30 Mar 2009

Love Love Love....(warning possibly slushy post)

Love, love love...as the beatles put it. All You Need Is Love.

Over the last few months, I've been thinking about this love-stuff quite a lot (please no juvenile jokes about love-stuff , NOT what I meant). Obviously getting engaged makes you think about it. As in, do I love this person enough to spend the rest of my life with them and not kill them over their many irritating habits (toilet seats being left up, leaving piles of paper everywhere, hating cheesy 80's music, being obsessed with odd over-sexed Sci-Fi tv shows.....) And of course I am sure SB is loving all my weird little habits too (picking my feet until they bleed, singing appallingly badly, uncontrollable messiness...)

And also, friend-type love. The kind of friends that will allow you to drag them up on bar tables to dance to Guns n Roses, who invite you to random birthday parties where you create your own version of silent disco in a posh wine bar (try it, all you need is an ipod and some dolly parton...) and the kind that when the shit hits the fan, help you dispose of the bodies + provide you with an alibi (and some decent tequila). Cause although I've not been on a killing spree over the last 6 months, there's certainly been a little shit hitting the fan. And my mates have been there. Its certainly when you know who your friends are for sure. And recently my friends have been going through some shit of their own. So I hope I can provide the alibis for them - and that I've been good enough so far.

I'm getting slightly off tangent here because what've been on my mind recently is other people's attitudes to love and how they show it. Because after reading something in my book today, it's occurred to me that one person's act of love can be an act of complete cruelty to another. It depends on your perspective.

Here is the example. A wealthy upper class woman gives birth to a baby girl in the 1930's who has a moderate disability. One that is very much accepted now, but even about 30-40 years ago was seen as shameful and embarrassing. The child is immediately put in a home by the parents and brought up there. The parents have very much differing views on whether they were right to hide their daughter away. The father feels horrendous guilt and suffers very much. The mother meanwhile is completely happy with her decision. As a modern reader I felt very much on the side of the father and sorry that someone should feel the need to hide their child away.

You later discover that the mother (who married into a rich blue-blood family) has an impoverished past and was teased mercilessly at school for her foreign accent and attitudes. As a result she completely reinvents herself - and achieves the popularity + success she so desired. Her logic for putting the child in the home - and hiding her away - was to prevent the child from suffering cruelty at the hands of others, as she did, for being *different*. For the mother, this act was an act of love. For the father it was an act of cruelty. Who is right?

The book just crystalised for me how we all love, and show love in many different ways. And how we have different capacities for love. So often the problems in relationships happen when we make assumptions about what someone would like, or what is best for someone, without actually consulting them. Even when I think I'm being straight with SB, and have thought about why he might or might not like something, he still can mistake my assumptions for thoughtlessness.

So perhaps its best to remember that you can't always know someone's motivations for doing something - and give them the benefit of the doubt. No matter what ties you to someone, blood, love, or friendship, you can never truly know them. The best way to act is to give without expecting back, and then you can never end up disappointed. I guess that's all for tonight, before I turn into a walking cliche. Peace out. Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building

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