I was having a conversation the other day surrounding the possibility of pure coincidence. Or is anything coincidental? Is it not a subliminal knowledge one already has, that guides us into meeting certain people? I’m not talking about fate or destiny – for that isn’t a choice. I’m talking purely of unconscious choice.
There are the usual examples that happen to everybody. Some of my mate’s parents or relatives were friends with my parents at school or varsity. Then I became friends with these people purely by chance. And the parental-ties realisation only dawned on everyone much later.
The scenarios below, however, are helluva more complex, far more intertwined:
My father had a girlfriend for three years at varsity. Jane. He reckons she broke his heart. That aside, they broke up and he started seeing my mother. My mother in the meantime has a cousin, Bridgette. Jane has a brother, George. Bridgette married George. Completely unrelated, George just happens to be Jane’s brother.
Then, in Std 7, a new girl called P was allocated into my boarding house. A year later, at a gala or something, my dad spotted Jane. After not seeing her for, say, twenty odd years. Jane is P’s mother. P is also friends with C, my lovely mate.
So although I don’t know P helluva well, I am connected to her in three ways: through my father’s relationship with her mother, my cousin marrying her uncle, and C.
There was a girl, Clarence, who was also in my boarding house at school. My mother pointed her out at school one day, and told me she dated her uncle, Daniel. On top of this, Clarence’s aunt and Daniel’s sister, Bronwyn, was my mother’s best friend. So essentially, my mother knew Clarence’s family pretty darn well. Bronwyn was a bridesmaid at my mum’s wedding, and she and Daniel remained friends after their break-up. Tragically, Bronwyn was killed by a car soon thereafter by trying to help someone out of a car wreck, and Daniel was killed on his farm in Zimbabwe a few years ago during one of the notorious Mugabe-related farm seizings.
I hadn’t seen Clarence since school until…I started dating her first cousin. Purely by coincidence. I didn’t know Clarence was his cousin. My mother made the connection of his and Clarence’s family only after we’d hooked up.
Bringing me to conclude: either the reason my friendship circle(s) are so intertwined is because my parents have unwittingly passed the habit onto me, generation onto generation.
More likely though, the kind of people my parents hung out with are the same kind of people that I have hung out with. We’re obviously more like our parents than we think. It can’t just be coincidence. We’re all drawn to the same people.
This alone scares me. I will henceforth analyse all of my parent’s friends and relatives with a fine tooth comb, because I sense, therein lies my husband somewhere.
That said, a husband is about as foreign to me as a hot day in Reykjavík at present. Isn’t that great? I’ve settled into single life rather comfortably. The couch and I are best mates, and the TV remote nestles like a glove between my palm and thumb. I can watch My Name Is Earl without getting hassled, and I can wear a hessian sack to bed. Hell, I can drink wine in bed. In a tracksuit. Out of the bottle, if I so wish.
But on that note: I’m feeling the contentness of my laissez faire single lifestyle wearing thin. It’s hard to keep blissfully self-absorbed, excessively glad you’re not spooning someone when:
The Ant has a boyfriend.
Moogs has a girlfriend.
C has a sort-of boyfriend.
E has a boyfriend.
L has a boyfriend, who is Moogs.
Ex S I think has a girlfriend.
R has a girlfriend.
C2 has a boyfriend.
Us single people are an endangered species in the City of Hook-Ups And Have A Lot Of Sex. I am gradually being moulded into an outsider because everyone has someone.
This is just plain pants. There seems to be an incessant need for everyone around me to be attached. Why, God, why?
I’ve worked hard at being a happy recluse over the last couple months, and I am just about there. The acceptance of being Mad Single Aunty Peas at my family’s kid’s life events almost, almost, brings a smile to my face. (The actual chomper-showing grin is a work-in-progress.)
“Oh look. Mad Aunty Peas is at the whiskey again. And she bought all 32 of her cats with her to the family wedding as well.”
Fuck that. It won’t be cats. Watch as all the bambinos recoil in terror when I rock up with 32 iguanas. And I’ll probably wear blue eye-shadow.
Don’t think I’m not reminded how much sex some of these people are having, like, all the fucking time.