This whole couple trap (Dialectics, no. 6)


Cathy and Ella have been talking on the phone and Ella, who is happily engaged, is trying to arrange a date for Cathy.

-Come on, we could all go out to dinner together and you’ll meet him there. Don’t say no! How long are you planning on staying single?
-I think it’s rude to mention my being single every time.
-Frankly, I don’t feel like falling in this whole couple trap.
-I think you are the one being rude now. What trap???
-I’ve come to realize how you couples operate. Your motives. You want everyone else to be a couple so you can compare your relationship to them. So you can arrange to go out with other couples just to brag about how much you’re in love with your dear one, all the trips you take together, your holidays, your breakfast in bed, how he takes care of you.
-This is insane!
-Is it? You guys know it’s impossible to compare your relationship with a single person, that’s why you all wish for us to be like you. Couples, couples everywhere, let’s compare ourselves to other couples, let’s see who’s better off, see who’s going to win the race.

At that point Ella hangs up the phone. It’s been three months and they haven’t talked since.

Going out vs Antonioni (Dialectics, no. 2)


It’s Friday night in the city and two girls are talking on the phone. They’ve been friends for quite a while now but nowadays they don’t see each other very often. The thing is, girl A is a socialite while girl B has been more of an introvert lately, even though she’s been quite popular herself in the past. And now it’s just one of those times when A is trying to convince B to go out.


A: I really don’t understand why you keep saying no. It’s Friday night! Let’s party! You do sound so boring sometimes, sorry to say that…

B: Me boring?

A: Well…

B: It’s just sometimes I really prefer staying in and watching a nice movie. The other day I saw The Eclipse by Italian director Antonioni.

A: Anto-whaaat???

B: Antonioni. He made a trilogy about the vanity of human relationships — at least that’s how I view these films.

A: Are they any good? I can’t stand old, art-house films with no drive. You know these movies with no plot, where nothing…

B: Don’t watch it then. It’s like that indeed. Antonioni’s not the point anyway.

A: Well, you mentioned him. It is a he, right?

B: Goodness gracious me! Of course it’s a he! I’ve been referring to him as a he all this time. Anyway, I’ve only mentioned his name to tell you I’d rather have a quiet Friday night in. Just relax and watch something that in a way speaks to me and explains the whole really complex world of human relationships and how you can never be satisfied with people around you. I mean the film doesn’t really explain that but… it does in a way. You know how you meet people and get all excited only to be disappointed later on and then—

A: Honey, there is no need for me to watch this Antonio stuff to know this. I just go out 3-4 times a week and learn all about human relationships firsthand.

B: You’ve got a point there.

A: Honey, listen to me! Why be miserable, stay in and watch all these depressing movies, only to learn something you can experience in real life? And life’s short you know. Someone said that, don’t remember who. I think it was Mozart. You need to go out more, meet people, fall in love, have fun.

B: OK, but you do realise you make me sound like the most pathetic person on earth. All I say is that sometimes you need to take some solace, when everything around you doesn’t make much sense, I mean that’s when I return to Antonioni or read some Proust.

A: Read some breast???

B: You know what, never mind, let’s just go out.