Thursday, June 18, 2009
Or something like that
A friend of mine has just fallen in love. How sweet, you might think. How lovely.
Well, yes, but also how fucking insufferable.
There’s a strong parallel to be drawn, I think, between people in the first flush of love and people who have just broken up with someone. Both of them corner you for long conversations entitled This Is Why It Was The Right Thing To Dump Them/You Do Think I Did The Right Thing, Right? and This Is It This Time/I’m Just So Happy, respectively. Neither of them can think, or talk, of anything else and both of them bring out exactly the same reaction in me, though I hate to admit it: they bring me doooown.
Because to a person in a long-term, albeit very nice, relationship the only thing worse than counselling someone through a break-up is listening to them rattle on about the new objective of their affection. The first makes you think Oh God That Could Be Me – the second is much more depressing because you get to think Oh Great That Will Probably Never Be Me Again.
The pain is particularly great in this case because I first met this friend several weeks after he had been booted out of the family home. Which is to say he was miserable, bitter and willing to tell me, quite often, that it didn’t matter how much I thought I loved someone – stay with anyone for long enough and within 20 years you’ll be fighting like two rats in a sack.
Like a non-paedo version of Humbert Humbert my friend’s message was not so much Never Grow Up but Never Fall in Love. It is a line I find myself increasingly keen to bring up now that his heart has started to flutter and cynicism has turned to sunshine and rainbows.
What do you SAY to someone who has fallen in love? “That’s awfully nice”? “I’m very happy for you”? “Let’s all hope it doesn’t end in tears this time around, eh”? What about a plea not to mention a new love until it has soured, maybe just a little?
The sad truth is that I think I prefer ever-so-slightly-unhappy people to very-happy-all-the-time people. Which says, I’m sure, a lot more about me than it does about any of my friends and is, frankly, fairly descpicable. Then again, love means never having to say you’re sorry, right? Right?