Wednesday, 22 July 2009

If only it was as simple as "tick tock"...

My boyfriend and I are young and hip. We’re even having a party with a smoke machine this weekend, which I think pretty much proves the point without need for further explanation.

However, there has been a conversational shift of late. From the drunken debates on whether
Morrissey is a twat or not (not, in case you’re interested) and whether Jordan’s sex tape is ultimate proof that she is dead inside or simply badly shot (dead inside), which I believe have kept the relationship fresh and intellectually challenging, we have taken to discussing kitten shit. All the time.

This is not completely random. We have recently acquired a pair of kittens. But that fact does not detract from the astonishing horror of the incident last night.

Picture the scene: I lay seductively on the bed (admittedly underneath 15-tog duvet so to be fair seductive pose was not as noticeable as it could have been - but it was cold) and he closed the bedroom door. He sat on the bed, he leaned towards me, he kissed my cheek, and then he sat up slowly, as if wanting to take in the woman before him before taking advantage of aforementioned seductive pose. Then he said “Monty just did a really good poo – in the litter tray all by himself.” Queue ten minute compare and contrast discussion on Thomas’ and Monty’s different potty training levels.

My sister asked me whether our acquisition of two cats was a pre-cursor to parenting, or whether I was just settling in for the inevitable crazy-cat-lady section of my life following the inescapable realisation that happy endings are not for the modern woman. Is ok for her to be cynical, she is a single mother.

This got me thinking. Two thoughts in particular have stuck in my mind:

1. Have my boyfriend and I inadvertently become parents and does this mean we will only now talk about the babies kittens to each other and to an ever-decreasing list of friends?
2. Is parenting simply a way to fill a conversational void and avoid sex?

Previously I thought that my neuroses on the issue of parenting were focused; contained neatly into the box marked “tick-tock”. The issue has just become a whole lot more complicated.

You see, if I overcome the “tick-tock” fear (i.e. have children) will I have to live with the awful realisation that our giving in to nature was simply a way to pass the long silent evenings and to save the embarrassment that comes from the four most dreaded words in the bedroom: “I have a headache.”?

Logical conclusion: Counselling (just me).

Sunday, 12 July 2009

And then I sicked on the carpet…

Friday night, family dinner (his not mine). Wine, wine, wine, wine, wine, wine, wine.

A jolly time was had by all. Nobody noticed that I stood on the dog’s tail. And I’m pretty sure his dad took my lecture on parenting exactly as it was intended: as warm encouragement set nicely off by youthful wisdom. I’m certain that only the most paranoid of hosts would have interpreted my helpful points (illustrated with drawings on the nearest napkins and accentuated with “OK, with me so far?”s) as patronising.

Later, I think the calm discussion I instigated on religion and its (lack of) merits went down well. I would hate them to think of me as meek or unable to step up to an intellectual challenge. Although in stepping up literally to make my point from a greater height and with greater volume I did highlight the metaphor of “stepping up” by illustrating that while mentally I was at the finish line, physically I had lost control of my vocal chords and legs.

After my boyfriend helped me up and checked the cat was still breathing, I think I managed to complete my point succinctly and powerfully. I had, it seemed, silenced their arguments with my powerful skills of debate. In a friendly, son’s girlfriend, guest in their house, sort of way. In fact, so speechless were they that I don’t recall much more being said for the rest of the evening, which consisted of five minutes while my boyfriend said a few hushed words to his parents (most likely soothing words about not worrying about losing the debate or something, as we’re all friends here).

And then I sicked on the carpet.

Stage of grief: Denial.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The first night we didn't...

A few days ago, almost exactly one week into living together, we had woken up and not had sex. Then we had stayed in together and not had sex. But, worst of all, we went to bed and Didn’t Have Sex.

It wasn’t because we were too drunk or because we had been having sex all day. It was because we were a couple who go to bed and Don’t Have Sex.

We lay there, in what
Mil Millington calls the Angry X. Bottoms not touching. Our bodies were still but my mind was racing.

Clearly our living together has prematurely aged the relationship, I concluded. I read the columns and so know for a fact that all young happy loving couples have sex fourteen times a day utilising most of the kitchen utensils in the process.

So, naturally, I was concerned.

Not having sex can be caused by illness, but ill we were not. The other options don’t bear thinking about so I decided to spend a large portion of the night thinking about them in what can only be described as Grave Detail.

Ultimately I came up with five possible explanations:

1. He doesn’t fancy me anymore. I will have to take up yoga, sort out my roots and wear Uncomfortable Knickers with no bum, and accessorise with false eye-lashes and a pout.

2. He is bored of our sex life. My enthusiasm for lying down and enjoying it is no longer enough to qualify as enthusiasm at all. I will have to become a porn star and do the reverse cowgirl at least once a week. I’ll probably have to have a threesome with a hooker.

3. The novelty that is me has worn off. Once seen as a trophy in the form of a toned, highly-sexed nymph, I am now a low runner-up to images of Scarlett Johansen while he masturbates in the shower.

4. He is turned off by our domestic bliss. Once happy in the belief that he’d found his match he has now discovered that the woman who washes his underpants and warms up leftovers for him is not the same woman who winked at him and suggested a quickie behind the church.

5. The relationship is doomed and this is the first sign of incompatibility. Soon we will stop holding hands in public and before we know it we’ll be arguing over cushion covers and finally will realise that it is over and I’ll be back to square one, cat hunting.

Not a good list of possibilities, you might have noticed. By the time morning arrived you can imagine my logical train of thought. It was vital that we had sex immediately. Before the hooker started causing trouble with her cushion covers.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

It all started when he moved in...

I'm a perfectly normal woman. I have a normal job and a normal flat. I'm reasonably intelligent and I have the means and the attitude to be a Modern Independent Woman. I was educated at Oxford and I've read The Second Sex. In fact, I've read a lot of the classics. I can discuss existentialism with the best of them. I've been to a buddhist retreat and I'm brilliant at being zen. I can let things go and I know that there isn't any point worrying too much about most things.

However, I have recently discovered that rather than my late twenties bringing on a blanket of calm and a sea of self-acceptance, they are taking my hand and skipping me merrily along to utter madness.

It all started when he moved in.

Suddenly I have found that from a throw-away comment I can create a 3,000-word essay on why the relationship was doomed from the beginning and why we never should have moved in together.

From a text missing vital "x"s I can conclude that I will die alone, surrounded by cats.

From a morning without a cuddle but instead a grizzly "fuck, I fucking hate work, life is shit" (actually a pefectly reasonable statement considering where he works) I will realise that the romance has gone forever and promptly book us into relationship therapy.

Nobody knows this. It is my dark, dirty secret. They think I'm a Modern Independent Woman. They listen to my feminist arguments and they praise me for my career progression. I give them advice on their relationships. I tell them not to worry, people have off days and that no relationship is hollywood-perfect all the time. Except secretly I think mine should be. I should be the exception. I am not and as a result beneath the veneer of my Perfectly Normal Woman facade lies a tangled mess of neuroses.

So I find myself here, therapising the hell out of myself with this blog. If the panic and the terror lie here, I reason, then in my head they cannot.