Some would argue that I have never really had a relationship, and to those people, I would say… touche. When I think back on my relationships, there’s always one common thread: I’m not particularly sure that any of them were actual relationships. Sometimes, I even get confused, thinking that at one point or another, I’ve actually dated someone, but I suppose that never really happened. I blame it on Brittany Richardson. She kissed me on the playground in her Barney jumper, then disappeared down the tunnel slide like a thief in the night. I’ll never forgive her for that because I’m fairly confident that Brittany’s kiss and run technique, even if it was just a cheek kiss, was ultimately the downward spiral that would eventually lead to detachment problems, commitment issues, and an overall feeling of insecurity. Damn you, Brittany. Damn you and the playground you played on.
I think the hard truth hit me today when I was listening to Bon Iver, Caucasian people’s current golden boy (though I foresee Gotye coming in at a close second). I was sitting at the kitchen counter, cutting up lettuce for a salad, among other white people things, when I really listened to the first line “Come on skinny love, just last a year,” and I couldn’t help but think to myself… oh Bon Iver, you smug bastard. In the face of everyone I know getting married, engaged, or just having a lot of premarital sex, you sit here whining in your stereotypical white person folksy voice asking for your love to last a year. I’d give my left leg if my love would last like… two days. And I guess, in fairness, that was probably wrong of me to think. In reality, my “relationships” have been more like extended affairs.
I think back to the days that Lacy was my girlfriend back in 7th grade, the good times. We lasted a grand total of seven days, and after the fact, I really appreciated going over to her house and seeing her dogs. I think we even held hands once. I’ve always been told that I’m trying too hard. “Justin, a relationship will come when you’re least expecting it.” or my favorite “Just when you stop looking; there it is.” I don’t understand. What is this not looking business? I’ve always been told to look; you’re supposed to pay attention to everything. That’s how people get hit by cars: by not paying attention. So, I trudged on through, ignoring and waiting because that’s what you’re supposed to do. In the mean time, I had numerous educators tell me along the way that I was going to make a great husband. Not only is that a really big blow to a fourteen year old, but it also seems kind of inappropriate for a teacher to be telling you things like that.
|I was Linda Davis. She’s that cool girl chillin’ in the background.|
So when college came, I was ready. I hadn’t been trying for some time now. Eventually, the relationships starting pouring in. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was someone’s somebody a good deal of the time. However, it never seemed to be the kind of relationships that other people were talking about. We weren’t Facebook Official (or FBO, as it will here on be referred to). We didn’t go out on dates, nor did anyone ever see us in public together that often. Actually, it kind of felt dirty, which might have been the appeal. Sure, there were some pretty fun movie nights and whatnot, but once the movie was over, there would be no talk of the “relationship” outside of the dorm room. My junior year, I found myself in quite the Reba/Linda Davis love triangle, as my significant other promised that they would end their current relationship soon. There were problems, and like many other loveless relationships, there was definitely no chance that it would work. Shockingly enough, I was just the sidebar to a rocky couple months, and it wasn’t long before I found myself in another secret arrangement lacking FBO status or any other normal conventions of dating.
After some contemplation, I’m pretty sure the entire debacle of failed relationship after failed relationship probably dials back to me. The final puzzle piece is the break up Valentine’s Day dinner I made this past year for a failing relationship that was never actually declared a relationship. As I was finishing up the stuffed mushrooms (yeah, stuffed mushrooms. I can cook.), I thought to myself Justin, what are you doing? This relat… thing is obviously not working anymore, and you could totally be eating both of these chicken breasts by yourself right now. Not only are you being pathetic; you’re being wasteful and missing a prime opportunity to eat some damn fine chicken. Sometimes, the voice in my head takes on the dialect of a stereotypical proud black woman. I don’t understand it either. At the end of the day, it’s no one’s fault but my own that I enter into these rendezvous that have no actual resemblance to an actual relationship. It’s not skinny love’s fault. It’s mine.
In essence, maybe there’s not really any connection to Bon Iver at all. I’ve been trying to lead a Bon Iver kind of lifestyle when in actuality, my life resembles more of a Ke$ha song (and don’t you judge that use of “$” because that’s stylistically how she likes to be addressed). But there is an issue trying to mesh the two together because you just can’t mix the emotional Caucasian-ness of Bon Iver with the trashy Caucasian-ness of Ke$ha. It’s just not possible. So, in my emotional mind, there has to be some kind of break. Surely there’s a situation that can actually last six months or more, while also resembling at least a couple maxims of the traditional relationship, so that you don’t listen to “Somebody That I Used to Know” on repeat thirty-four times. (I didn’t do that, did I?) Gotye doesn’t deserve that, and neither does any other self-respecting, somewhat hipster, white person.