Friday, February 09, 2007

Real and With Mistakes

Every once and awhile I get ticked off at the world in general. Actually, it happens at least a few times nearly every day. Today was certainly no exception.

Early this morning my Mom and I took the bus downtown together. There's a guy who gets on the bus at our stop, and on Thursday mornings his girlfriend is already on from a previous stop and saves a spot for him. They usually get really close, kiss until they near the borderline of making out in public (but don't really cross it), then get off and walk to the Tim Hortons, holding hands. It's a joyful reunion for them, and they always seem so happy... I've seen them on the bus for over a year. Every Thursday when we're on the bus together, the four of us, my Mom scoffs at them with commentary. Depending on my mood, I may or may not reply, or react, or scoff.

Today my Mom said, "I know a cure for that kind of behavior! Marriage!" She laughed cynically. An understandable opinion from her point of view.

"Mom, that's not funny." I said sadly. And it isn't.

We've been studying the "white wedding" and wedding photos meme in Art History - and before you go all internet culture on me, the word meme existed long before the internets. And it's pronounced mem, not Me-Me. And it means a small unit of well to universally known, rapidly shared culture that acts much like genetics. Anyway, one of the things that was said in class that totally floored me - made me wonder why I'd never seen it before - is that marriage in pop culture is one of two things. Happily ever after... or laughably dysfunctional. Not interesting, not loving, not realistic. Mostly, there are no visual or cultural representations of a "good" marriage. At all. Just try to think of one. If there is, it's just vague - the marriage is good and they get on with the story, right? So where do we learn, as humans with all learned behaviours - to be married? From your parents, for one. Which helps the whole dysfunctional world to stay that way. And helps people like me with no father figure to become a negative statistic....

It makes me wonder. Sometimes when my dog comes to just spend time with me, gaze adoringly into my eyes as I pet him - I wonder about long term relationships of unconditional love, like the one I have with my dog. Where you're just happy to see the person at the end of the day. Sharing a meal together is a big deal. Enjoying their presence beside you completes the picture. That's all you really care about.

And then there's the tiny concept in the back of my mind that re-iterates that relationships and marriages... they aren't really about sex. They're about the relationship, and the sex is a bonus. Society doesn't treat it that way, though. Culturally, marriage is just about monogamous sexuality. Forget a great relationship. Drama is fine, and funny is great. But real? Real and with mistakes, without perfect lighting or consistently dramatic moments... That's a real adventure.
[via Do me a favour, would you sing this to me slow]

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