Archive for Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Silence gives consent?

Consent sounds like it’s cut and dried. I say yes or I say no. But contested rape cases, hazily remembered or uncomfortable evenings, or scenes with no safeword point to fuzzier boundaries.

I was discussing this with friends recently, and brought up the following incident. I don’t think I’ve posted it before so here ya go:

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Where did it all go right?

The Boy and I didn’t always have an open relationship. We got together in 2002 while we were both doing a master’s degree. I was a little crazy at the time, trying to make sense of my previous relationship and fighting the inevitability of leaving uni and getting a job.

Our relationship reflected this in that it was torrid yet hesitant, and it was default-monogamous. We both played away and ‘fessed up, but it was always that – confession, admission.
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#10yearsago

The twitter tag writ large…

10 years ago to the minute, I was at a house party in St Peteres Loge, as the council insisted our student digs were called.

A rag-tag collection of us returned to uni during the Christmas break, to herald the new millennium from our wonderful, infested, enormous, used-to-be-a-church-but-was-built-for-parties place in Bath.

A few of my school friends were there, a few uni friends, but mostly a large collection of Boys From Sutton. I’d arrived the previous day, my little Mini stuffed with cheap fizzy wine from Aldi. Preparations involved moving the scummy mattress from the floor on the landing to the floor in the hallway, and buying a £60 bottle of Bolly I definitely couldn’t afford.

I wore a black strapless dress and red strappy shoes and tried to do my hair in ringlets but they looked terrible so I washed them out. There was vodka (I drank nearly a 70cl bottle by myself) and tequila snorting and a first stolen moment with a boy I saw last New Year as well.

At midnight everyone hugged and cheered and sprayed Aldi fizz on the ceiling (thank goodness it was cheap). The Y2K bug didn’t stop anything working, and how could it because we were young and fucking invincible and about to take the 21st century by storm.

Given the surreality of university, the ten years that followed included all my adult life. I no longer feel like I can walk on water – my life got less magical, more real. This sounds sad, but isn’t. I’m still not bound by oceans, but instead of expecting them to part, I’ve been learning to build boats.

In terms of shit happening, 2009 has been the hardest year of the decade. The sacking was only phase two of the work horror; phase one was much worse – to the extent that I couldn’t face writing about it. And the second half of this year has been home/people-sickness. It’s usually low level but sometimes it sneaks up and punches me in the solar plexus, leaving me breathless and prickling tears.

But in terms of my happiness and sanity, 2009 was far from the worst of the past 10 years. This discord means this year’s been invaluable, simply because it’s confirmed that it’s up to me to create that difference between how things are and how I react to them.

2009 saw the first anniversary of my marriage – something I was so unsure of that now feels intrinsic 🙂 And why were only recent months plagued by homesickness? Because for the first six spent here J and I had the luxury of focussing on nothing but each other. I couldn’t have weathered any of this year without him – if our fate together wasn’t sealed in Spain, it certainly was when we stepped on that Singapore Airlines flight together.

But cool people aren’t the preserve of the UK. They are found everywhere, including S’pore, and a big ‘keeping me sane’ shout goes out to one such person. In some ways our backgrounds are worlds apart, but we see ourselves in each other (especially the strange bits) – that’s rare whenever it happens and amazing when the homogeneity of the country you live in struggles to include you.

So not a bad year, and an amazing fucking decade. An entire, sparkling, magical (ignore what I said before) journey through London skimmed over in this post. A friendship forged with my sister. A relationship that’s gone from break-ups and accusations to sharing brunch with the people we fucked the night before. A culinary adventure from fried egg sandwiches to eight course dinner parties (palate cleansing sorbet ftmfw).

Life was already damned good back in Bath when we were partying like it was 1999, and it seems to have been getting better ever since. I’m excited about turning 30, maybe becoming a mum, learning more about life outside London, and that’s just 2010. The short long forecast: the next ten years are going to be fucking awesome.

The Rape.

Possible trigger, which you could probably guess from the title.

I’ve considered writing about this before, but haven’t really had reason to. It’s not something I think about all that much, and it’s certainly not something I’m traumatised by, so I haven’t had that processing-through-writing desire.

But it does occasionally come up in conversation, usually if I talk about my teenage depression. Someone will ask, for example, if I know why I got depressed, and even though I am fine talking about being raped, I um and ah and make the conversation more awkward than it needs to be.

This comes back to something I mentioned before – the idea that I have a social obligation not to embarrass my listeners. I imagine that the bald statement “Because I was raped” is going to make the other person uncomfortable, but my reticence makes their discomfort more likely. I’m wondering if writing will help me deal with that discord.

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“I loved every guy I ever fucked, while I was fucking him.”

Have you ever fallen for a third party?

Yes! Next question?

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Turning Japanese

I am classically Freudian when it comes to masturbation. I started doing it aged four, and I haven’t stopped yet.

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More on censoring myself

I broke up with my first boyfriend in 1998 and lost contact with him. He got back in touch with me a year or so ago, thanks to the wonders of facebook, and we now exchange occasional polite, let’s-not-mention-the-past emails.

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