I feel like Christmas is a good analogy for love. And I don’t mean in the way it’s the one time of year everyone gets together and sings Kumbaya and everything’s all warm and fuzzy. Because God knows, for most families, that’s not the case. It’s trying to ignore Grandma Thelma’s overtly racist comments, pretending old Uncle Joe isn’t violating his court orders by being around children and listening to mum and dad take inappropriate digs at each other about the divorce.
Love is like Christmas in the way that the younger you are, the more magical it seems. As a kid, Christmas hums with fantasies of snowflakes and reindeer and stockings filled with chocolate and presents. The idea that some jolly fat guy from the North Pole can slide down your chimney (and the chimney of 7 billion others in one night – even the ones that don’t have chimneys) is still plausible and exciting. You wait up all night thinking about it, too eager and full of joy to possibly sleep.
Only later do you realise snow doesn’t fall on 99.9% of Australia, humans probably killed all Santa’s reindeer and all those delicious chocolates and toys in your stocking were not made by magical elves in the North Pole, but by tiny Asians in factories that have never heard of minimum wage. You also realise that some fat stranger in a costume breaking into your house while you sleep to give you “presents” is totally creepy and illegal.
When you’re young and believe in love, anything is possible. Instead of snot-nosed little brats, those boys in year seven were secretly prince charmings who would go home and write par after par of romantic, Shakespearean poetry about you. Only later did you come to realise that those snot-nosed brats were just that, and the only thing they ever did at home was masturbate furiously to porn they found on their older brother’s computer.
When you’re an adult, you realise that Christmas isn’t a time for magical fairy tale endings. No. It’s about being guilted into spending a lot of money on crap people probably won’t appreciate and using the holiday as an excuse to get fat and drunk. I feel an adult understanding of love is much the same.
The realisation that both Christmas and Love are made up comes in different waves. Christmas, you learn in one fell swoop, is all a lie. First from some jackass kid in the playground, or an older sibling, to later be confirmed by your lying parents. Love, on the other hand, is one crushing defeat after another until you try to convince yourself you’re a lesbian.
Bit by bit, you learn everything the world (not pointing any fingers… Disney) told you about love was a lie. There are no such things at knights in shining white armour, frogs don’t turn into princes (I’ve legitimately tried this) and almost all of the Disney Princesses were grossly under age.
So you have two choices. Ignore all evidence and opt to live in a world where love exists and some jolly fat guy hands out billions of dollars worth of presents each year, or accept reality and live out your days with mediocre feelings about your realistically mediocre partner. Me? I chose to fluctuate wildly between the two.
There are days when I am convinced my tall, charming, handsome, intelligent, funny, guitar playing, snowboarding, Spanish speaking, Irish husband is just around the corner, waiting for me to drop my favourite book (which also happens to be his favourite book) so we can both reach down to grab it at the same time. Then there are other days (when I’m not drunk or high) I realise this is probably never going to happen and I should think seriously about buying a cat and renewing my RedTube subscription. Not to be used together of course. Just so we’re clear, there are some seriously fucked up fetishes out there. Also, I feel porn that’s aimed at women is a grossly underutilized market, but that’s a rant for a different day.