person will too.

"Life is what happens while you are making other plans." - John Lennon

You Don't Know Me

fishboy said...

Actually, that is kinda encouraging. Age is immaterial - the fact that you've found that person is a gift beyond compare.

As for John Lennon - love the guy but I've spent too long making other plans. I want to start living my life to the full.

helena said...

Absolutely agree with Anonymous - you're never too old to find the love of your life & they usually turn up when you least expect it.

When I first met F I'd been in a relationship with someone for nearly 3 years. We were even living together (in fact we met for the first time in the sitting room of the flat that the someone else & I had!).

I wasn't happy in the relationship I was in but I wasn't looking to get out of it - I thought that this was what a long-term relationship was - there's no real meeting of minds (what my nan calls clicking), no excitment, we sort of rubbed along ok together.

Then F walked into the sitting room & it was like an electric shock went through my brain - I knew he was the one I was meant to be with. But, we were both with other people (and surprisingly honourable) so we didn't do anything about it.

9 months later we were together.

I think that the "Life is what happens while you're making other plans" phrase is quite true. You need to live your life to the full because the important bits (like meeting your soulmate) happen when you don't mean them to. In fact it usually happens when it's least convenient tbh.

And being a romantic is not incompatible with being cynical. In fact I think that real romantics all have a protective shell about them - you need to have it for your own sanity otherwise you'd just keep on being hurt to the bone. The right person will see right through it.

fishboy said...

Yet another encouraging story - thanks helena. I'm not generally as despondent as I probably come across in this blog, and my focus for this year (well, the rest of my life really) is to do just what you say and live life to the full - and for myself.

Interesting what you say about long term relationships too - that was pretty much exactly what I'd thought they were too. Just comfortable and easy, but no fire or, like you say, 'clicking'. I hope to be as lucky as you and find that person who fits.

As for being cynical - I don't think I'll ever cast it aside completely but the shell has been weighing me down for too long. I need to get more nimble - and probably get hurt more. Learn to not get hard but get resilient.

How I do that I'm not sure but I need to do something different. Thank you again for your wisdom.