Monday 23 December 2013

The best relationship guidance of all.

Garth from Wayne's World, more
useful than Dr Phil or Joyce Brothers.
It was while I was watching Wayne's World last week that I was reminded of some great relationship advice from Wayne's best friend Garth, 'relationships are not for the timid'.
Many are down on Wayne's World due to its perceived image as a film by bogans for bogans, but this is a completely misguided view.
Kierkegaard is mentioned in the film with a piece of his philosophy to be going on with, and there are many other gems to add to the elevation of this film to masterpiece status.
All of my relationships have been the very epitomy of dysfunction, and I think it is because I made the classic error of..., actually the errors I made are two numerous to write down here,so I'll stick to the topic of Garth's utterance.
It is generally considered that people go into relationships because they don't want to be lonely.
However, many find that they have never been as lonely as they are once they are in a relationship.
Often it is the partner who forms the major source of loneliness, once communication breaks down, then both partners tend to inhabit a house of silence in which both are intensely lonely.
The silence only relieved by increasingly frequent shouting.
Weddings, Parties, Anything probably put this best in their song, Step in, Step out, when they wrote: "we can't find the time for talking, seems we find the time to shout."
And just before I get back to the main point, another point made in, of all places, South Park, is that you have to be comfortable single, before you can start a relationship and expect it to be functional.
When I first read this in a self-help book by Stephanie Dowrick I was downcast, as usual I was terminally depressed at the time, and I just could not conceive a day when I would feel anything other than suicidal, so to read that I would never have a girlfriend until I was happy, made me nearly give up and end it there.
But now I can see the point, if you go into a relationship because you are lonely and unhappy, and expect the relationship to provide you with happiness, then you are putting an inordinate amount of pressure on the other person, making them the provider of your happiness.
The devil's choice, Chris or Saddam?
This is bound to fail, as the other person in the relationship has needs of their own, possibly the same needs for you to make them happy, and so you end up with the very definition of a dysfunctional relationship.
So what of the Devil in South Park?
He has been having a hopelessly one-sided relationship, based largely on hot sex with Saddam Hussein.
After some years he realises that Saddam is treating him like a doormat, and ends the relationship.
The devil then, with the terrifying abyss of loneliness opening beneath his feet, starts a relationship with Chris, who is the opposite of Saddam.
Stable, trustworthy, honest, but unfortunately sex with Chris bores the crap out of him.
So then he has to decide which man he wants.
He walks the slopes of Hell for days unable to make up his mind, until he eventually swallows his pride and confides in God.
God, in a first in history, hands out some good advice, "Have you ever considered being with neither of them, and spending some time with yourself?"
The devil thankfully hears and realises that time alone is what he needs.
And all this from South Park highlights Garth's original point, which is that the devil is timid and scared.
he is too scared to be alone, and so continues with relationships that are dysfunctional, as that is less scary than being alone.
And the same applies to all of us, and depicts the hopelessly paradoxical nature of human relationships, you have to be brave to start a relationship, and you have to be even braver to be on your own.
Then with your confidence growing as you cope with life alone and without substance abuse, you begin to project desirability, and suddenly you begin to attract people to you.
So what's frightening about being in a relationship, why is it not for the timid?
I feel the main reason is that you have to be vulnerable.
In a relationship there is nowhere to hide.
Steve Martin in LA Story: "None of us
recognise the moment love starts,
but we all know when it ends."
And men don't like this at all, maybe women are the same, but I feel that men particularly, and particularly here in Australia with our macho football playing culture, that men just point-blank refuse to be vulnerable.
As soon as you make this unconscious, or conscious, decision to never be vulnerable, communication ceases and the relationship withers and dies.
I might add, lying is the opposite of communication, as Steve Martin discovers in La Story.
We find lying to our partner seductively easy, and it is the death knell of love.
I had this lack of functional communication demonstrated to me most admirably while watching a rugby match in my home town of Bathurst.
I was sitting in the stands and next to me was a group of young women whose boyfriends and husbands were on the field playing.
One of these men was playing halfback for the Bathurst team, and as part of his position he kept up a non-stop series of chattering instructions to the forward pack.
In the stands his girlfriend said to her friends, "You know, he never talks to me at home".
This was said by her in a amused way, but I wanted to turn to her and say, 'get the fuck out of that relationship'.
If your boyfriend doesn't communicate with you, then he is most definitely in the 'I refuse to be vulnerable' camp.
And if he is camping there, your relationship will never flower.
So then I was reminded of even better relationship advice, even better than South Park and Wayne's World, elephants.
The famous 'herd of elephants' is all female.
Great granny leads her female relatives.
Great granny leads the way, grannies, mothers, aunts, daughters  and nieces, all fall in step and they go about the savannah on their business.
The only males in the heard are very young babies and as soon as they reach about one year of age, they leave the embrace of the herd and go out on their own.
The males spend most of their time alone and only show when it's time for sex.
Then a lot of two-tonne bonking goes on, and once the female is pregnant, she kicks the male to the kerb and spends the term of her pregancy with her female relatives.
So both sexes are happy, the males don't have to go to xmas parties with friends of the wife from work, and the females don't have the males messing up the waterhole straight after she has cleaned it.
Everybody wins.
So there you have it, relationship advice from two great shows, and best of all, from the smartest of them all, the elephant.


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