So let me gloat: It's a Monday morning. I woke up at 10, because it's a SCHOOL holiday, and I'm getting PAID for all this.... WAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Kinda makes up for the rest of the school year where I have to wake up at 6... :p
It felt almost weird, rolling out of bed, looking at the time on my handphone, and thinking, "Hm, half the school day gone." when it was only 10 in the morning. I've almost got into the roll of things at school, and will [hopefully] be observing classes next week with 2 experienced teachers. Thankfully, both are upper primary teachers. [phew!]
The strange effect about this job is that I just don't miss DF anymore. *Collective Gasp!* Well, in a sense, yes. The moment I wake up, I'm off to the bathroom to get ready for school, and then in school, I'm too engrossed watching the kids or relief teaching [whatever little of it last week] to even think about him. After school, I come home for a while, and then I bathe and get ready for tuition. By the time my tuition ends, it's almost 10 at night.
Where got time to think about boyfriend? Hahaha... [though u can see the baggy effects of this lifestyle on my eyes. Dang...]
But in a way, it's good. This way, I don't spend all my time fantasizing, analysing, agonising over him anymore, and I have a healthy life outside of him and my incessant blogging.
But I still have time to think up this little entry one day:
What is love?
A while back, while Turtle and I were on the bus heading to NIE, he handed me an issue of Today.
"There's an article in there, which you MIGHT disagree with, and call me sexist or something, but I think you should read it."
A pretty bad intro, if ever I heard one, but I read the article anyway.
The article was written by a woman who'd been blissfully married to her husband of cantremember how many years, and the article was about how she attributed the success of her marriage to subservience.
The author wrote that she'd once been a hot-blooded feminist [whether she burnt her bras or not, she didn't say] till she got married. She then discovered that the key to a successful marriage [or hers, anyway] was that women had to be submissive to their husbands, to listen to them, and to support their decisions and be loyal to them in all affairs. In return, their husbands would respond to this by being more responsible spouses, seeing the weight of decisions rested on them.
Of course, in writing so, she neglected the one crucial flaw of her argument: The formula is only successful if the men are responsible and caring husbands in the first place. Can you imagine 'serving' a guy who was a drunkard, a wife-abuser, or who had absolutely no respect for other human beings in the first place? Or even staying by his side and 'supporting' him till the end of time?
I think most women would do what I would do: Pack the bags, leave for Mother's with the kids, and give him a proverbial kick in the ass before I left.
It just goes to show how terribly varied relationships are all around us, I guess. No one formula can really apply to every couple, and trust me, I learned this the uncomfortable way. (^^!)
But the article did make me think of how relationships have evolved over a span of a few generations. Think about how it was during our grandparents' time. The practice of bethrothing your children from birth was still practiced then, and it was common if you didn't get to meet your future spouse till the day of your wedding. [the time till then spent fervently praying that he wasn't terribly deformed in one way or another]
But divorce was rare. Possibly one reason for that was that there were fewer lawyers then [duh] but also because men and women accepted that this was the guy they were going to have to live with, and so they may as well make it a smooth ride as much as they could. After all, if there was no way to get out of the marriage, then you had an onus to learn to live with each other as much as you could.
Who read the article in the ST [i donno when] about the couple with the record for the longest marriage in Singapore? They had been married in their tender teens in China, and the husband then went to Singapore to look for work, as a lot of men did then. His wife waited 5 years in China with her in-laws before he finally sent for her to join him there, and they lived in Singapore forever more. (0_0)
And I used to grumble if I didn't meet up with DF for a week or more..........
I digress. My point being it seems that our grandparents were willing to stick with each other as much as possible because the concept of divorce was not as known, or socially accepted then. [I speak mainly of Asians, btw, being unfamiliar with the history of divorce in Western countries] In our parents' generation, divorce became slightly more common, but divorce rates were still low.
[I have no official statistics to back up all these btw. They're all based on my general impresions, and of the people I see around]
Now? We've become affluent and independent enough, such that if ever hubby doesn't live up to your expectations, or if he leaves the toilet bowl seat up one too many times, it's off to the lawyers you go. Divorce has not only become cheaper, it's also more socially acceptable nowadays. What did the old mantra go? "Attached can break up, married can divorce"
Have we lost something in all this?
As a generation, we're probably more picky and more demanding in our relationships than either our parents or our grandparents. Our spouse/boyfriend has to be the ONE. He has to meet all the requirements in our own mental list we compiled since adolescent. He has to support the family. He has to be kind, understanding, listen to our views blah blah blah.
A few would probably think he has to be rich, or have nice teeth or something, but I shall not touch on those people. (^^!)
So what's the diff? People over time have always been looking for that one special someone. We're always on the lookout for the one special love, whether we recognise him or not on the first glance. If we think the guy doesn't fit, we chuck him, and start the hunt anew. Whether we are attached, engaged, or married.
"He wasn't the same man I married" Sound familiar?
But just how many people find love at first sight anyway? No relationship is totally perfect, even if they seem so on the surface. There are bound to be problems between 2 parties one way or another, or things about each other that drive you crazy.
Which is why maybe the keys for a successful relationship is not love, but rather the ability to settle conflicts amiably, to compromise, and to always have an open mind.
Even if you find the right man and you marry him, can you have any guarantee that he will remain like that for the rest of time? Maybe he will change. Maybe he will fall in love with some other woman. Maybe he'll find out he's gay. *peng* Should that happens, how willing are you to stick with the relationship? Or will you bail at the first signs of trouble?
[btw, the one thing I will NOT put up with is abuse. NO MAN has the right to abuse others, most of all his wife and kids, whether physically or verbally, and deserves to get his ass kicked big time]
I wonder whether our culture and our generation has become so used to the idea of getting what we want, that we are less unwilling to work it out over time. That we must have the man now, and that he must remain like that for the rest of his life. Hmm...
Btw you guys have to realise that the only reason I can write so detachedly about the whole thing is because I'm on the right phase of my menstrual cycle. :p Gimme a few more weeks and I could be writing about something else altogether...