I was 'unfortunate' enough to see an issue of Marie Claire UK this week. As a man, though if I were a women I still don't think I'd be overly stimulated... But, as a man, I found the thing frequently bland. The free samples of perfume and cream stuck to pages?...they were exciting! The adverts for things I can't afford, or can but would not want?...Not worth paying for. The articles? Mainly dull. Something rather insipid about the whole adventure.
Then...or should I say and then...
Page 224. My fingers limp and tired from the rapid turning of pages (I know fans might tell me that I did not pay the magazine enough attention); my eyes closing from boredom and browsing in an artificial, yellowed light; my mind's energy wept away like tears in a stream..."and then THERE were 3...sort of".
Page 224, November issue. Marie Claire Column. Katy Regan.
What an amazing piece of writing. Imagine TV's 'Sex and the City' with people you admire. Different show?, yes. Better?, yes.
The best bit is the bit where it says "Dating when you've got a baby, I was finding, was an oxymoron". Not that I like to pick out specific bits (you really should read the piece yourself) but this conflict of interests... Here called "Two worlds colliding"; this barrier of being happy; searching for some kind of happiness whilst retaining that which is pivotal to your current existence. Here it is a loved child. I have no child.
It made me wonder...why do we use certain things as excuses for not succeeding in life's mini-missions. Here the author uses her child; the fact that she does not look like Kate Moss; the fact that men are not reliable; are hedonistic; are commitment phobic...the obsession of men with sex (though in fairness this comes from the baby's father); lack of flexibility; lack of consideration; cowardice... Perhaps I'm reading between the lines? Perhaps I'm now writing the lines?
I'm thinking now that maybe I only liked the article because it seemed so real? Maybe I liked it because of the ... (dots) in the title...I'm a big fan of dots in my own writing as you may have discovered...
I liked the article because of a few things. The way that it deals with human responsibility. The author has real dependents. The child comes first. The man comes second.
The honesty of this predicament. The child's father being so 'close' still. The 'discussion' between himself and our 'heroine'. Yes, our heroine. No inverted-commas this time.
The fact that suddenly I am questioning myself. So what? I always am. This time I am questioning what my excuse is...I said I have no child. This is true. Kind of. Perhaps my child is some sense of responsibility to myself. Refusal to accept the past as separate from the future. The "If someone said I smelt when I showered every day when I was 10 years old then I must still smell now at 26" syndrome.
It is never completely certain what the heroine is questioning? What she feels insecure about? It is certainly multi-faceted.
I suspect that the questioning is a well-established understanding of common-sense. The insecurity? That stems from being secure. Here is another oxymoron. Secure insecurity. Expressing oneself is a skill. Not one taught, but one learnt.
Expressing oneself in a fresh, diverse way? Analysing? Revealing? Knowing what you want? Perhaps we all takes our 'Grandmother's' words to heart? "I want...never gets".
The article ends with a sobering thought on this 'partner predicament': "It'll take someone special." Perhaps the real closer should be "I need someone special"? The latter? Yes please, me too.
Incidentally...our heroine says her date "never ever called me". I know why. Somebody stole his phone.