This morning it is the Stranglers’ Golden Brown. I truly don’t care about the meaning; though I’ve heard the stories. It is only this: a perfect mood, self-contained and languid. The harpsichord is what makes it special, much like Ray Manzarek’s keyboard makes the Doors’s Strange Days, especially in the psychedelic version he did for the movie of the same name. I digress. Golden Brown, for your song-shaped Zen.
Speaking of perfection, it occurs to me that much of the miscommunication between those of us in long term relationships and those who misguidedly aspire to perfect bliss is because the smug marrieds are so incomplete in their narratives. Let me give the only example I know well enough. The Spouse and I can certainly pass as smug marrieds; one tries not to be, but fails some of the time. We are, after all, both married and pretty happy; worst of all, we are publicly affectionate. And yet...that is obviously incomplete. Here’s my excuse: to me, the narrative of our relationship really is a happy one. Marriage really is better than I thought it would be. And what happens is that because I do, the hard stuff, the complications and the arguments all seem relatively minor and not worth dwelling on. I never expected anything else. Thought I’d just point it out, in case anyone out there still needed disabusing. I suppose that if we didn’t have that positive narrative, the struggles would be insurmountable, not worth putting up with. It takes so much motivation to keep looking for better ways, little improvements; and I can’t quite explain why that isn’t tedious and awful.
(The trouble with relationships is that, like the TARDIS, they are bigger on the inside, and the outside doesn’t really tell you much about it.)
If I didn’t have a geeky reference somewhere, how would you know it was me?