Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Oh how I wish I still had the ability to string words together.....

I've been thinking so many things that my mind feels like it is on constant overload. Between all the thoughts that come with recent break-up, cramming my head full of new improved biology and reaching saturation on reading for my thesis....well...uh....there are many, many things floating around. Yet, all of the thoughts are so incomplete its hard to sit here and write....vaguely topic-less. But, I'll try. Maybe it'll glue a few together into completion....hahahahaha!

I find I'm really, really suspicious of happiness lately. Especially and mostly when I see couples. I know, I know....very typical of current romantic state, but its not the first time I've wondered such things, even at times when it was so apparent that I'm a flaming romantic failure. I look around and I feel like people are oozing pretend happy roles out of every pore. (If any of you are still out there...I realize this may be a bad place for this...considering that most of you seem pretty damn happy with your others....but well...)

I took Little A and her bestest buddy out to a pond we swim at a lot in the summer yesterday. Besides being a happy little swimming hole, its pretty highly frequented by couples. Hell, I've even been there with boyfriends past. A few people caught my eye, and as I pretended not to be a psycho stalker, I sat back and tried to get them.

The first couple was very young...maybe mid-20's at most. Very attractive to that eerie point where you say, " Well of course they are together...would either of them date someone that didn't look like that?" They seemed pretty new. And by that, I mean a little over-affectionate for a place where children are building sand castles two feet away. But it all seemed like pure infatuation. There didn't seem to be one ounce of connection between them. They talked, the cuddled, they kissed, but all of it with a bizarre sort of emptiness. They distracted themselves for a while by playing with a stray kid by the shore, both playing the "look how much I love children" game (him more than her), all the while snuggly-huggly. If you looked at them quickly (uh...like I'm sure I should've) I'm sure that they would have elicited an "Aww....look how happy and in love..." blahblahblah from anyone. But I just wondered, mostly about her since she seemed less interested in performing than him (less obvious with the affection...less involved with trying to seem maternal with the kid). Was she happy? Will she be happy if she ends up with this guy? Will the performance stop? What will she think then? Is this show the closest that anyone gets to romantic happiness?

A little later on, I was sitting on a rock wall, drying off, and watching the girls who refused to get out of the water until I threatened "no ice cream." A few feet away was an older couple. The woman was hunched over and the man was rubbing her shoulders. It was not a show. He was rubbing her shoulders because she needed him too, and no one else was there watching them. They didn't talk hardly at all, but the connection between then was insanely obvious, as if they clung to each other, as if they were parts of each other. She got up a little later and walked a little way away. She was sick. There was no doubt about it. She was so thin you could see every bone of her and she walked with the hesitancy of someone who knows that one fall might do them in. As she walked away, he looked out over the pond, over the yelling kids, and the glaring sunlight hitting the water, and I couldn't help but to feel like he was waiting, waiting in that horrible way you do when you know something horrible is coming. Maybe he was worried that she would fall. Maybe he was worried that this would be their last trip to the pond. Was he happy? Was it enough to have loved for his whole life to have to endure the loss that was coming? Was she happy? Knowing that she would be leaving him? Knowing how alone he'd be after she was gone?

I don't know. I just don't trust that slippery little happiness anymore. (Ok...I'm not all insanely depressed or anything....it's just a really slippery one...yuh know?)


Blogger Mignon said...

I've been in that Newly-In-Love place many times, and the infatuation during that time is so consuming. It makes you do crazy things and block out reality. I don't know if you could call it happiness at that point. It feels like a loss of control. Kinda like you can't call a drug-induced high happiness. Kinda like you can't call being tickled funny, even though it makes you laugh.

I guess a true measure of happiness is how happy you are with yourself - relationships are too complicated to make a person just happy/sad/sleepy/whatever.

So, did they get the ice cream?

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Brooke said...

I'd like to think that old man was happy. That part of your post made me cry!! i want to be that couple someday. A long long long time from now; but someday. If that's not a sign that happiness and true love is out there, then I don't know what is, ya know?

Great post, V...

7:23 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I hope the old man was happy, but probably was also sad, because it sounds like bad things were on their way.

Heh, I'm a colossal romantic failure myself. I've given up dating. I find that I'm happier and less anxious when I'm on my own. Plus I have terrible taste in men! Recipe for disaster...

12:23 AM  
Blogger SO said...


The part about the older couple and the sick woman made me burst into tears!!! It's not that time of the month, just home sick and I haven't even left home yet! lol.

I always sit back and try to figure out people like that too. I always assume that couples aren't really happy, I don't know why... I'm sure people look at us and think the same thing. But I think we are, most of the time.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

"Oh how I wish I still had the ability to string words together....." You're kidding right? I think that was the best post you've ever written. Beautiful girl. Beautiful and sad.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

What Tink said -- you started the post with that disclaimer, and it was lovely and beautiful. I could picture the people you were seeing. Amazing powers of observation you have, V -- and even more amazing powers of description.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Lawanda said...

You wanna know something? (I am telling you anyway, you have no choice... well I guess you could delete me, but really I am harmless, just a little mouthy... LOL)

I have found that the *feeling* we call happiness is fleeting at best. So, even when I am unhappy I aim to be satisfied with what I got, while I got it.

Also, I have found that when I am feeling unhappy, it has very little to do with what I have or do not have. Mostly with how I think the world is viewing me at the time.

So perspective help a little, which is why I firmly believe in good friends and good therapists. :)

1:46 PM  
Blogger desiree said...

The young couple sounded too young to even get commitment. The old couple sounded like they had all the trappings of real commitment, the good and the bad (pain comes with it.)

You have a lovely site. Good writing. I shall have to come and visit again.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

I also thought that was not only lovely but honest. Your observations were so vivid, I SAW what you described. Wonderful post.

8:17 PM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

I love people watching!

3:21 PM  

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