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Unzip the package

  Thu 20th June 2013

I am laying flat on my back in the living room of my singing teacher's house. My feet are resting on a cradle thing which wobbles them from side to side, causing sympathetic, and, it is claimed, relaxing movements for those, like me, who spend too much of the day typing. As I involuntarily wriggle from side to side, I remember that the button at the top of my trousers is missing. I start worrying that my snaking movements will cause my zip to undo and slowly reveal my underpants, a spectacle which I think would have distracted us both from concentrating on the vowel patterns in Schumann's mid-period lieder.

On Friday I went with Marianna to see the University's film group present their short films. Several tight knee-length dresses in shiny artificial materials; high heels and scaffolded hair. They greet each other with that Americanised embrace which looks as though it is intended to demonstrate a warmth just short of intimacy, in which people keep their fingers from touching each other's backs, as if aware of the desirablity of retaining at least the lees of British decorum.

On Monday, when Trina was here, we went to see Après Mai (Something In The Air) and I'd forgotten I'd asked Marianna along, so when I saw her waving at us in the auditorium I worried for a moment about what the social outcome of Trina + Marianna would be, but no-one has to talk in a cinema.

I didn't like the film (my comments on the Guardian's review here) and we had only a short chat afterwards. Marianna's an acute and interesting film critic but she doesn't drink or enjoy social activity that much, especially with unfamiliar people. "She's quite intense, isn't she, your friend Marianna?" Perhaps, but I like her, and she's my friend, and I felt a ripple of defensive loyalty. "Well, I don't know--I've known her so long I don't notice her tics any more."

Trina and I went to Wetherspoons for a bit of tea. From Schumann's lieder to Two Meals for 6.49 in a few hours. We moved downstairs to avoid a meeting of the Lancaster Screaming Women's Club, and drank a fair bit, before we repaired to my house for humid and somewhat effortful sex.

I like many aspects of being with Trina. Sex, drinking, dancing, The Dictionary Game, chatting, cooking together. Unfortunately, she identifies these pleasures as things that exist within a "loving relationship." I have no fucking idea what love is, nor want to be in a "relationship" with its restrictive covenants and sub-paragraphed clauses, its timetables, its unbearable normative language and behaviour.

To tell her all this--to follow the most ridiculous bit of advice anyone can ever give anyone--to be honest--would mean that she would stop having anything to do with me, seeing it as a deception, and throwing out the delightful recreational baby with the sociological bathwater. I'm going to have to tread a somewhat delicate political line, avoiding the Three Little Words as far as I can.


Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

You’re fucking complicated you are.

But as my little sis pointed out this week, I haven’t been out of a relationship since three months shy of my 19th birthday, so what do I know?

Thu 20th June 2013 @ 19:30
Comment from: [Member]

By eck that was quick H.

I think I’m very simple–it’s society that makes things complicated. All these different bloody categories for just enjoying being with other people.

Thu 20th June 2013 @ 19:35
Comment from: David Oliver [Visitor]

All was good reading as was your previous blog. I actually did laugh out loud at this: delightful recreational baby with the sociological bathwater

This doesn’t seem complicated to me at all. In fact it seems like our old adage about not getting the milk without buying the cow.

Good luck on your non relationship.

Fri 21st June 2013 @ 01:29
Comment from: [Member]

- The foot cradle sounds lovely. i IMMEDIATELY considered how it could be deployed for alternate uses…

- i use all of my fingers when i hug.

- It’s nice that you defend your quirky friend. i do that on occasion. It comes up sometimes when i mix up the social groups.

- Relationships. What are you gonna do? i had a long conversation yesterday with my “friend with benefits", who lives in another town. He was amazed at the amount of festive casual sex opportunities that i turn down. “People are on the other side of my genitals, and that means there is some sort of relationship that must happen. i’m too tired these days for all that work…”

Fri 21st June 2013 @ 12:13
Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

Did David just call your bird a cow? :-)

However there is something in his comment you need to compromise in relationships. But what do I know I’ve been in a relationship with the same woman for over 30 years now

Fri 21st June 2013 @ 21:50
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks David–I almost deleted that line as being a bit pretentious.

Daisy–you’re a lovely dirty fucker and if we were closer I’d be clinking glasses suggestively with you. For me, there’s no such thing as “casual sex". Sex that works has an affective and emotional dimension to it. Otherwise it’s masturbation but using someone else for the friction.

F: If “being in a relationship” involves suppressing who you are or what you want to do then I’m not interested. I understand that many people enjoy the benefits of clamping someone else down in a vice of physical proximity and sexual exclusivity, but you can count me out of that game.

Fri 21st June 2013 @ 22:37
Comment from: David Oliver [Visitor]

furtheron: I would like to squirm out of this but not sure I can. At any rate it was not my intention. This thing that some women do where they exchange sex for something - be it a relationship, marriage or whatever, has worked for a very long time but its days are numbered.

And please note, I said SOME women. Also I didn’t say they didn’t enjoy the sex too, the relationship is just an added benefit.

Sat 22nd June 2013 @ 02:27

I didn’t know you had a singing teacher! You’re like a many-layered onion.

Did the greeting include kissing each cheek? So forced.

Effortful. That’s the most telling thing in this post. I think she’s fully aware of what’s in your head. No honestly required on your part.

Sat 22nd June 2013 @ 22:44
Comment from: isabelle [Visitor]

Compromise doesn’t necessarily mean dilution of the self, but , really, if it’s such a strain and effort, is it worth it? If Trina would finish it all if she knew your true feelings, is it worth continuing anyway? I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who have a similar outlook to yours, I guess the rub is finding them.

p.s.I’ve tried to comment a few times from my phone but for some reason it didn’t work.

Thu 27th June 2013 @ 16:23
Comment from: [Member]

EoPS: Yes, I’m attempting – a long way down the line – to have a bash at some C19th German lieder. I’ve always liked it and don’t have an absolutely terrible (well, not untrainable anyway) voice.

I don’t mind kissing on both cheeks–I’d rather we imported that custom than this silly half-hugging.

And she is, I think. She’d not daft.

Isabelle: I have tried for a long time to find someone who’d be interested in a looser confederation, but IME women aren’t very interested in that, so it’s a case of trying to bend yourself to what’s available. We had quite a nice couple of days recently though. We’ll see.

I think Unbearable had the same problem with phone posting once. I’m afraid I can’t help you with it technically.

Sun 30th June 2013 @ 11:17

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