Sex Alliance Against Society
I read King Dork* recently and a passage in the novel got me thinking. The main character, an adolescent boy, muses about what it means to have a girlfriend in high school. To him, it seems to be lots of making out and bjs in cars. A girlfriend is someone who stands by your side as armor, who stands shoulder to shoulder with you in a Sex Alliance Against Society – Society being asshole bullies in high school.
In all honesty, I don’t know much of what happens in relationships my own age behind closed doors. I mean, I know what happens behind closed doors – I lived with 4 girls in “committed” relationships in college, trust me – but I don’t really know what happens. You go to tailgates together and get mad at each other when you’re drunk. You always have dates to weddings, no matter how awkward it might be. Sometimes when you have money, you take trips. Concerts. Bad food. Lots of Going Places and Doing Things. But beyond that and basic pillow talk, your general Sex Alliance Against Society is like Clue and I thought it was the lead pipe but instead it was Miss Scarlet in the Billiard Room with the wrench.
What I’m saying is my understanding of relationships is elementary and limited. I have one “real” relationship to speak of (I’m not counting high school) and I say “real” with quotes because it was my freshman year of college and there’s only so much you can put into a relationship when you’re 19 and don’t want to piss anyone off.
1. What happens after you get settled or past the honeymoon period (arbitrarily agreed to be the 6 month mark)? I never made it past the honeymoon period in college where everything is daisies and I look back through rose-colored glasses to days filled with lying in the sun on the quad, drowsing. Seriously, I did that. As to my other romantic endeavors, the three week mark has always been the point of no return where whatever spark it was snap, crackles, and pops and suddenly, I can’t stand the way he chews his food or he stops calling.
2. How do you fight with a SO? I’m using this freshman year romance as a meter stick. We never fought. Once. Like, not at all. I don’t know if it was because I was afraid of rocking the boat or we really didn’t have anything to fight about or that sleeping with someone creates some sort of anti-fighting hormone that affected both of us, but we never did. In fact, the only time I remember a fight was at the end of the relationship. I sensed distance, realized distance was not in my head, confronted him about distance, and then it was over. Fin. So in my tiny brain, a fight is equated to the end of the relationship. Or like a big blow out, one ingrained in my poor head by that scene in the Parent Trap - the remake - where that lady who died tells Dennis Quaid she threw a hairdryer or a shoe at him and then took one daughter (seriously, how effed up was that? Oh yeah, they're totes equal human beings. Let's split them like you would split a chocolate bar) and moved across the Atlantic. It all seems like fun and games in the movies, but in real life, a fight with whoever my SO may be seems like a giant cliff to leap off of back into Singledom.
3. Social media ruins me. Damn you, Mark Zuckerberg! Back then, Facebook was around but not as prevalent or I was so gob smacked and in lurv that I didn’t notice. There are so many questions and pressures from people I don’t even know to define my not-a-relationship in a public forum from the beginning that it boggles the mind. When is the appropriate time to become Facebook Official? Do I have to? Will stupid girls at the club stop giving me the evil eye that I’m with him if he makes some grand proclamation? Why do I keep looking at the old profile pictures of him and his ex-girlfriend even though I know it makes me mad? Why did I have to be born into the era of Facebook? Seriously, if your man is tech savy (which thank God mine is not, because I already have enough internet-related distractions at work), there are infinite ways to cyberstalk and obsess. Why are guys surprised when we're jealous then? We have access to all your old photos, your EX's interests and disinterests, and twitter pages and pinterest boards and tumblrs and blogs and omg my head is going to explode.
4. I don't know balance. At all. For instance, I spent one semester watching and/or DVRing the entirety of Law and Order: SVU (ILY Stabler!) but pretty soon, I would hear that little dun dun and have to change channels. What I'm saying is that be it a TV show, a hobby, a new friend, a book series, a whatever, if I like it, I throw myself at it and hope it sticks around for a while. I go through phases of liking and disliking things and I'm not sure if my One College Relationship ever made it past the I Love This phase that I go through with every New Thing. I simply don't know how to tell the difference between something intense and fleeting and something intense and longlasting. It's like flavored gum. I can only chew it for so long before it stops tasting like deliciousness and starts hurting my jaw. So I spit it out and move on to the next piece. Sorry, this is supposed to be a metaphor but it's turning into a giant ramble.
5. Along the lines of my above point, I don't do coy for very long. My bag of tricks is exceedingly shallow. Also I am incredibly impatient, unable to wait a couple of weeks down the road to pull out all the stops. I want to be extravagant and unforgettable from the beginning! I will change your life! You will always look back at me as that redhead that you blew your mind! It's self-centered, I know, but I think deep down inside, you always want to be the one that rocked his/her world the best. The problem is it's exhausting and you can't maintain that kind of awesomeness forever. At some point, you will be sitting on the couch in your sweatpants with your hair in a rat's nest above your head, crying watching an episode of the Biggest Loser, eating ice cream**. And someone will see that eventually. I don't know if there's enough mindblowing sex or deep conversations in the world to keep someone coming back for more after witnessing something like that.
I guess what I'm saying is I have doubts about a Sex Alliance Against Society because I really don't know what the alliance part means. It's new territory for me. But I guess years of Disney movies and rom-coms have conditioned me to hope against all hope that whatever the alliance is, it will stand strong against Society - be it asshole bullies in high school or dumb bitches giving me the evil eye at the club.
*Great book by Frank Portman. Go read it. In no way do I tend to plagiarize your idea about a SAAS.
**I've totally never done that...at least, not all three at the same time. There may come a day.