* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Relevant experience

6 March 2003
Victor's gone all sincere

Being a grown-up is more complicated than I could ever have imagined. I am in a fulfilling and loving relationship with a man who claims that he does not love me and does not see a long-term future for us.

What in my education prepared me for this? Where was the training to enable me to decide if this is enough for me? Do I continue in the hope that in time he will realise his true feelings for me? Should I be affronted that he doesn't feel them in the first place? Should I be reviewing my own expectations? Do I tell him to fuck off?

Modern culture does not fit us for situations like this. In film, theatre and music, lovers are ill-starred because parents object, someone is married to someone else, etc. - in short, because they are prevented from being together. Relationships come to an end through bereavement or because one or both partners want to leave. Beguiled into thinking that life is more simple than in fact it is, I now have no rationalizing frame of reference for comprehending a scenario in which someone can be happy in a relationship whilst apparently not being in love.

This absence is due, I think, to the fact that the media has not yet caught up with the most fundamental modern malaise. Until very recently a boy/girl found a boy/girl who s/he liked a lot, and decided to love him/her. No-one questioned whether the feelings s/he had really were love with a capital "l" or affection for a companion. Couples courted, got married and either worked at or resigned themselves to their problems.

Now there is far too much choice, and consequently - so a divorce expert would tell you - no staying power. The grass is greener well before one contemplates an affair: there is always the sense that in putting one's eggs in one basket with Person A, there may be a missed opportunity with Person B just around the corner. And just to add to our troubles, many of us suffer from the romantic ideal: bombarded with images of tortured infatuation, we think that love is a thunderbolt or something angelic, something fluffy. The idea of love has no bearing on reality whatsoever, but still we strive to find the best wo/man in the world...ever, as opposed to loving a partnership that works. Striving for the best is admirable; it certainly does not guarantee contentment or happiness (whatever they are).

So this is, I think, how I came to be in this mess. Two intelligent, independent individuals share their lives and a relationship which many couples would give their eye teeth for. He doesn't think it's love, and admits that he probably doesn't know what love is; she doesn't know if she should stand for that. Is this beyond navel- gazing or a legitimate crisis? To which episode of Friends or Cold Feet should I turn for help?

And suddenly I realise that I've written a first-person narrative for Sex and the City.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
27 October 2003. Victor writes: Our Tune
6 October 2003. Victor writes: Sucking face (in a public place)
15 September 2003. Victor writes: You got any ID?
25 August 2003. Victor writes: Blood on the Boulevard
4 August 2003. Victor writes: In (paren)theses
10 July 2003. Victor writes: Island Fling
19 June 2003. Victor writes: Back (back) and forth (and forth)
2 June 2003. Victor writes: 300 clowns, 13 eight-year olds
12 May 2003. Victor writes: The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune
21 April 2003. Victor writes: ...just sitting there quietly contemplating suicide
31 March 2003. Victor writes: Victoria
6 March 2003. Victor writes: Relevant experience
17 February 2003. Victor writes: You will eat chips and go nowhere
27 January 2003. Victor writes: A bushy fish for fishy Mr Bush (after Juvenal)
6 January 2003. Victor writes: The Accidental Voyeur
16 December 2002. Victor writes: Gripper goes bang
25 November 2002. Victor writes: Bediquette
4 November 2002. Victor writes: Where have all the spastics gone?
14 October 2002. Victor writes: An Immodest Proposal
23 September 2002. Victor writes: Fastscan masterplan
2 September 2002. Victor writes: Dry Humping Social Club
12 August 2002. Victor writes: Beat the Mongol
22 July 2002. Victor writes: What life is not
1 July 2002. Victor writes: Stupor heroes
6 June 2002. Victor writes: Dry
13 May 2002. Victor writes: Muppet Suite
18 April 2002. Victor writes: gingermingeninja
25 March 2002. Victor writes: Sodomize with Pukka Pies
28 February 2002. Victor writes: Dave's problem
4 February 2002. Victor writes: King of the Aisles
10 January 2002. Victor writes: Here come the decorator gimps.
17 December 2001. Victor writes: Make war, not supper.
22 November 2001. Victor writes: Cough
29 October 2001. Victor writes:
4 October 2001. Victor writes: Green Gauges
10 September 2001. Victor writes: Blind weed
16 August 2001. Victor writes: Snout!
23 July 2001. Victor writes: You're not going to put this in a clown are you?
28 June 2001. Victor writes: What is a droll?
4 June 2001. Victor writes: Burt Pakamak
10 May 2001. Victor writes: Board to Death
12 April 2001. Victor writes: Tricolon with anaphora?
22 March 2001. Victor writes: Point of View
26 February 2001. Victor writes: Goth's Dinner
1 Feburary 2001. Victor writes: Les Miserables
4 January 2001. Victor writes: Flat-packed furniture
14 December 2000. Victor writes: Deliverance
20 November 2000. Victor writes: Bottomry: Exorcising Ghosts
26 October 2000. Victor writes: Body Art
2 October 2000. Victor writes: Disney must die
7 September 2000. Victor writes: Ice-cream in Offworld
14 August 2000. Victor writes: I like sweets that taste of medicine
26 June 2000. Victor writes: I've seen the future, and it's feathered

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