My friend eliminated one word from my vocabulary and it changed my love life. Completely.
I can’t exactly remember what that cocktail looked like. All I know is that it tasted good.
This post comes typed to you from Downtown Vancouver to the sound of my favourite ear-gasm: London Grammar.
I recently spent quite a bit of time one-on-one with a close friend (and by ‘quite a bit of time’ I’m referring to the ‘together 24/7′ variety). It was a bit more than we’re used to, but it was great – especially as we didn’t end up at each others’ throats. Always a bonus.
Anyway. During our time together she laughed and noted that I use quite a lot of bizarre expressions on a regular basis. Of course she already knew this about me, but she commented that she hadn’t realised quite how often I used these Alex-isms.
Yes, it’s true. I use lots of weird phrases. Regularly. ‘All the time’ kind of regularly.
Let’s see. We have:
“Cool bananas” (feeling the food vibe yet?)
“Amigo” (or “amiga” depending on the person’s gender)
“For the love of peanuts”
“Honey bee” (for my darling canine, anyone under the age of seven or a close girlfriend)
“Negatory, ghost rider”
I’m fairly oblivious as to how often I use these words. Put it this way: apparently I wasn’t paying much attention in primary school and I subsequently left some gaping holes in my vocabulary where some more eloquent phrases should reside. Yes, that makes a lot of sense.
Now, a few months ago I was sipping on a cocktail with my good friend. In fact, he had kindly let me have his cocktail and he took mine cos mine was kinda gross and his tasted like chocolate, but he liked my weird one. Whatever! I was unpacking my most recent quandaries (gentleman-related quandaries, obviously) to him. Suddenly, mid-conversation he turned to look at me and said, “Alex. Can I give you my unsolicited advice?”
“Of course”, I nodded eagerly. I’ll take any good advice I can get my grubby mitts on.
“Firstly, for the love of god, never use the word ‘singledom’ ever again,” he gasped. “You’re not… you’re… your being single is not who you are,” he reasoned. He paused, exhaling with exasperation. “Secondly, that guy?… Meh,” he said as he gave me the biggest, most non-committal, truly ambivalent shrug I’ve ever witnessed.
“Put it this way: if he’s not being emotionally honest now, how can you ever expect him to be emotionally honest with you in the future?”
(He’s got a good brain upon his shoulders, this one.)
And you know what? He had been far more insightful in those few minutes that I had been in a long, long while. I couldn’t see that I was letting my relationship status govern how I saw everything else in my life and how I saw myself. And hearing that from him did, in fact, change my perspective. For if I was indeed defining myself by my (long-term) lack of a long-term romantic relationship, then who was I without this identifier? ‘Hi! I’m Alex and I specialise in singledom’ had to become, ‘Hi! I’m Alex’. And that had to become enough.
What my friend reminded me in those few words was that I am a whole entity just as I am, rather than a four fifths hoping and waiting to be made whole.
Oh, and what he said about that emotionally dishonest guy? Hit the nail on the head there, too. Yep. Twice within two minutes.
So, since then I have been quite conscious as to the words which tumble out of my mouth. Specifically, I’ve been correcting myself as I get out of my subconscious habit of using the word ‘singledom’. Initially, it was a little hard (and it was surprising when I realised just how often I was using the S word), but now it’s fine.
Anyway. I’ve added a new word to my jargon to fill the void which ‘singledom’ left: “Babetown” – a word reserved for the description of the most physically delectable of the human species and a word which I’m using with fervour.
Mmmm. Babetown. Mmm chocolate cocktails.