Saturday, June 09, 2007

Egregious Emotional Ejaculation, Anyone?

It seems that May was my worst month of blogging, certainly in terms of quantity, and more than likely in terms of quality. The reason I'm writing less is because I have less to write about! So prepare yourself for some self-indulgent, self-reflective rambling!

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I'm in a long distance relationship. This isn't something I'm proud to admit. Long distance relationships made no sense to me whatsoever, until of course, I found someone worth the hassle. Despite having found this noteworthy person, I still feel a twinge of shame admitting that I was unable to find someone tolerable, let alone loveable on my own island.

I can recall vividly a class I had when I was fifteen years old. For forty minutes a day, two times a week, over the course of a school year, the teachers would try to scare us off recreational drug use, exploiting every trick in the book. Attempts ranged from the anecdotal (“I remember a nice young student whose life was ruined by...”), to the pseudo-scientific (“you're not actually having a good time on drugs, you just think you are”), all the way to the utterly inane (“Jesus doesn't want you to use drugs. And God only allows drugs on earth to challenge you not to take them”). One of the techniques I'm reminded of by my relationship is a diagrammatical representation of a junkie's ups and downs:

The premise was that when the junkie got his drugs, he would hit a high – that would be the peak on the chart, but then he'd come down from his high, and the line would drop to halfway. The line would spike up again when he got his next fix, but not as high as before, and the resulting fall in his demeanour would send him lower than before, until eventually our junkie friend is trying to score just to not feel miserable. This buzzword-heavy message was delivered with such a grave sense of urgency from this authority figure that we feared that we might get caught up in any 'vicious cycle', and the over-simplification of the issue was eclipsed by its seeming sincerity.

So what should one expect then of a long-distance relationship? Imagine this; for the first time in weeks, or even months, you get an audience with your main squeeze. After weeks, (or even months) of her consisting of little more than a voice on a phone or text on a screen, you see her coming towards you in an airport arrivals lounge. You need a shave, your throat is scratchy from the strange air on the plane, you're in dire need of some hair gel and your entire body smells like your socks. Of course, you'd prefer to play it cool, because you're a stoic git, but instead, you're smiling like a child on Christmas morning because you see her, and that grin only begins to fade once your cheeks begin to ache under its strain. The weeks and months you have just invested into text on a screen, or that voice on a phone make total sense now. It is in these moments that you have never been more thankful for your senses of smell, touch, and sight because what was once less than tangible is now real flesh and bones before you! You are intoxicated by the sheer novelty of being in her presence. It occurs to you that you too are trapped in a vicious cycle, but unlike your hypothetical junkie friend, with the transience of time you find that the highs get higher and the lows tolerable.

Okay, so that's obviously my personal take on it, but I'm sure it's true of most people who don't get to spend as much time with their sweetheart as they'd like. I just got back from two weeks in Wisconsin where I maintained a constant, borderline ridiculous proximity to my lady-friend at all times. The only break we got from one another was during our respective trips to the bathroom. Looking back on it, I'd even be inclined to say I walked fewer steps on my own than I did while hand in hand with her (obviously, walking in tandem is one of the clumsier methods of locomotion, but when trying to engorge oneself on as much physical contact possible, I think volunteering such minor details makes sense).

You won't ever hear me using the cliché “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Not only because of my aversion to trite sayings, and not because it's an insult to the absentee, but because it simply isn't true. I had more than one friend ask me if I'd recommend a long-distance relationship, as if I had complied a list of pros and cons to make the matter easily digestible. I could never recommend that somebody seek out a long-distance relationship, especially given the hassles involved, but I cannot stress enough that if you find somebody worth holding onto, that you do whatever it takes to hold onto them.

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Yech – that seemed an awful lot like sentimentality, didn't it? I'm new to this whole 'emotions' thing, and I find it quite sickening, so please, berate me as appropriate on the comments section.

2 comments:

Ger said...

gay!

cait k. said...

oh where, oh where has my cynical friend seán gone?

im just kidding. enjoyed the latest post, as usual. miss u.