Thursday, August 02, 2007

Love or List?

It's almost midnight and I'm sitting in a comfy booth in Brunetti's eavesdropping on the conversation to my right. A group of about seven 20 somethings are huddled around a too small table and speaking animatedly and loudly - which is pretty indicative of the vibe here anyway. I remember the golden rule of Brunetti's: always circle for a table before you order, otherwise you might find yourself with a coffee but nowhere to sit or a table built for two but awkwardly accommodating 7.

Their conversation is indicative of university life. Going out on a weeknight, what lecturers they hate and what late assignments they still have to think up an excuse for. I find myself both wanting to be a part of their world and yet also happy that I'm not. My companion comes back with a selection of cakes and two cups of steaming coffee. I grab the cup with both hands and bring it up to my cheek, feeling the warmth there.

We're discussing a movie we'd both seen recently: The Last Kiss: L'Ultimo Bacio. A movie about a group of 20-something men who are scared of being trapped into marriage, babies and women. I lament these 20-something men, "does it get worse when they are 30 something I wonder"? My companion is being evasive "..yeeessss" he says slowly drawing the sound out until the last hiss disappears into the laughter of the coffee drinking crowd. "But it not true for everyone".

I make the sound I feel is most appropriate for this statement of his: "Duh".

I take my fork and make an incision into the Tiramisu, it doesn't taste as good as Tiramisu from a pasticceria section with this reputation should. I remember back to my own unimelb days when Brunetti was just a hole in the wall, a place for locals and people who 'knew' where to go for decent coffee and cake. I look at the procession line of people waiting and serving, of cakes handed over at lightening speed and the ever present crowd. Brunetti has suffered the fate of most places which get too popular and corporatised; the quality goes down. I wonder if the same is true for people, for writers, for music, anything.

"How crap is this Tiramisu?" I groan.
"It's sooo bad" he puts his fork down.

"I know 'not everyone'". I sigh - if this conversation is going to take this particular defensive route then I don't want to play. The problem is that you could apply the "not everyone" rule to anything. Not all politicians lie so does that make a difference (generally speaking) to the perception that do? Not all people living in the third world are poor and starving, does that negate the fact that most are?

"ohkaaaay, there is *some* realism to the movie though, right?" I persist.

"yeeeessss" he makes the sound again.

I offer him a nugget "women get scared of commitment too. It's not like men have got the market cornered on that. But in the end if we want love and babies we actually you know act like we want that. Why do men who obviously want love and babies, take so long to realise it?"

"I think a lot of men in their late 20s think they can have anything and anyone. If they still have that same mentality in their 30s then it's because they're idiots" he says simply.

"hmm" The answer doesn't really answer anything and yet, I know what he's trying to say. I actually know quite a few men who have married their first love. They saw a good thing and they took the chance. I know a couple of people who did that and have regretted it too. I know men in their late 20s and early 30s who don't want to be trapped by marriage. I know a few older who want marriage and kids but are wondering where all the women are.

"Is it better to take the chance and marry someone you love, because you love them, or chase the elusive dream of the perfect woman/man which may or may not come along?". I blurt.

"I guess it depends on how happy you are to be lonely" He says matter of factly. "I don't think anyone with such a list will be happy with a human female - OR MALE. They need a fembot"

"manbot" I add.

We laugh.

We've moved onto the other cake now, a chocolate mouse. The chocolate tastes like it's been in the fridge too long.

"This is terrible" I gesture to the mouse.
"This is officially the worst food we've had here" he adds.
"At least the coffee is good" I sigh.

"well, I guess this is the thing isn't it? I mean a list is a list but if you're with someone and you're in love then what makes someone say - "hey I know I'm in love but I'm just going to try for someone who's also a pole dancer, I always wanted to marry a pole dancer"

"well, those would be the idiots I talked about earlier".

"Well why do so many people I know have lists then?"

"I can't help it if you're friends with idiots".

"YOU'RE an idiot". I flick a bit of stale chocolate at him.


But seriously. Love or list?

And what about those people can't even DO love WITHOUT the "perfect person" list? What's up with them? Are they idiots or are they normal?

(by list I don't mean "someone who loves me, someone who is caring" etc type of list that is about human decency and what anyone DESERVES. I mean a specific 'perfect person' list" "A blonde. Someone who is a size 0. Someone who plays in a band" etc)

Labels: , , , , ,