Relationships are ‘Easy’…

You don’t know me…

even if you think you do – you don’t.

Seriously…

I know I do deadpan and it can be hard to know when I’m being serious and when I’m only pretending to be serious, laughing and smiling behind a tight lipped expression…

but…

don’t argue with me about this because I’m totally convinced this is true and a man (or woman) convinced against their will (own convincing) is of the same opinion still…

unless you want us to dance a Noce de Ronda like in Prizzi’s Honor (you know, that film which was Mr and Mrs Smith only better written, directed and acted long before Brangelina came along and wooed us into watching their movie and being wowed by it and them… watching it perhaps because the studio used their ‘clandestine’ and ‘real’ offscreen love affair – which is now apparently dead or in the process of getting there as they stab it an each other living out fiction in the fact which first made it all public – to make us do that)…

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I share an awful lot of myself on here (underscoring the word ‘awful’ because… I had some ink left in my pen), and that can give the impression that I’m sharing all of me, but…

like many people in this world,

maybe all of us…

I’ve mastered the art of saying a lot about myself while saying nothing at all about myself (see quote below)…

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If this ability annoys you about me…

it annoys me about myself too…

and probably annoys me about you too because I tend to recognise in others the things that I do…

even if you’re not doing it, but if you are doing it…

This is not an art I actually wanted to master because it’s not that useful… while it’s not totally useless it has proven to be an obstacle in relationships.

You want people to understand you, know everything about you… but then when you get the chance to give them the chance to do that you take an almighty detour around everything that matters through everything that doesn’t matter and they end up thinking that’s what matters…

and then you get pissed off because they totally misunderstood what matters to you!

Have you experienced that too?

I think you may have… but I can never be quite sure because even if I ask you… will you tell me?

Will you really tell me… and not worry about what I make of what you tell me?

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This post is inspired partly by watching a really wonderful series – Easy by Joe Swanberg

If you’re familiar with Mumblecore – that genre of film which is basically life observed (and perhaps a teensy bit over-intellectualised), filmed and ad-libbed even with a script – then you’ll know who Joe Swanberg is. Those who know and love Mumblecore (me, me, me… although don’t expect me to recall anything about a Mumblecore film, or character names, or directors of any film or TV show at all… or books… or people… don’t expect me to remember stuff and maybe I’ll surprise you by remembering stuff) will love Joe Swanberg even if they think he’s a bit weird – because he’s weird they’ll love him as they are weird too and the weird need their representatives and icons too.

He’s awkward and cool because he makes awkward cool.

And his new TV show makes the awkward of relationships seem easy… natural, normal, something which just can’t be avoided… and shouldn’t be avoided because that’s where the real meat of people resides (even if we’re Vegan – totally love the Vegan in this series!!! as usually they’re portrayed as a nuisance to non-Vegans).

While watching one of the episodes, all of which are different even though they have a similar theme of relationships and how not ‘easy’ they can be yet how ‘easy’ they sometimes are… my partner (who loves to look things up online related to what we’re watching which can add to the show as long as he doesn’t end up going through a wormhole on Wikipedia) came across an interview with Joe Swanberg about his show. What struck my partner was that this interview had one comment made by someone online who hated the show and felt compelled to share that hate there and then.

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That comment was angry – called the show misogynistic.

Of all the things I would call this show, that’s not one of the things which would come to mind, if anything it’s perhaps too unflattering to both men and women. It shows women and men as people, humans letting it all hang out… that can be disturbing.

The usual stereotypes you’d expect to find aren’t there in their usual form… and that can be upsetting to those who think those are the norm and expect to find them alive and kicking up the usual crap. Those stereotypes are there… but there’s a breakthrough to the other side of them, showing the whole world of a person beyond the facade – that facade which is sometimes all we allow ourselves to see of others because we’re not that keen of knowing them as much as we are on them knowing us beyond our facade.

Sounds to me as though that commentor was a bit of a misandrist and leapt into the fray of their usual fight before genuinely looking… really looking (and seeing – not just what they needed to see to continue being as they be) not just at the other but at themselves and what they were making of the other… as that was where they wanted to go.

The first impression is sometimes the only impression we allow ourselves to make of someone. From that we judge them and create a narrative… one which is ours and not necessarily theirs…

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Tbh, the first impression I had of this series from the first few minutes of watching it (and not watching it properly because I was doing something else when it first came on that required concentration so all I heard were voices droning on and on…) was of intellectual dross about relationships between men and women…

I was bored by it and didn’t want more of it…

it made me appreciate all those times I’ve skipped the first 15 minutes of a film or the first few episodes of a TV show before I join in… I thought I did this accidentally but now I’m beginning to think I do it deliberately…

to know you I need to know you after you’ve stopped wanting me to know what you want me to know about you, after you’ve stopped ‘acting’ for my benefit and are just being yourself as though you’re no longer being watched and judged by what is seen of you…

Sometimes the introduction needs to be skipped… because it’s full of every bit of awkward that you and others are trying not to have or do.

If I’d gone with my first impression of this series (even with my love for Mumblecore and Joe Swanberg films… when I can remember that I love them) I’d have vetoed watching anymore of the series. The first episode is just not as good as it gets later on… that episode gets better but really could be missed entirely. The subsequent episodes are so much better…

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This trailer really doesn’t do the show justice, in fact it’s like they chose all the least best bit clips and strung them together… but if it gets you to watch it… but what if it doesn’t and you miss your ficitional soulmate?

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I’m one episode away from the end of the series and I’m sad that it’s over because it is intensely watchable and excellent food for thought… it’s one of those shows which makes you think (some people aren’t looking for that in a viewing partner), it shows people as people, humans being human… what a glorious mess and yet so ‘easy’ to watch and such an ‘easy’ relationship to have with what is being watched…

it’s like watching yourself without having the spotlight on you…

damn that spotlight when it turns on you…

one minute you’re beautiful, dancing alone, unseen… graceful in you being you…

and then it shines…

on you…

WTF…

suddenly you feel the need to be a ballerina or ballerino or whatever and…

everyone is watching you make an ass of yourself in a leotard or whatever and they’ve now decided that’s who you are…

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they don’t understand…

they do,

they’re glad it’s you and not them…

while also wishing it was them and not you because everyone wants the spotlight they just don’t want to be who they are when they’re actually in it…

sound familiar?