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Symbolic Forest

A homage to loading screens.

Blog : Posts tagged with ‘relationships’

Ordinary

In which nothing special happens

It’s another ordinary Saturday. We lie in for a bit, then we get up and put the kettle on. We don’t have any plans; we’ll probably watch some of Saturday Kitchen on the telly. K’s brought some work home for the weekend, the car needs a headlamp bulb changing, and of course I can always do a bit of work drafting up some blog posts and tweaking the Secret New Site Design. But, generally, we don’t have any plans big enough to be called plans. It’s just another ordinary Saturday.

Lots of people, of course, will be going out and doing stuff today. They’ll be going out in pairs and trying to have a romantic time together, after giving each other giant cards in Arterial Blood Red. Restaurants will be packed, and shops everywhere will be running out of flowers and chocolates. Because it says, on their calendars, that that’s what you have to do today.

To my mind, though: that makes the day less romantic, not more. You shouldn’t do something special for your special someone, just because of the date. You should do something special for them if you want to show your love, yes, but if you want to show your love you shouldn’t have to wait for today. Christmas is slightly different, it’s a time for getting in touch with people; but Valentine’s Day is something of a pointless exercise.

So, today shouldn’t be different to any other. As a form of affirmative action, we’ve said to each other that we will specifically avoid doing anything special today; we’ll do everything we can to make it as ordinary a Saturday as possible. There are 364 other days in 2009, after all.* I’ll find some way to surprise K, to make her smile and blush, to remind her how much I love her. It won’t be today, though. It’ll be any day she deserves it; any day of the year.

* although, if you want to be pedantic, there are only 320 left after today.

Private life

In which we spare a thought for Mrs Max Mosley

In the news today: the Max Mosley trial continues. Note for readers from the future: he enjoyed a BDSM session with a group of women, who have been described widely as “prostitutes” by the media. He had these regularly, and so wasn’t expecting that one day in spring, one of them would pop a video camera down her cleavage and sell the footage to the News Of The World. Oops. So he’s suing for exemplary damages – in other words, he doesn’t just want recompense, he wants retribution.

I have to say, though, that I don’t think he deserved much sympathy. Not because he’s rich and powerful. Not because of who his father was, or because he has his own murky right-wing past. I don’t think his sex life deserves to be exposed because he has a prominent job: what he gets up to in the bedroom should have no effect on how well he can carry out his job. What does give me a moral twinge, though, is that he’s apparently been hiding his sex life from his wife for almost their entire marriage. According to his statements in court: he’s been involved in the BDSM scene, safely and without exposure, for 45 years – in other words, since his early 20s, when he was a law student active in far-right politics. However, at the same time, he said, his wife had no idea of his kinky inclination until the NotW revealed all. Mosley married in 1960, around the age of 20; from what he’s said, he must have been getting his kicks from the BDSM scene since the early years of his marriage, going behind his wife’s back for decades.

Mrs Mosley is, apparently, devastated by Max’s exposure in the press. I can imagine. It’s a lot to take in. I can’t think to imagine how she feels.

Everyone’s entitled to keep their life private from the general public – but I’m not so sure that they’re entitled to keep it private from their partner quite to that extent. It’s common, though – especially online – for men to approach the BDSM scene with an “I have these urges but I can’t tell my wife” attitude. In the general scene – what you might call the non-professional side – they usually get advised not to go behind their partner’s back; but I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the money in the pro-dominatrix market comes from this sort of chap.* Mosley is, on the one hand, a sign that such men can get along happily for years** so long as the press isn’t likely to be interested in them. The BDSM community might frown on you if you want to go behind your wife’s back, but they will generally consider it to be your own business if you do. On the other hand: he’s also a sign that you can’t necessarily keep something quiet forever. When your partner does find out, you only have yourself to blame.

* For one thing: although the pro-dominatrix market is saturated, prices are still rather high, partly because although there are endless swarms of pro-dominatrixes around very few of them are very good at what they do, and partly because being a good pro-dominatrix can be pricy, just to stay stocked up with all the silly PVC clothes that the customers are paying to drool over. It’s only the well-off men who can afford to hire one regularly, and they’re more likely than average to be settled with a partner.

** assuming they can afford it. A Mosley-ish session would probably have cost him somewhere between one and two thousand quid a time, at a rough guess.

Update, July 9th 2008: my rough guess there was somewhat on the low side. According to the report in today’s Guardian, Mosley was paying £500 to each participant. That’s about £100 per hour, or £2500 for the whole session. He also paid the rent on the flat where it took place.

Things I have accomplished

In which things are listed

This week, I have managed to:

  • be completely baffled about the nature of relationships (and other people in general)
  • Make someone happy, just by putting a website online for them
  • (I didn’t even design the website myself)
  • Explain the meaning of the term “shaggy dog story”
  • Annoy The Mother, as per usual
  • Annoy The Cat, by ignoring him when he tries to wake me up at 5am
  • Let other people get me down (see point 1)
  • (yes, I know they’re not numbered)
  • Let me get myself down
  • And thus piss off most of the other people I know, by moping constantly.

On the other hand, I can always cheer myself up by reading what people have been searching for on the net, that has led them on a misguided goose-chase to this place:

drunken squirrel – sorry, no clue
carpenter furniture joke – start here and be prepared to groan
birthday presents for goths – black things? Possibly?
things you do automatically – I’m not sure. They’re automatic. I don’t really notice them.
how to snog a colleague – use your tongue
gerbils show around west midlands – I really have no clue now
“i hate grimsby” – don’t we all, dear
extreme kidnapping fantasies – Oh-kay…
sex in forest – …that’s enough of that, I think.

Memories of the year, the final part…

In which we remember things, but look forward too

…is a bit of a cheat. Because there isn’t one thing I want to add which would round the year off. There are too many moments which would leave it incomplete. The Cat returning. Someone taking me for a quiet walk in the park, so she could split up with me. Going for a first date with someone else, and watching her last train home pull out of the station because we didn’t realise it was about to leave. Someone trying to kick my car windows in, whilst I was sat inside the car. So many people who have made this year very special – in particular, V-

The Plain People Of The Internet: Hang on, what’s this? You’re writing your Oscar acceptance speech now or something?

There’s no point looking back too much. The best we can hope to do is manage not to repeat too many mistakes over again. I’m going to go out tonight, and enjoy myself, and look to the future…

Memories of the year (part four)

In which we remember Scotland

This is just a short one. A romantic breakfast, in a supermarket in Greenock, squeezed between the railway and the firth. Haar is hanging over the firth,* and the far shore is out of sight. I’m sitting, looking at you, and wondering how many times I’ll be back here.

* except that it isn’t, because – according to East Coast people, at any rate – you only get haar on the East Coast. So any sea-fogs you get hanging over West Coast firths, and towns like Greenock, Rothesay or Wemyss Bay, can’t be proper haar. Any Scots reading feel free to correct me on this.

Memories of the year (part one)

In which we remember someone special

Time to do some looking back. Some of these memories will be good, some bad, and none are in any particular order.

We walked onto the dark beach together, me leading, me holding your hand. It was around midnight, nobody was about, and the moonlight was bright on your face.

I led you onto the beach, and looked around to make sure we were alone. I held you tight with your arms behind your back, and felt you start to go fuzzy around the edges. I chained your wrists together behind you, looked into your eyes, and watched your moonlit smile.

Of, or pertaining to, priests

In which people are happy

It’s the end of the week again. It’s hot, and sunny, and I’ve just been zooming up and down the motorway to Another Part Of The Forest and back. Windows wound down, music on, it really does leave me feeling cheerful.*

Things seem to be changing all around me. I’ve always taken a vicarious interest in seeing other people become magically happy. There are a handful of people I know, and several people I don’t know whose blogs I read, whose lives and relationships are changing in wonderful ways. Some of them are completely positive they’re doing the right thing, some of them less so, but in general they do seem to be brimming with happiness.**

I arrived back at the office just now, planning this post, to sit down and write it during my lunch break. As soon as I sat back at my desk, the homophobic branch manager from Another Part Of The Forest came through to say hello. “I’m leaving,” he said.

“Back off to your branch?” I knew he’d been over at head office this morning.

“No, completely. I handed my notice in last night, and I’m leaving now.”

Which, really, fitted in with everything I’ve been thinking about. People all around me are all having their lives changed.

Another beautiful thing I’ve seen: driving home from York at about midnight Wednesday night, past the steelworks. Something was going on there, because the whole place was lit up in an orange flaming glow. Industrial beauty, almost as inspiring as seeing a happy person.

* but I try not to think about all those carbon emissions.

** I know blogs aren’t real life, of course. People withhold things. And if you’re worried I’m talking about you: I might be, but I’m not trying to make a comment about your own specific situation. This is about everyone in general.

Things I Just Don’t Get (part 94)

In which we wonder why people set themselves up to suffer

There are many things I just don’t understand about people, but this is one I’ve been thinking about lately.

A month or more ago now, I wrote about Big Dave’s Dating Life. In particular, about one particular girl from his darts team, who was constantly tempted to go back to her ex-boyfriend even though he tended to beat her up whenever she visited him. Big Dave’s romantic contribution: a few vigilante-style threats to help persuade him to stop.

Anyway, Big Dave’s wooing proceeded according to plan, with a few dates which got more and more serious as time went on. Until last week, when he was cruelly dumped by text message, because she’d decided to go back to the abusive ex, with still no sign that he really was going to stop the beatings.

No sooner had this happened, then one of the worse gossip-mongers at our branch in Another Part Of The Forest starts telling us that one of her underlings – a woman who I’ll call Antivirus – is on a diet, because she wants to look good for her wedding. Which is, well, news.

I don’t know Antivirus very well, but we do chat to each other on the phone every week or so, and the last I’d heard about her relationship really didn’t sound promising. To put it bluntly, a few months ago it had broken down. Not only was she moving out, but she was moving out secretly. She’d planned to wait until she knew the boyfriend was securely at work, then she rushed in with some friends in a van, so that he’d come home to find her, her kids,* all her possessions gone. Because she was terrified of how he’d react if she told him she was leaving.

If you ask me, that’s not a good relationship to be in. It’s not the sort of relationship you’re going to want to go back to. But, for some reason, she has. Not only that, but she’s agreed to marry him.

Obviously, I don’t know the details of either of these cases. Maybe there’s a good reason for everything here. Maybe both of these men have turned over a completely new leaf, and are going to be perfect partners from now on. That’s what they’ve probably promised, at any rate. If it was me, though, I wouldn’t be convinced. There are lots of aspects of relationships I don’t understand, but there are some people who really baffle me.

* not his, in case you were wondering.

Gossip: Date Update

In which Big Dave is threatening

Last week, I told you about Big Dave’s Impending Date. This week, I’ve been finding out what happened. This is all retold second-hand from what he told me; but this is pretty much exactly how he said it.

Quick summary of the Story So Far: Big Dave asked a girl from the Darts League out, even though she wasn’t single, because her dad kept pressuring him to do it. On Saturday, they were supposed to be going out for a drink.

Well, she cancelled. Then, on Sunday, she didn’t show up at the darts. So, Dave asks around a bit to see what’s going on. It turns out, she went to visit her ex, who then decided to beat her up.

Dave pops round to visit, and sees the rather nasty bruises all over her face, which explain why she hasn’t been about. “You won’t do anything though, will you?” she said to him, nervously.

“Of course not,” says Big Dave, fingers crossed behind his back. As soon as he leaves her, he goes straight round to the man’s house. As soon as he opens the door, Dave’s hands are round his neck and he’s up against the wall.

Now, there is a reason he’s called Big Dave. And the man in question is, according to Dave, your typical kind of girlfriend-beater: small and skinny himself, and a coward. The sort of bully who will take his anger out on people he knows aren’t going to fight back. With Dave there, he needs to change his trousers. “I don’t have a problem with you, mate,” he kept stammering. “You do now,” Dave replies. He leaves without doing any damage, but with Dire Threats should anything happen in future.

I’m slightly in two minds about all this myself. On the one hand, the scumbag sounds like a nasty piece of work who clearly had it coming. Nevertheless, I’m still a little nervous around vigilante justice. Especially when I share an office with the vigilante in question. And the girl Dave was trying to help isn’t talking to him at the moment. Because she didn’t want anyone to make a fuss about it. She just wanted everyone to ignore her hideous bruises and let it all die down again.