3 Weddings And A Refusal
Why? Oh no, not the usual catholic guilt about resorting to onanism - I outgrew that when I outgrew traditional Christianity. Because I was thinking about internet crushboy, because it was his name on my lips when I came. Yes, I realise this makes me look like the biggest creepy stalker freak in the known universe. One's inner fantasy life is not an explainable or justifiable thing.
And yet, still, it filled me with angst. No, not depression, thankfully. But angst, definitely. I thought I was over this nonsense, but clearly I'm not. Yesterday, I was all "you can't go from love to indifference overnight, you have to go through hate right now, and this mild disdain/hate thing I'm at right now is really healthy." Today I'm pining again. Why? Because I can only be attracted to people who make me feel completely unloveable.
Is it that old Nico thing, "I can only ever be truly happy when I am unhappy"? Is it that my self esteem is so low that I look for people who will reinforce my own viewpoint that I'm completely vile, disgusting and unloveable?
Pick up the post and there's a letter with an unfamiliar Vancouver return address. It's a handwritten invite to my little cousin's wedding. I know that she really wants me to go, my brother has communicated this to me. The last time I saw my cousin, over a decade ago, she was at University, and seemed on the verge of growing into a really interesting person. But a family wedding? No fucking way. Does this sound selfish? Yeah, I can imagine that it does. But there's no way to really communicate the horror that the entire assembled St.Claire family inspires in me. It's not just the intra-family politics, the low-level sniping, the subtle competitiveness between the branches of the family, the endless minefield of what I'm Allowed To Say and what I'm Absolutely Not. (Do my cousins even know that my brother is separated from his wife? I've been told under strict orders not to mention this.)
The main, utterly selfish reason I do not want to go to my little cousin's wedding is because I am the last of the 4 of us in this generation to remain steadfastly, unrepentantly unmarried, and I do NOT want to face the inquisition, the furtive talk, the pitying glances, the gentle nudges, the outright suggestions that isn't it bloody well time I settled down and got married, too. Because that just sets off the same ugly cacophony, only a thousand times louder, in mine own head. Yes, I am an utter, abject failure, because I, alone of the four cousins, have failed to produce a partner.
There's a part of me that wants to rebel, wants to wind them up, wants to tell them, actually, the reason I've never married is because I'm gay - but they're so fucking faux-liberal I would be expected to produce a wife or even better a fashionable Civil Partner.
No. Isn't it obvious? The reason that I'm not married is because I'm utterly, irrevocably flawed. Because in a world where humans come in two-packs, I'm an irredeemable, unsortable onesie. Plato was wrong. Some people are not halves of a greater whole, they are impenetrable, unassailable, single Units in and of themselves. I'd like to shout that there's nothing wrong with that. That it's better to be happy by oneself than stay miserable and slowly suffocate in an unhappy marriage between two utterly unsuited people - you know, like my parents did for most of my teenage and early adult years.
But of course I don't feel like that right now. I just feel like a failure. And there is nothing *quite* like failing in front of your family. Failing in front of strangers is one thing, but failing in front of people who have kept a catalogue of your every flaw for future use against you in a whisper gallery of semi-private opinion? No thank you.