To all the losers who left me, the lovers who lost me, and all you lucky buggers yet to meet me.........Happy Valentines Day !!
As it is Valentines Day, and I woke up amazed to see, once again, a mountain of cards behind the letterbox (yeah right!!!), it got me thinking about the people I WOULD have got cards from if things hadn't gone disasterously, and spectacularly, wrong.
Last night I was invited over for dinner by one of my oldest and dearest friends. Her fiance has just gone out to Afghanistan for a 4 month tour of duty, and they are due to get married in June after he gets back.
As girls do, we chatted about everything from our dogs, to fashion, to our horses, to funny memories, and then began to wade through the monumental cock-ups regarding men that we have made in our respective love lives.
Now none of this was done in a bitter or sad way, as we were both crying with laughter at one point, especially when we reminded each other of certain people from our past, and each of us, in our turn, would shriek and roll about crying "Oh my God, what the hell did I ever see in HIM...arrrhhhhhhgggg" interupted by peels of laughter.
And then I had a very sobering thought - what if THEY are doing the same thing about us at this very moment?????
She (in her usual witty way) said "Oh Jaks, they wont be, because we are both perfect hahahaha". And although I'd like to think/pretend or even lie to myself that I am, I know only too well that I am far from it and have my own mountain of weaknesses and faults, just as everyone else has (no matter how much you may try to deny it to yourself).
All of us (unless you are the most incredibly lucky person on the planet) have suffered heartbreak in love at some point. And at the time it's all happening, when everything is falling apart around you, you really can't imagine that a few years down the line, you will be sitting drinking tea with a friend and laughing until the tears are rolling down your cheeks about the very person who made tears roll down your cheeks for very different reasons all those years ago.
Selective memory is a funny thing. When you go through a break up, and you are so bloody miserable and heartbroken, all you can remember and think about are the wonderful and happy times you had together - which make you even more miserable.
Once you've got over the whole thing, all you seem to remember are the bad things, and why you are SO much better off not being with whichever piece of "pond slime" just used your heart as a punch bag (even though at the time, if ever your friends had called the object of your affection "pond slime" you would have never spoken to them again).
And then years down the line, you are finally able to remember the good AND bad things, and laugh about everything with your friends.
2 years ago, if anyone had said that in a couple of years, I would be sitting talking about Dale without crying, I would have said something very rude to them and gone off in a self pitying sulk to think about my "ideal" relationship and what I must have done wrong to have ended up as one half of the perfect couple.
I tend to always blame myself - you know how it is.....did I say something? Did I do something? Am I too fat? Am I too thin? Am I too ugly? Am I not witty enough?
And dear old Marshy said last night "You know what mate? You always seem to pick the emotional retards. What is it with you? You have nice men who want to take you out but you dont want them, and yet you ALWAYS say yes to the handsome tossers that everyone else can see coming a mile away"
This then started a whole other avenue of discussion. Her conclusion is that I am far too laid back and easy going with people. I forgive people too easily (although I always thought that was supposed to be a good thing to do), and I try to avoid conflict by just accepting things that happen, rather than kicking and screaming and laying some ground rules down like "normal" (her words) women do.
That woke me up a bit as I have only ever had three rules I ask people to abide by, and now I think about it, these shouldn't even be rules - they are my moral code and I just expect other people to have the same ideals:
(1) No cheating - if you do, then jog on!
(2) No lying - if you lie about little things then you'll lie about big ones and I want to be able to trust you
(3) If you want out, just have the balls to say it rather than letting something drag on as it's unfair
Anyway, after all of our soul searching and laughter, and memories, Marshy said "Well, Dave (her ex husband) did me a favour because if Id never found out about his affair, Id have still been with him, and would have never met Colin, and he is the true love of my life."
And Im so happy for her because out of all my friends, she really does deserve it the most.
She asked me what I thought was my biggest mistake. After pondering this for a while I have to admit that I think it was Tony. We were too different, our backgrounds were as far apart as the sun and the moon regarding upbringing and morals and standards. But I never judge people and when I met him he made me laugh. And I really do think that he was trying to change so that we could be together - but some things you just can't alter in yourself. He came from a very rough area in Manchester, and had a very dodgy youth. I tried to mix with his friends but I used to feel like a fish out of water. People were always calling me "Brain box" or "HRH" and if you knew me, those would be the last things you'd call me.
Ive never been a snob as I have no right to be. I am no better than anyone else. But the cultural and educational differences between me and them was like the Grand Canyon. Their lives revolved around drinking, taking drugs, buying "knock off" in the local pub and claiming benefits. Nobody wanted to better themselves. And every single day was like the one before and the one that would follow. Tony hated coming to mine because he hated the countryside. He is a city boy and always will be. And I hated the inner city.
And so it ended. Which was sad. And I do miss him being around sometimes. But what we ended up rolling about on the floor over last night, laughing until our sides hurt, was because I said that one good thing about being with him, was that I actually got to know what it would feel like to live out an episode of "Shameless"