Tuesday, September 30, 2014

There'll be other George Clooney's


Many are lamenting over the fact that George Clooney is now officially 'off the market'. Meh. I mean, don't get me wrong, I think George is rather gorgeous, and congrats to him and his new wife and all that, but am I crying in to my cappuccino right about now? No. (If it was Henry Cavill though, it might be another story... )

In the words/lyrics of the Rolling Stones, 'You can't always get what you want.' Disappointments are aplenty in this world, but, you know, so are the lessons to be learned from those disappointments.

I knew a girl once, years ago, who went to London on holiday and came back engaged. Although I didn't know her that well, I was pretty certain she left the country without a boyfriend, so her announcement really surprised me. In fact, it not only surprised me, but her close friends as well.

As it turned out, she had been engaged to her 'new' fiance some years before, but he had called off their wedding at the eleventh hour. They parted ways. Clearly, on her trip to London, they met up again and discovered they still had a connection worth exploring. And after a whirlwind renewal of those old feelings (the sort of heady experience, no doubt, that is heightened by the fact that at least one person is on holiday, and time is of the essence), they thought their union worth another shot.

So, this girl returned to Australia and went about planning (or rather, re-planning) the wedding they had hoped to have some years before.

And then ... guess what happened within weeks of the 'big day'? He called it off (again). Although I never asked (we weren't close enough for me to do so), and she never offered the information, I'm guessing she had always loved him and, although he had obviously held a fondness for her (why would he think he could propose - twice - if that wasn't the case?), his feelings for her were no comparison to hers for him, and in the end, he just couldn't go through with it. I believe he probably wanted to love her - it would be hard to give up someone who feels so strongly for you - but in the end, it clearly wasn't enough for him.

He was her George Clooney. (That's the impression I got of the situation, anyway.)

And yet, she eventually went on to meet and fall in love with someone else, get married and have kids - finally getting her happily ever after. Who knows if she ever thought about her ex-fiance (x 2) after that? Maybe. Quite possibly. But I'm also guessing, if she did - even if she continued to hold even a small amount of fondness for him - she accepted that it was what it was, and at least she had learned from the experience.

One thing I have learned over the years is that not all relationships are supposed to last forever. People come in and out of our lives for a reason - often to teach us what we want or, more importantly, what we don't want for ourselves and/or our future. When I finally broke up with my first real boyfriend (after a lengthy on again/off again kind of union), I knew - wholeheartedly - that he was not for me and that we should part ways. It was a difficult relationship - doomed, I realise now, from the start. I admit, though, letting it go was tricky, because I was afraid of the future. What lie ahead for me? Would I meet someone else? (I was eighteen. Of course I was going to meet someone else!) That particular relationship taught me a lot about what I didn't want from a relationship, and yet I can't regret it because it taught me so much (and eventually saved me from wasting time on other relationships I knew wouldn't/couldn't work out).

Another (albeit brief) relationship some years later taught me that mind games are both unnecessary and mentally exhausting - they're just not worth the effort (and nor was he). And yet, something amazing came out of that particular union - a husband for my best friend in the form of my ex-boyfriend's friend. (Did you catch all that? Maybe draw a flowchart if it helps.)

And another - a great guy that just didn't work out for various reasons - showed me I deserved someone who treated me well; a guy that didn't always put himself first. He showed me that nice guys actually existed, and I was worthy of one. (And I got that, and then some, in the form of my eventual husband.)

Some relationships last a few days. Some last a few years. Some last a lifetime. Some, like the girl I knew, make more than one appearance only to show us, once again, that our path was supposed to take a different route.

But what each and every relationship does - the good ones and especially the bad ones, both in loving unions as well as friendships - is teach us something. No relationship is a waste of time for that reason. It's about working out what that something is, accepting it, learning from it, then moving forward.

Take heart, ladies: There'll be other George Clooney's.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

The BIG hot-shot "lawyer"

Not the actual "lawyer", but he looked kinda like this. 

Last Thursday afternoon, the boys and I were in a building waiting for the lift down to the car park. We were rushing off to dental appointments for both Middle Son and Eldest Son. After a short wait, the lift door finally opened and it was then I noticed my youngest boys had wandered off. I put my arm in front of the door sensors and called to them, 'Hurry up, boys. The lift is here!' It was then I noticed there was a man in the lift, dressed in a suit, tie etc.

As the boys hurriedly ran towards the lift, the man said to me, 'You need to hurry up. I'm in a hurry.'

Well, let me tell you, I wasn't particularly fond of his tone. It was rather aggressive, quite frankly, so I said - firmly - 'Well, I'm in a hurry too, and we won't be a second.' The boys were already making their way in to the lift as I said this.

He replied, 'Well, I'm in more of a hurry than you. I'm a lawyer.'

Now, call me crazy, fussy, particular - whatever you want, really - but I have this thing where I just don't accept people thinking they are more important than everyone else just because of the job they have (or the car they drive or the clothes they wear). In this "lawyer's" world, getting to a meeting might be important, but in my world, getting to a dental appointment on time is also (ie equally) important. I appreciate his time - I do - but he should also appreciate mine. To wait an extra ... twenty seconds (at best, for goodness sake) for the lift to move is, in my humble opinion, not a big ask. Am I wrong?

Anyway, because I was a little on edge as it was (it had been one of those weeks - chasing my tail and all that) and he'd managed to put me on the back foot twice in the space of less than one minute, I couldn't help but reply with, 'Oh, you're a "lawyer" [I actually did the open air quotes with my fingers as I said this], so that makes your time more important than mine, does it?'

He replied, 'Yes. My time is more important than yours.'

Well, I'm just blown away at this point. In fact, I think I scoffed out loud, because it was just so ridiculous what he was saying. And what he was saying was more than the fact that he was 'in a hurry'. He'd obviously summarised that I was a mother, so therefore my time was way, way, way low down on the priority list, as far as he was concerned.

So I faced him squarely and replied with, 'How do you know what I do? How do you know what my job is every other day of the week?' Or something like that. (I can't remember the conversation verbatim, but I was no wallflower, I can tell you.)

He said - now get this ... are you ready? 'Well look at you. It's obvious what you do.' The distaste is dripping off his words.

Okay, so I'm wearing my (very) cool red jeans, a blue & white striped top, a denim jacket, boots - yeah, I'm a bit mumsy - but I'm fairly decently dressed. However, I realise in this instant, it's not really about what I'm wearing. It's clear this man despises the fact that I'm a stay-at-home-mum and he absolutely believes - due to his own self-importance - that the stay-at-home-mother deserves very little attention and/or his time, indeed. I'm just in his way. I don't live in the real world. He does. Anything I do is nothing compared to what he does day to day. In fact, even if I'd announced I was on my way that afternoon to cure cancer, he'd have still thought his time was more valuable than mine.

I looked at the boys. They were in the corner of the lift with a look on their faces that said something like, 'Whaaaaat the heck is going ON?!' It was as if they just couldn't comprehend why this man was saying the things he was saying. (And why would they? They have no such examples in their own lives of such behaviour from grown men. Thank goodness.) So I turn to them, and as I draw an imaginary box around this guy with my hands, I say, 'Boys, I want you to take note of what this man is saying and how he is behaving, and I want you to promise me that you NEVER act like this man. Ever. This is the RUDEST man I have EVER come across in my entire life.'

You know what the man says? 'Well, you don't want to turn out like her.' (Which is just stoopid, because they are BOYS and I'm a GIRL. Just sayin'...)

At this point, I laughed. What the man was saying was nothing short of ludicrous and rather delusional to be frank.

The lift door opened. I said, 'Come on boys,' and as I exited I chuckled, shaking my head, because the situation was just so incredibly OUT OF THIS WORLD. A woman and her daughter got in to the lift as the boys and I exited. I muttered something like, 'What a rude man. I'm SO writing about this.'

I went to the ticket machine to pay for my parking, the boys in tow. I turned around to make sure they were still following me, and as I did the doors to the lift started closing. The guy suddenly shouted out - yes, SHOUTED - (with the poor woman and her child next to him) 'You talk out of your ARSE!'

Niiiiice. I managed one last eye-roll at him before the doors were fully closed.

I thought about reporting him. I did. I'm sure there's footage of the exchange available from the lift and I have a few contacts. That footage could easily find its way on to our television screens before I could say, 'Take that, BIG hot-shot "lawyer".' But you know what? I have no interest in spending too much time on a man who deserves no more attention than he obviously gives himself. I hope he went home that night and felt like the moron he is, but somehow I doubt it. He is obviously FILLED with self importance and, I suspect, a lot of bitterness. As I explained to the boys later, we don't know what has happened in this man's life to make him this way, but his behaviour can't be blamed on 'a bad day'. There are many people far more 'important' than this guy who are in far more stressful situations day-to-day, and they wouldn't dream of behaving in such a fashion. Not only was he wrong to speak to me like he did, but to speak to me like that in front of three young children? Words can't even describe...

Mr A and I assured the boys his behaviour is not only unacceptable, but it's also not normal. Even though they said later they wanted to call him 'an idiot' or something, I told them how glad I was that they had remained silent through the exchange. I said name calling wasn't going to help - all that would do would reduce us down to his (very low) level.

People never cease to amaze me. I don't need to put his face on television. Karma will come back to bite that man. I guarantee it.