The Key to a Healthy Relationship is More Relationships – 1 of 2

Back in December I had turned down a couple of tours for the first quarter of this year.  One of them because the band’s manager is the most hated man I have ever met and I will absolutely never be associated with him ever again.  The second one because they weren’t offering enough money and it was for a support band on a five band tour package… and I’m a snob.  I very much prefer working for the headlining band, or co-headlining band because it’s a lot less of a headache.  I knew that by turning down these gigs, it would mean that I would be home for a while and the thought of that usually makes my vagina shrivel.  I was expecting the Post Tour Blues to kick my ass immediately.  I was not in a great place because I had just left the Viking for a second time; a true modern romantic tragedy that I may tell someday.  And I also was expecting to come home and be with a certain boy, but life doesn’t give a fuck about your plans, so that didn’t end up working out.  I thought I would spiral into a major depression and then jump at the first opportunity to runaway and onto a bus with a rock band and drown in immediate gratification, new faces to make me forget the old ones, and lots of whiskey.

What actually happened though, was that I was okay.  I’ve been home for a while and surprisingly, I’m good.  My demons must be tired from years of antagonizing because they are laying dormant right now.  My sister and I signed up at a boxing gym, and I think that helped a lot.  We decided that we wanted to be badass boxers, so I dived into that.  Don’t piss me off because I can hit you with a one, two and it will hurt.  Definitely don’t piss my sister off because she is diligently looking for any reason to hit someone with a solid one, two, hook.  In that spot of one’s soul that we keep hidden, I have love and empathy and Raven has rage and violence.  I’m waiting for the phone call from her in the middle of the night telling me that she killed someone with her barehands and needs help cleaning up.  I’m kidding.  But she seriously can’t wait to knock a mother fucker out.

Another reason why I think I’m okay, is that a lot of my human desires are being met, through a kind of routine that I developed.  I never thought that I would use the word routine without rolling my eyes and throwing up in my mouth a little bit, but look at me now!  All grown up!  Well, I can’t get too carried away.  I still get very excited when I come in contact with a bouncy ball, and I still play in the rain and giggle when I see a penis drawing.  My routines are not lame, which is what is saving me.

A long time ago I watched a Ted Talk by Esther Perel about the secret to desire in a long-term relationship.  Firstly, if you don’t watch Ted Talk’s, you’re being dumb.  That talk is one that has always stuck with me and I recommend it to everyone, even if you’re not in a relationship.  Clearly, most of my life I have not been, but I still took a lot from this lecture.  Her thesis statement is that around the globe, where romance enters, there seems to be a crisis of desire.  I will paraphrase.  In modern day relationships, we except our partner to provide all of our needs and wants for us.  Back when marriage was an economic institution, what was expected was children, social statures and companionship.  Now, we expect all that from our partner, but ALSO for him or her to be our “best friend, trusted confidant and passionate lover and we live twice as long.”  When you think about it like that, it’s really ridiculous.

She goes on to say that as humans, we seek security, dependability, and permanence but we ALSO seek adventure, risk and spontaneity.  For some retarded reason, we have grown to expect ONE person to provide all of that for us, when until modern society, it was an entire village which provided those needs for one another.  This lecture of course led to some introspection, and I started becoming aware of all of our “roles.”  No matter what type of relationship you have with someone, you play a role in their lives that in some way meets at least one of the human desires.  For example, Fat Face for a while satisfied my adventurous, spontaneous side, but didn’t meet my innate desire for security and dependability.  I had to get that from someone else.  This confirms for me my theory that it is very healthy and 100% necessary to maintain friendships with the opposite sex (or sex of your choice) when in a relationship.  It’s plain dumb to think that one person can satisfy all of your desires when taking into consideration the grand spectrum of desires.  So, after watching the Esther Perel talk again, I recognized that all of the people currently in my life, play a different role so that my desires are met, which leads to health and happiness.  Like she said in the lecture, a small village once provided all of these things, so this is my small village.  The friends and family and lovers who meet my needs and are helping making this weird life less painful and sometimes down right beautiful.

I’ll start with Rach.  Rachel is my age, but married with three children and doesn’t drink at all.  Basically, we could not have more polarizing lives unless she was a Sudanese woman married with three children and malaria.  However, her and her whole family meets my kind of family, “wholesome” desires.  Each time I leave them, I feel so uplifted and just- – I don’t know… wholesome!  I have become this weird extra appendage to her family.  Think of when people have an extra finger or toe… that’s me.  I’m the strange extra flab of questionable skin to the Holm family.

Rachel thinks that my life is so interesting, but I think her life is so interesting.  She has a cat named Jeff for crying out loud.  I think that is hysterical.  And she has an adorable little four year old girl named Matt.  Okay… her name is Mattie, but I call her Matt because I’m a twat and just find it funny.  When all of us go out to eat or do something, her and her husband fight over which one is going to be on “Mattie duty.”  They’re serious about it, but I just giggle at the side and play soccer with the son using a wadded up piece of paper.  Once we are settled, Rach, me and her husband attempt to use code words and gestures to discuss adult matters such as, what it means that a guy I was dating couldn’t get it up… and how much they do or do not make-out as a form of foreplay.  We manage to have full blown conversations about this while Matt is singing “up  town funk you up” to herself, the boy is coloring and the oldest girl is playing with my bracelets.

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Me and the fam.

Rachel and I have known each other since we were six years old, and we were very close from then, and all the way through high school.  After high school we drifted apart for a while and I think during those years, our differences kept us apart.  Now, I think it is our differences that seemed to have brought us back together.  When you’re someone like me, who is constantly going through an existential crisis and sometimes can’t remember if I may or may not have made-out with two different boys in the same night, it’s good to have people like Rachel around to hear about how they need to bake 300 cookies in one day (for reasons I still don’t understand) and how her kids all play Bloody Mary together in the bathroom.  Seeing Rach and her family has become routine, and the role that they play in my life is getting doses of wholesomeness and innocence that I don’t get regularly from anyone else.  Another integral role that Rachy plays in my life is that she encourages me when I think it’s a good idea to buy a floppy hat and sparkly fake glasses.

On this same vein, there is Cody.  I never thought that I would be watching movies in my living room on a shitty television and ordering shitty pizza with Cody again.  Just like Rachel, I thought that our best days were behind us.  We have been extremely close since age 14, but after a few years of not living in the same area (during our mid twenties) and having very different lives, I figured that we would just continue growing apart until we both realized that the only reason why we were pretending to be friends still was out of some morbid obligation we thought we owed to our former selves.  Close to a year ago though, something changed (including proximity) and I remember announcing to my sister, “Cody is cool again!!!”

Him and I have been hanging out fairly regularly since and it has been my favorite thing.  We have nacho night about once a week which simply includes making nachos, drinking PBR and watching stupid youtube videos.  We also play pool occasionally though we never seem to get better, we watch movies, we talk about writing movies, he tells me about albino snakes and I tell him about books I’m reading and we laugh over the things that we used to get pissed at each other about when we were young and in love.

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Cody and I.

Cody satisfies my desire to talk, and also to be 100% comfortable with someone else.  We talk about all of it.  It’s great to have someone who you can discuss the psychological effects of the technological boom with, but also turn around and laugh about how weird nipples are and if we would rather fuck Fiona Apple or Alanis Morrisette.  Laughter is the most integral to life, so include as much people as you can who make you laugh.  It’s also important to have someone who you can be 100% real around.  Maybe a lot of people get that from their significant other, but that has never been me.  Right now, I’m getting that from Cody and my sister and realizing how important it is to have that in your life.  We all need at least one person who we can be completely unimpressive around and don’t give a fuck if we have sweaty armpits or if we just feel like eating a lot of Taco Bell and not being judged.  What I’ve learned the most through this resurrection friendship with Cody is that sometimes, you can go home again.  That’s part of his role, he provides me with a sense of home and comfort and it helps keep me grounded.

My sister, Raven.  I’m living at home again, and that means spending more time with Flava’ Rave, as Cody calls her.  She is just so funny because she is a paradigm for her generation.  My morning routine seems to be, make coffee, then talk and laugh with Raven for about an hour and a half before we contemplate what we are doing with our day.  Considering how far apart we are in age, Raven and I are very close.  She’s nine years my junior, but I can still talk to her about A LOT.  She’s a total B though too, and if she is getting slightly annoyed with me, she’ll just put her hand up and say, “bye.”  It makes me laugh every time.  She actually just left the room and we both were cracking up because she is being so NOT chill about a current crush she has.  We honestly just spent 15 minutes deciding on the exact words and punctuation to use in a two sentence text to her crush.  In this role, I think it’s more about what role I am playing.  I’m her big sister and providing that role for her, provides me with a small sense of purpose which we all need.  I am there for her in every sense of that “you’re my blood” type of way.  Essentially, she can do no wrong and no matter what, I got her back.  That unconditional love should absolutely be in everyone’s routine.

To be continued…  Part 2

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Raven and I.

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2 thoughts on “The Key to a Healthy Relationship is More Relationships – 1 of 2

  1. […] “2 of 2.”  So, to get the most out of this topic, which I think is important, please click here for the first part of this write-up so that you fully understand why the hell I’m discussing […]

  2. Really nice and funny as hell. The pic with Rach’s fam is awesome!

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