Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Love is in the air…or is that just petrol fumes?

I was talking to my roommate earlier about a key memory from my youth about V-Day, I was in my early teens and I was helping my mum do the Weekly shopping on a Friday that happened to be February 14th. The tradition always was that I would help do the shopping in Sainsbury’s (mainly so I could spot and add things to the trolley that I liked that she would otherwise not buy) and I would take the trolley of paid for items back to the car and sit and listen to the radio until she returned from getting her final few purchases in Marks & Spencer (where I never liked the food as much growing up, so never bothered trying to get items into the basket). On this particular night, I remember sitting in the car and listening to Belfast Citybeat, Cool FM and even BBC Radio 1 launch into saccharine overdrive.

I had the pleasure of hearing Tricia tell Dan how he is her everything and that he completes her, followed by the bellowing of Bryan Adams ‘Everything I Do (I Do It For You)’, then Mark writing about how Valerie means the world to him and that he’s glad they got back together, of course followed by Starship ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’, and of course who could forget Gerard and Tina announce their engagement live on air to their friends and how he took her to their favourite restaurant and he proposed, with the radio presenter gushing over how original an idea it was, despite it being the most predictable location possible. Of course this had to be followed by some…any…ALL of Whitney Houston’s back catalogue. The radio presenter would then joke about the silliness involved with Valentine’s Day…and then proceed to carry on gushing about the love stories that have been sent in……those minutes spent listening to all that drivel had two effects, the first was it hit a sore spot initially so felt quite lonely as a singleton (though I don’t know why I even cared at that age) and secondly, it pretty much guaranteed that I would despise the idea of Valentine’s Day for the rest of my days.

While I am all for couples being happy and in love and all that jazz, I almost feel sorry for them, because they are being forced by Hallmark and Society to spend vast sums of money for an occasion not of their own choosing, in order to either sustain a social convention at best, or at worst they must one up a friend or colleague who has gone the extra mile for fear that they’d be seen as uncaring or ungenerous. I think there is nothing more unromantic than an expensive Valentine’s present, for what is deemed to be a grandiose demonstration of the high level of love that you have for someone, ends up appearing rather clinical as it can at times appear that love is a quantifiable thing that can be matched with a certain level of financial investment.

As previously mentioned in posts, I am an eternal singleton and so I’ve only had the pleasure of being in a serious relationship on one Valentine’s Day. On that day in particular I had a lovely day with my then boyfriend, not because it was V-Day, but because we were spending time together and having fun, things that mattered each and every 365 days of the year. Rather than gifts we resolved to write a note to each other and that was it. The words that leapt from the page in the handwritten note from my boyfriend were real currency, and were more valuable than the most expensive of potential clothes or technology that I could’ve received…because those words took real heart to send. I am not in any way saying that large gestures are in themselves unwelcome or a sign that you only know how to throw money about…all I am saying is that, in my case…a pen and some paper were all it took to make a typical day extra special, it can be as simple as that!

As per usual this post lacks a central plot and is more just a place for my thoughts on something to find fertile soil. I don’t believe that when I have a bf that I should tell him that I like/love him on 14th February, if I’ve not been telling him all the previous days of our relationship, then it’s not a relationship worth being in! I do hope that my fellow singletons have survived today knowing that we are in a much better state than the radio stations and media and society would like to present to us…Yes it’s amazing to be with someone, but it’s better to be with the right someone…and so we’d prefer to wait for that! In the meantime…that money that we saved on not sending cards/flowers/chocolates or whatever…well that’ll do nicely for a few rounds of drinks this weekend, so it’s not all bad!


A Tea Partier About Relationships

January 26, 2014 1 comment

My coming out story was long and convoluted so I will save that story for another day, instead I want to talk Carrie Bradshaw style about single life and relationship life. When I was growing up I sometimes encountered moments that in hindsight were key indicators of my sexuality, but at the time I rationalized them away in my head as one thing or another. One constant that remained with me throughout my long coming out was an image in my head of my ‘ideal family future’.

This ideal family scene is set at Christmas, I am decked out in the hat from the Christmas cracker, my numerous children have brought over my even more numerous grandchildren and we are all awaiting the arrival of the turkey from the kitchen for me to carve up. As I sit in the end chair as the head of the family at this spectacularly decorated table, with all the food and smiling faces, I see the arrival of my beautiful other half, jet black hair, dressed perfectly and the full turkey is placed in the centre of the table…and I receive a kiss on the cheek from the love of my life. A perfect image…one that I could treasure all my days…except that in this scenario….my beautiful other half…is a woman.

Now this image of wedded bliss to a beautiful woman who fills you with joy is hardly an alien concept to many gay men who have long since greeted the reality of their orientation with open arms and formed a new interpretation of the family ideal. Growing up in the 80s and 90s the idea of gay marriage wasn’t even countenanced, and the premise of living with another man wasn’t even mentioned during my 14 years of study at highly regarded but fiercely conservative catholic schools…so what other idea would form in my head.

This year I turn 30, I’m not afraid of the number, in fact I am getting the growing sense that my 30s will be a wonderful decade, but of course 29 is the age when you start reflecting on your expectations of life by the time you hit 30. I am currently single *singletons scream with delight…or not* and the prospects of marriage within the next few years are as likely as Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus hooking up and then winning ‘Most Normal Couple’ award. While I would have no objections with falling in love with a woman if by some voodoo magic she was able to excite me in all ways required; however, the likely outcome is that some handsome gent and I will get married.

So here’s the point where I just swap the gorgeous bride carrying the turkey to my gorgeous groom carrying the turkey and everything will be perfect right? Hmmm not quite! While I know I fancy men and love them and all and hope to marry one someday, the woman in that mental image was perfect, perhaps unhelpfully so, to the point of being a stepford wife. Such men and women don’t exist, they never have, they never will, and yet she has informed my expectations…If I am to let go of this childhood idea of my perfect family future I need to find myself a perfect husband to outshine this perfect wife

…I will pause for a second to allow the laughter of you all to settle…

So…I couldn’t help but wonder…Do many/all/none at all/some gay men compare their relationships and future with those of a ‘perfect woman’ from the alternate straight life that they left behind?

The reason I am pondering over this question is that I see more and more of my friends getting married, some are having children, others a dog, but in someway many of them are moving forward in the direction of a more perfect union between two people, whether straight, gay, bisexual whatever and I’m…well I’m just the same me. I remember a girl I went to University with who couldn’t stand the idea of being alone in a room for longer than a few minutes…tying in with that, she was always in a relationship, and while that’s fine for her, it’s never been my thing. I am a proud singleton, I enjoy my own company and I have used this title to travel alone to places when I wanted to without having to involve or consult anyone else, I have been able to meet up with friends, even exes, for chats without facing an interrogation that would make the Gestapo blush, it has allowed me to move to another country without feeling guilt at who I was leaving behind and in practical terms it has saved me money and heartache.

I am left to wonder…after a certain can singlehood become a chronic condition? I have embraced the good thing about singlehood…but this has also made me more selfish, While cuddles are awesome, good luck to anyone in my bed who takes up too much room or is too warm, I can’t handle it, or good luck to you if I want to try something a certain way and I don’t, I’m stubborn, I know who I am and neither want nor desire to change. Compromise is crucial to make a relationship work, but becomes so hard to succeed at when one side comes with an expectation of getting everything their own way…HOLY FUCK…I’ve just realized…I’m a Tea Partier about relationships!!!

*Sniffs some smelling salts to recover from this painful revelation*

The bizarre thing is, that during those phases when I actually HAVE been in a relationship, I have been very obliging…well to a point, but those were years ago and so I worry that my views have hardened. Dates are often one offs because I have now devised so many boxes in my head (My own ‘Contract FROM America’ that the Tea Party wingnuts once drafted as their platform) that I am genuinely expecting guys to succeed against insurmountable odds. If I looked like the heartthrob of the day, had the best job, tons of money, and a perfect personality then perhaps I could get away a little with this approach….but I’m an average looking job seeking immigrant with no money and a control freak personality…..If I were on Blind Date, Cilla would’ve told ‘Our Graham’ to not even bother introducing me. There are guys that I have dated that I have been lucky enough to retain as friends after the fact, but there’s always one of those friends that you look at and wish things had turned out differently, and for that, the blame lies with me! I am glad that he is happy now, but there is always one!

So what can I do? This problem of expectations started all the way back with this woman in my mind as a child. I am wildly ambitious in life, and appear equally ambitious in the family I want, but reality isn’t like that, How do I accept reality and learn to embrace the diverse, how do I figure out how to discard my list of boxes to tick and let myself be loved. Answers on a postcard please!

Gazing Into The Future

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