Dear Purple Bull,
So here we are again, my "love". Another year under the same roof, but essentially on different planets. There is beauty in that, I guess. How boring if we were overly familiar!
Remember my fantasy. Yes, THIS ONE! (CLICK HERE) We never did get round to it, did we? I pleaded with you and even made up a cute song and dance, but you stood your ground. And now that your business has folded, you have suddenly remembered our long lost love that was supposed to be your boobie prize when things got tough. But you did not tend to it and it seems to have shrivelled up... It was not a low maintenance plant, my dear. It needed to be watered on the odd occasion. You started off well, planted the seed of passion with grand gestures and beautiful words, and then forgot to harvest, to cultivate, to sow... But you were no gardener nor were you a poet, just a pragmatic business man.
How frustrating it must have been for you when we first got married and I kept saying "I love you!" and leaving little love notes everywhere. Embarassing notes stuck onto your money when you opened your wallet, annoying notes you'd almost choke on when biting your lunch, silly notes in your smelly socks...You see, I felt that I had to say it for both of us as you had already made your intentions quite clear: "I said it once. It still stands. If something changes, I'll let you know."
Eventually, I stopped saying it, too. I could see that it tired you so. And I found other things to say. More "important" things about the day-to-day running of our affairs. But when I stopped my declarations - I stopped feeling them as well. Then followed a whole domino effect - a chain reaction that finally lead to a communication meltdown.
So how come we're still together, my "love"? I won't hide the fact that divorce had crossed my mind.
What saved our marriage, though, believe it or not was history. No, not our own personal history, made up of a tapestry of precious personal memories that I appreciate more than you will ever know, but social history itself. It occured to me one day that the crumby institution of marriage was never created for the purpose of fulfilment. You see, marriage was initially more about pooling resources and reproducing...The notion that it was about making you feel happy was a wrong approach cultivated during the Industrial Revolution when "work", "ambition" and "marriage" suddenly acquired new meaning making us expect joy from things that are drudgery.
So I stopped thinking of marriage as a source of happiness and channeled my interests elsewhere - into our children, reading good books, going to protest rallies and other creative outlets (perhaps this blog is one of them). And this has worked for me.
I stopped expecting to be wooed. I became less romantic, more cynical...a worst enemy of Valentine's Day than you ever were. Don't blame yourself for this. These were my choices. I decided to stay and face things like a brave coward. And it wasn't even just for the kids that I made this choice.
I felt relief that our marriage was indeed as a marriage should be - an institution! And we were just another conventional couple prone to the same feelings as hundreds of other compromised couples around the world. Sometimes it helps to view things objectively, spherically and unemotionally. I can't say this satisfied me, but I understood at least what I was doing...
But then I became a blogger and began to read things like THIS and THIS (read no. 2) and THIS and THIS...
And I am beginning to wonder if perhaps we are tricking ourselves. Perhaps there should be more than THIS. What if I was right in the first place?
Worst still, amidst all this confusion, you are suddenly remembering things I once believed in but tossed out the window just to salvage our marriage. For heaven's sake, why are you suddenly flirting with me, now, after all this time? Where did this come from? Has an alien invaded your body or is this just you coming out? And how can I trust that this is not just another whim so that I can decide whether to roll up the emotional curtains that are protecting the window of my soul...
It seems, my dear, that we have switched roles. That I have ended up being how you had begun and you are now seeking for me to feel emotions that I have trained myself to crush.
But it is our anniversary. As usual, we have both arranged different activities so that we don't have to go through the pain of looking into each other's eyes and remembering what we could have had before our egotistical personalities got in the way. Infact, we will each be in different countries on this date even though there was a time when you had promised to take me to the moon. Perhaps we can both pretend to forget the whole thing, as though it never happened (after all, it belongs to another lifetime and we were both such different people then). But regardless of this I must say thank you for the fundamentals, for just being there, even when you are not. Perhaps if we were to thaw it all out there may be love deep down. Oh, I think there is...don't you?
And for the record, yes, regardless of the handcuffs I would probably marry you again. Maybe I like bondage.
Sometimes, I can still see you underneath all that complicated stuff. It is you, isn't it?