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Where's the Mojitos? I have the guac!

Oryoki Bowl

Oryoki Bowl
Birthday
February 03
Bio
Quaker buddhist, kinda quirky, loves cooking and knitting and movies. Dr Who fan, Scandinavian-aquarian and cat lover. Would love to be paid to travel around the world and write about local healing cultures. While eating and drinking and dancing. One day I will have a health cruise in the fjords.

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OCTOBER 9, 2012 3:09PM

Are you living life as if it was a romantic comedy?

Rate: 21 Flag

If my teenage years had a soundtrack, it would resemble Pretty in Pink meets the Smiths, with some Depeche Mode and B52s thrown in.  Because, you know, we all have a soundtrack to our formative years.  And they lasted from vinyl and radio to CD and MP3 and satellite.  If I had Pandora, it would be that channel.

Desperation, in its nascient form.  Sexuality defined by John Hughes social angst and John Cusack optimism.  Where was my Eric Stoltz?  I am older, wiser now, and I still want to know, where is he? 

Lately, I have been in the odd place of being the friend in the solid relationship with friends who are dating or other.  This is a turn around, and then I have to hope that I am not becoming the "married friend" in the movie who has become oblivious due to suburbopia.  Thankfully, I will never have to consider purchasing a minivan.  The "kids" are on their second half of the teenage years.  They have their soundtrack, and it's not as nice as mine.   I am thrilled that it is not I who has to navigate the murky water of dating after 40, after divorce, after kids, after menopause, after any of that.  

I realized today that I no longer have that need to act out the insane gestures and pursue the signs of the universe that are planted throughout the average romantic comedy.  We know a good story must have a hero, a journey, a struggle.  We want our love life to be a good story, no?  We generate conflict when we don't need it, to see if the spark lights up our kundalini.  Half the time we just burn down the house.  We make up stories about the hows and whys something has to be a certain way, but don't recognize it is based on how we were in the past- with someone else- instead of how we are willing to be in the future.  If there was a Lloyd Dobler on my lawn (and I do have a balcony with a lawn), I'd no longer swoon for that lovesick shit.   

Is there such as a thing as good romantic reality?  Need it be all drama and slapstick?   I think of the lovers of the past, the ones who would still make my hair stand on end if I was to see them again, and I realize that most of that is pure fear of the roller coaster ride.  I think of the relationships that had all sorts of drama for no good reason, other than apparent boredom and need for control.  My life doesn't have the drama anymore, and the romantic gestures still exist on more life size scales.  I am not exactly Molly Ringwald, but I am not exactly not her either.  I just try not to mope around and wonder what it all means anymore.  

I realize that trying to date with kids and a divorce and custody in the mix are just a circus.  There is almost no way to make it work well for everyone.   Not impossible, but it apparently takes years of practice and utter failure to realize that perfection is not possible.  I have a lot of sympathy for my friends going through this, and I understand why my singaladies would rather stay in than deal with it.   Now I have two men friends who must navigate the waters of life, love and dating and they are almost as disillusioned as the women.  As they are fathers, they have a lot more to care about than they did as teenagers.   I do my best to be supportive, honest, and encouraging.  And wonder how humanity has made it through all this when it's clear that there are more than anyone's fair share of crazy people out on the streets looking for looooooooove.    

Recently, I had to tell a friend to please stop trying to date.  I understand she is lonely and has desires, but she really has nothing to give a relationship at the moment.  Her divorce isn't final, and although long separated, it consumes hours and hours of her time each week, between custody and lawyers and courts.  Her child is young, and demands 110% of her attention.  She has a lot of responsibilities that she is struggling to maintain.  If you can only give a very limited amount of your care and focus to another person, how can you expect to get a good loving relationship from it?  If it is reduced to a few scheduled hours of entertainment and sex, it can't go much beyond that.  Love takes time, after all, and we have so little of it anymore.  Most of us are unwilling to throw our jobs, our families, our friends, our health to the wind to chase down the sparkle of someone's eye.  Anymore, that is.  We choose sleep over sex, since we know that the likelihood of good sex appearing is less than 50% anymore, and we would still need the sleep.  

Sigh.  I realized today that we are well past the romantic comedy part of our relationship, and instead of panic I felt a sense of relief.   We won't need friendly go betweens, we won't need meetcute at the cafe/bookstore/art show.  Going to these places as a couple is totally different than as a single.  The possibility of meeting someone no longer creates the framework, it is no longer the subtext of being somewhere.  I tried to imagine what it would be like if I was on the market, today, and the constant demand to be cute, funny, interesting, well groomed, entertaining and accommodating  would probably keep me on the monastic path.  And writing a the romantic comedy of meeting in a monastery after giving up on dating, somewhere, in the back of my mind.  A little OMD,  with lots of flute and sitar, this time.  

 

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You seem to have incorporated those Hughes films into your being.
I didn’t , cuz I was a pathologically shy nerd brainiac social misfit. But I enjoyed them nonetheless.
“ We know a good story must have a hero, a journey, a struggle. We want our love life to be a good story, no? We generate conflict when we don't need it, to see if the spark lights up our kundalini. Half the time we just burn down the house.”
Uh yeah I saw these films as warnings of what I did NOT want.
I was raised in an hellaciously mature kind of conflict. Two alcoholics who were the loves of each others’ lives destroying each other. No thank you! I wanted a sweet loving gal.

When I reached maturity, if I truly did, and the jury is out on that, I realized that the sweeties were boring and the crazy gals were kinda into me. Still are. And it is mutual. I love the idea of this as a goddamn romantic comedy: two tortured souls realizing they can perhaps , if they realize the absurdity & common wisdom against it, heal each other.
~
As you say: “ We make up stories about the hows and whys something has to be a certain way, but don't recognize it is based on how we were in the past”…but there is no such damn thing as the past, you know that as a Quaker Buddhist.

It comes down to what we feel the nature of human nature is. A lot of people snark and say , “oh never try to FIX someone.” But what if that person is in need of fixing, admittedly? And so are you? Cannot a romantic comedy of utterly absurdist proportions be made of this?
~


“ pure fear of the roller coaster ride…”



Good point here: I mean , you gotta get your own shit together, somewhat: “the possibility of meeting someone no longer creates the framework, it is no longer the subtext of being somewhere. “
~
I am in the monastery now. I like it. Still I get out a bit.
The problem with the boy-gets-girl ending of rom-coms is that it's really only the beginning. The scripts never deal with the part about juggling career and parenthood, paying a mortgage while saving for college tuition, all while trying to find some acceptable level of personal fulfillment. Probably not too much comedy in that.
If T. were to tell me our relationship is a romantic comedy I'd fall over; absurdist comedy is more like it.

great to see you here, Ori

r.
To answer your Title - Yes! ha ha The 2nd time around - "Dating" doesn't resemble anything I ever did before. I'm a brand new woman & going for it with gusto! Enjoyable Read! R
i like pieces like this better when the focus is on one's self. I can trust them better than "advice" or some survey even if it is written in the first person.
" If it is reduced to a few scheduled hours of entertainment and sex, "

you kind of skipped over the key to happiness, there. maybe need a cat and a coffee-klatch, as well.
Al- coffee and cats are the key to happiness, I have both every day. Couldn't live without them.
Maybe spending a few years getting used to going places and not meeting people takes the edge off? I am at a point now where I would like to meet someone but after all these years it's easy to go places without that expectation. But the fingers are crossed...
I'm living life like it was one dark comedy directed by the Coen Brothers, screen written by Kafka and the original National Lampoon editorial staff, and Salvador Dali as the set desinger. Produced by Tim Burton.
There is nothing more romantic than a warm, loving, cozy marriage with a true partner and best friend. You're as lucky as they come. It may not all be luck because you both work at it to keep it good, too.
Trudge- plenty of women would find that intriguing, if not down right kinky. But, that may not be quite 'romantic'...
[r] a good read! lots of sense. But one of my favorite romantic comedy tv shows on pbs and has been for a good long time is As Time Goes By with Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer! Too bad US tv doesn't groove on romance between older people I say.

But as for the roller coaster rides, God, much more tempting to pass, sigh, at this stage. Sometimes, though, we miss out on positive stress to avoid any stress.

best, libby
I live in a harmony but ordinary life. ~
I live in a harmony but ordinary life. ~
Well, I'm thankful each day that I got the girl. Doesn't solve all the problems , as Cranky points out. But they're a helluva lot easier to face. My heart goes out to all the poor souls still looking.
No, the accompaniment for my youth was the incidental background music for Patrick McGoohan's paranoid series The Prisoner with occasional touches of comedy music by Spike Jones and Allan Sherman to ease the gloom. My teenage years were a walk through a lightly-seeded field of land mines, preparation for the radioactive pathways of adulthood.

Life may be a sitcom for romantics, but it's a slasher movie for anyone with Brain One - enough brain to realize that we're the victims, not the slasher.
Don't underestimate the power of good rebound sex. Sometimes all you need is a roll in the hay. I do understand how nice it is to be in a couple situation when it works but when it isn't working that is when the comedy and the drama begin. If everyone was settled it might get a little boring.
@zanelle--

And don't underestimate the power of investing in a good vibrator! No muss, no fuss, no abortions needed, no messy disentanglements later on.

Sometimes that's all you need to "come" by... ;-)
Hoping a little romance -- as you would like to have it -- will come your way somehow or other.
Nothing wrong with a little sitar. Very cute piece. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I am where you are now. I find myself to be very happy. My husband is the love of my life really. Love does take a while, but for us it worked out. And I am glad it worked out because honestly I would have never gotten over losing him. KR
I am where you are now. I find myself to be very happy. My husband is the love of my life really. Love does take a while, but for us it worked out. And I am glad it worked out because honestly I would have never gotten over losing him. KR
I can definitely appreciate your soundtrack. Lots of good stuff on that list.

My version of starting over was being 30, newly divorced, and sometimes seeing guys who were also recently divorced and had young kids. Nothing simple about that.

"...it apparently takes years of practice and utter failure to realize that perfection is not possible. " I think this is one of the best lessons we can learn.

I like the romantic comedy style much better than the current screw-up/gross-out style. It offers a certainly delicious satisfaction without all the painful cringe-worthy "could anyone be that stupid" moments. If Lloyd Dobler showed up on my lawn, I think I could get into that. ;)
This was a hilarious read. I often wondered what the soundtrack to my life would be, but was never able to come up with an answer because I have absolutely no clue. Also, I can’t tell if my life is a comedy, or a tragedy (similar concept to what happens in the movie “Stranger than Fiction”).
Living life as a movie is typical of things I find deplorable in women. Life is not a comedy or drama. Life is life. My father died when I was fourteen. What Molly Ringwald film would include that. The girl a block down died of leukemia at fifteen. Sound tracks. Part of the trouble is that women seem to think there is something inherently special about them when there isn't. Even on their deathbed, they seem to believe that they belong to some larger organism which they don't. A lot of this is intrinsic in women, like math failure. I would suggest you grow up and set a good example for your children.
Gee, David Price sounds like a healthy alternative.

Thanks Oryoki. Loved this.
Actually, David Price, I was an A plus student in all my math classes, and A in my science classes, including physics and calculus and organic chemistry. My patients thank me every day for my compassion for their spirit while I explain the details of their medicine biochemistry and what impact it has on them in real terms, you know, like life and death. Because other than your father dying, my father died when I was young, and because of hope from movies and real connections to real people by understanding what motivates them, I am not also an asshole. But, I digress. Music makes people connect to their emotions, and romance is something men and women crave until they die. At 15, like the girl with leukemia, who probably wished for her true love to find her before she passed, and the old ladies who fondly remember their first love before they pass out in the twilight of hospice care. All of us are special, every single one of us, even if only to ourselves. Your failure to understand the intrinsics of love and the desire for passion is sad. The mantra that women are stupid because they believe they are special is typical of the PUA community, which teaches men to be predators and rapists, fyi, you shouldn't quote that shit here.
Wasn't Molly Ringwald's mother dead in Pretty in Pink?

Well done, OB.
Math? Please no one tell my now retired mentor in college, Prof. Georgia Benkhart. Obviously her 80 publications and 3 single-spaced pages of invited lectures in her emerata CV are just a big joke or something. Maybe she was invited because she's a girl? What?

www.math.vt.edu/people/farkas/GBvitae.pdf
Talking about what one finds "deplorable in women" is something I find deplorable in those men who do it. "Grow up" indeed.

And, actually, we ALL, men and women, do belong to a larger organism.
A well-written and insightful post. Enjoyed it a lot.
Rated.
Wonderful piece. It's strange for me - becacuse I'm a never-married 44 year old with no children. That has its own set of challenges!

We have the same taste in music. Although, because of my narcisissism and wanna-be dark-side (at the time), I'd throw in a heavy rotation of The Cure and The Smiths.
I do love the Smiths and the Cure, How soon IS now?
I hate rom/coms but I like this piece and relate to it in some ways. only speak for yourself about choosing sleep over sex..Ha!
Double rated for your response to DP..
My life is most akin to a biblical movie. I was born in a manger, you know...
RW- definitely gives new depth to the idea of rolling in the hay.