Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Skip To My Lou

Lost my partner,
What'll I do?
Lost my partner,
What'll I do?
Lost my partner,
What'll I do?
Skip to my lou, my darlin'.

I'll get another one
Prettier than you,
I'll get another one
Prettier than you,
I'll get another one
Prettier than you,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin'

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,
Skip to my Lou, my darlin'


Woke up this morning and skipped to my loo. This was mostly because I went to bed after drinking a precautionary pint of water after meeting up with an old friend after too long an absence; and slightly because my very loose, should-have-been-thrown-out-a-zillion-years-ago, full-of-holes-and-no-elastic, ultra-comfy faded red jogging trousers that I sometimes wear in bed (I know how to dress sexy) were falling down around my ankles, and it was a miracle that I survived the impact with the doorframe and still managed to expertly aim the jet. Women: pay attention. No cleaning up after necessary. Even half awake, bruised, rubbing a sore head, guess what? Zero splash. I'm sure you understand how proud I am of that.

This love-theme writing business is a rich vein of gold and I am still mining it. I have enough now for half a wedding ring. Which means, I can be half-married to someone. I can be standing at the altar, and confidently answering the question, Do You Take This Woman with, Maybe, Kind Of. How About, Every Other Week? So today, I ask myself, and you, and the cup of tea I have just finished, and my faded red trousers:

Marriage: Why?


So you meet someone lovely and you fall in love with them. It's lovely. They are lovely. You feel lovely. That's the nature of love. Then you spend lovely time together and the love continues to deepen and bring you untold joy and sweets. Fine. You go on holiday together and survive. You attempt Christmas and still want to see each other in the New Year. She survives the beer-breath and attempts at considerate behaviour. He survives the PMS and constant need to praise her fashion choices. All your friends keep telling you both that you seem really happy. You're certainly spending a lot of time together. You begin to think there may be a future in this. Your vision is suddenly rosy, distorted, blurred, you see a red carpet of love extending onwards and upwards to eternal couple heaven, then there's a congregation, an officiary, friends, family, people you don't know eating all the food, there's little bits of paper and rice on the floor, a loud clanging like God's Own Dinner Gong, an exotic destination, painkillers, sunburn...

Oh dear. You're married now. You'd better mean it then. Where's the toilet paper? Damn I wish you wouldn't do that!

I don't want to go on and on about marriage. I will become depressed. I will come clean instead. I got engaged to Jane when I was 17 (several hundred years ago) and I bought her a diamond ring, and my heart was broken when we split up. Thank the Almighty God of Funk that we did split up, since she was a depressed and depressing girl from a depressing family in a depressing part of town. We met in a depression. I was depressed seeing her. I felt depressed when she called me, depressed by the way she never stayed the night, depressed by the boring sex we had, and I was depressed when she went off with God. God was the Head Boy. He was blond and middle-class. I punched him in the pub when I found them together one lunchtime and was banned thereafter. Believe me, this was out of character. My self-esteem was low. I do not condone violence as a solution. I was experiencing appalling jealousy. I was 17. I knew nothing. And now I will draw a veil over that depressing episode and move on.

So far in life, I have done the serial monogamy thing. Mostly I have had serious relationships with the women I have been fortunate enough to love. Tortured, damaged, troubled, deranged women. I'm not saying all my choices were good. It's one reason I am taking on Cupid. Nonetheless, I have learned a lot and been shown a lot and there's been a lot of caring. I don't regret any of it even the tough years and the mad moments, and I still wanted to get married someday, until very recently. But then I met Lou.

Lou was pretty, young, romantic, intelligent, and savage, and I firmly believe she was sent by the Almighty God of Funk to put me right. I had the fabulous experience of a love affair that elevated me for 3 months to a height where angels seemed to sing to me from clouds of joy, followed by a solitary journey through the underworld of bitter pain and rejection, which lasted another 3 months.

Emotionally I was back where I started, astonished ay my own gullibility, and none the wiser for my journey. Then one day I was in the bath, thinking about all this, and I had my eureka moment. I just thought to myself, Deek, you are the round peg. Conventional relationships, marriage and all that, that is the square hole. Ergo, don't do it. I pictured myself wearing a tshirt with the words

UNSUITABLE FOR MARRIAGE


written on it...

and I burst into laughter, loud and long, amplified by the tiles and shiny bathroom surfaces. Just at that moment, the postman walked by the bathroom window, and my guffaws erupted out of a silence so profound I saw the shadow leap back in shock. Poor postman, my revelation made him jump out of his skin and possibly damaged his life expectancy. Either way, at that moment, I felt the burden of expectation lift from my shoulders. I was still somehow harbouring a mad idea of being in some perfect example of the institution of marriage, even after years of evidence to the contrary, and bless her, in her thoughtless way, Lou completely knocked it out of me. I took off the invisible old heavy overcoat that I had been wearing since I was young, put on my nice new tshirt, and I went forth from that day relieved and unpressured, and prepared to be myself and do things in my own funky way for as long as I live and love.

I may yet backslide and marry, of course, but I promise you it will not be conventional. You are hereby invited to throw rice and paper, pin money on the dress, tie cans to the car, and provide toasters, but not at my wedding. My wedding will take place at dawn in the mountains, far from here, and there will just be me, my blushing beautiful bride, the scent of rosemary, the bees, the crickets, and the goats.

I didn't tell you about the goats, did I?



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5 Comments:

At 1:11 PM, Blogger transience quoth...

oh my. this is getting better and better. you know what, cupid is probably weeping from all this ass-kicking you're giving him. you have the midas touch, deek. great writing, as always.

 
At 4:13 AM, Blogger Laurie quoth...

From one round peg to another, I especially like the idea of the goats.

 
At 6:41 PM, Blogger David Killingback quoth...

If and when the time does come, may I recommend the rolling Welsh hills around the town of Lampeter. Beautiful scenery, quiet, cheap and lots of suitable midnight skinny-dipping locations. Bliss.

 
At 5:32 PM, Blogger Indigobusiness quoth...

Nice tshirt, but the writing appears to be below nipple level, that's unacceptable.

 
At 12:50 AM, Blogger Kate Ford quoth...

Good lord --- I never thought of it like that. This solves everything. Now I fully - well mostly - understand.

 

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