Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Top 5 Worst Things about Having a Perfect Girlfriend

It's not easy being perfect; trust me, I would know. I mean, it's quite a standard to live up to, and some people can't even agree on what that standard is. So, it's really tricky. But, somehow, my girlfriend manages it. She's smart, funny, beautiful, intelligent, caring, sweet & (for some reason) loves me. She's perfect. But, I recognize that there are some people out there who don't have a girlfriend, boyfriend, love pillow or affectionate housepet that they can call their beloved and on a day like Valentine's Day, that state of affairs becomes all the more apparent. So I'm here today to tell you all, it's not that easy to be un-single.
It might seem great, but the grass is always greener, as they say. Now, I'm not talking about fights and compromises; declining beauty with age; annoying habits and "I thought she was great, but then she changed". No, I mean, even if you genuinely have a perfect girlfriend, amazing in every way, it's still not a cakewalk. There are some things about having a perfect girlfriend that are actually kind of annoying, and this is coming from a guy who knows.
These would be applicable to a boyfriend too. but, I don't have a perfect boyfriend, I have a perfect girlfriend, and these are the top five worst things about that:

5. Everyone Else is Imperfect
You may think your house is clean. But if you ever saw it cleaned, immaculate - dusted behind the bookshelf, the walls cleaned spotless, vacuumed under the rug & everything put away - then it would become all the more apparent just how dirty it usually is. By that same measure, if you spend your time around your funny, smart, caring partner you start to realize just how not any of that most other people are.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all of your friends suck. But, when you see what people can be like, you realize just how petty, illogical, dumb, selfish, unattractive and/or flawed the rest of your friends are. It's one of the reasons I only really have one best friend. No one else compares; most people don't even come close. Again, don't get me wrong, I'm not being elitist, I like my friends and I enjoy hanging out with them. But, to bring up the clean house metaphor, if you saw a dirty mark on someone else's floor, you'd think just how easily they could clean it up. So, when your friends are petty, dumb or selfish, you'll find yourself thinking just how much better it would be if they'd be less . . . not perfect.
This one's low on the list because friends are still friends and it's not the end of the world. But, when your partner isn't there, even if the room is full, you'll still feel lonely without her.

4. Arousal, like, All the Time
When your partner is perfect in every way, they will be very attractive. Not just objectively beautiful, but from your perspective, its as though someone used a 3d printer and fabricated your fantasy. Absolutely stunning. At first glance, that might seem great - they're literally your ultimate fantasy - but, that's the thing. For a one night stand, that's great. Walk in, drop the pants, your ready to go. But for a girlfriend, you don't want to just fuck all the time, you want someone you can take to the movies; invite to your parents' house & go out to dinner with, and that becomes a little awkward if you go through all of that with an iron rod in your trousers (or, Niagara Falls, respectively).
Sex is good, sex is fun, but sex is only one dimension of a loving relationship. Unfortunately, your privates don't understand that. And it gets really awkward if your partner has a bad day and just wants to sit and talk about it, and you have to cross your legs to keep that little distraction at bay.
This is really awkward and frustrating at times, but it is lowest on the list because it's not a huge issue. After a while, you get used to it and it doesn't happen so often. It will happen, and there are days when I look down and ask it "Are you serious, right now?".
But this is only the fourth worst thing . . .

3. With Beauty comes Jealousy
Unless you're a Muslim, you can't hide how beautiful your girlfriend is. And, in a way, I wouldn't want to. I can't lie, I like showing people pictures of my girlfriend, so they can see how beautiful she is, and see how lucky I am; but, it gets to a point . . . if your partner is beautiful, that means that others will probably be attracted to her too, and when other people notice how attractive your girlfriend is, it can be pretty uncomfortable.
I don't want people to be attracted to my girlfriend, that implies they want her for themselves. You can't "have" her; you can get a look, but that's all you get. This is my Beloved, after all, I don't even have her, she has me, so I get a little jealous when people call her "hawt", a "babe" or a "10". There's a difference between complimenting a beautiful woman and drooling over one, and when I see the latter, I get a little jealous, and that can be a problem. Jealous rage isn't cute in the real world; being possessive and controlling gets old fast & if you're not careful, jealousy can easily turn into abuse and drive your loved one away. So, I keep a lid on it, but, when your girlfriend is perfectly beautiful, it's hard to fight that instinct. If she truly loves you, you've got nothing to worry about; but emotions are not always logical and it's hard to fight the green-eyed monster.

2. There's Always a Catch
Perfection is Flawed. I honestly believe that, not only because the idea of perfection is a flawed one, but I also believe that true perfection always has some kind of fault. Everyone has a fault, somewhere. "But wait!" I hear you say "at the start of this, you said no compromises, how can she be flawed if she's perfect?". Well, even if she's perfect, there will be something around her that is not - but not her herself (or himself).
Perhaps her house is in a bad part of town and you feel scared driving there or worry for her. Or, perhaps she has an ex-boyfriend (or he has an ex-girlfriend) that got a bit weird and hangs around. Or maybe she doesn't have much money; I'm not being capitalistic, it costs money to build a life together. Or, perhaps her family will be overprotective or ultraconservative.
In my case, my girlfriend's family is a bit overbearing. It's painful, but it's a pill you have to swallow if you want a perfect girlfriend. Pick your poison, there's going to be something about her that makes the perfect seem a little im-. After all, 90% of Everything is Crap. If your girlfriend is the 10%, that guarantees that she'll be surrounded by some kind of crap. You just have to suck it up.

1. No One Thinks They're Perfect
Part of perfection is humility, being humble enough to doubt your own good qualities. So, it's a little disheartening when the person you love doubts your compliments; when they wonder what it is that keeps you coming back to them and when they don't see how great they are, in your eyes. I understand why it happens, and I'd hate someone conceited enough that they thought they were perfect. But, that's not why this is number one.
See, another part of being a perfect partner, is having them truly love you back. It's a beautiful thing, and it's part of what makes a relationship so perfect. However, this leads to the worst part about having a perfect girlfriend. A perfect girlfriend is beautiful, smart, funny & cool . . . and she loves you back. That means that she will think that you are perfect for her. Whether that's true or false, what's difficult is that you'll be putting her through everything she's putting you through. She could easily write her own list of the 5 Worst things about Having a Perfect Boyfriend. And you're not going to believe it when she says you're perfect; because no one thinks they're perfect. The worst part about having a perfect girlfriend is that it feels unreal, it's hard to believe. Why is she with me? What did I do to deserve this? Why am I this lucky?
You'll doubt yourself, you'll doubt that you're good enough and you won't believe that you are to her what she is to you. I mean, how could you both be so lucky?  I have no idea . . .

- - -

Of course, it's not all bad, in fact there are quite a few great things about being in a relationship. A "Best Things" version of this list would be over 100 items long and take too long to write. I was going to write that, but instead consider this that list by omission.
I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, and for all of you that are still single, I hope this list has made you feel a little better about that. And if you're not, well, I hope you've had an awesome Valentine's Day.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Hi, I'm Matt, and I'm an Atheist

G'day, everyone. I know I'm taking a while, but that's just how these things turn out, I'm afraid. I've been a little busy dealing with family stuff, but it's okay, I'm here now. I had a few ideas of what I wanted to talk about today, but none of them really seemed like enough for a whole blog post. I mean, this may just be for fun and practice, but I can't just write 200 words and call it a day.
So, no, rather than "bugs" or "violence" or "apathy", the Word of the Day is: 'ATHEISM'.

Atheism /'aythee,izəm/ n. The principle or belief that there is no God.

Now, I have talked around my atheism before, on topics such as Islam, Agnosticism and Faith. But then, it wasn't really the subject of the post, it was just sort of a footnote. Yes, I am an atheist. But, after watching those creation counterargument videos which I mentioned last post, I've been thinking about it lately. The reason being, I see a lot of these people talk about religion and their experiences, and I get the feeling of sort of being at an A.A. meeting - hence the title of today's post - they're like "Hi, I'm Greg, and I haven't believed in God for 23 years.". It's not always in those words, but that's what it feels like. There's this relief that they finally got over this burden.

I guess I just feel weird because I can't really say that. I don't know what it's like to believe in God, because I never really did.

See, this is what I remember. I remember going to Sunday school and making a lot of stupid shit. A lot of it involved staples, glue and colouring in. I guess they were trying to indoctrinate me, but they didn't do a good job because I wasn't listening. I didn't care, I was playing with crayons.
Now, I "knew" this stuff, I was being told it and that's how I know a bunch of it, but I never believed it. To me, it's like binomial functions. I can tell you the basics of the brackets and how you put the numbers in and they somehow make a graph . . . but I don't know how. I can tell you some of the details, but the part that puts A to B to C? Yeah, that's not there. I don't know how people do that.
So, while I was young, I understood "Yeah, there's a god, and his son, and he died but he didn't die, then pop, we came into existence." I didn't know how it worked, but I didn't have to. Adults had to worry about that shit, I could just ignore it and leave it up to them to understand.

When I grew older, that's when I started to have them questions. What does life mean? What's the point of all this? Why am I here? I distinctly remember a moment when I was in the garage and my Dad told me that the sun was going to explode one day. I can't remember why he told me, but even single-digit year old me, still in grade 2 or 3, was pacing back and forth in the garage trying to work out what the point of this was, if everything was going to explode one day.
I still don't really have the answer, but as a child I decided that our goal would be to outlive the sun. Leave this solar system when the time comes and find somewhere that hadn't exploded and live there. That was the goal. It seemed like a simple enough solution to me.

The first time I started to question all this god shit that I didn't understand was in grade four. See, we had religious study or whatever in primary school, and I noticed, in every one of those classes, one of the girls left the classroom. And the teachers didn't give a shit, they were like, "Okay, she leaves now, and we do the thing."
I was bothered by this. I even asked the teacher: "How come she gets to leave?" and they said something like "Her parents don't want her in this class."
And I was cranky. She gets to leave? How come she gets to leave? I hate this shit too, it's boring. Could I leave? Hell, why just this class? Could I leave other classes too? I hate sport, could I just walk out of sport class?
But, I answered my own question pretty quickly "No, you can't leave Sport, Science, Maths or English class - that's stuff you have to learn at school." and that's what really got my mind ticking. Why would I - or anyone else - not have to learn something we were being taught in school?

I already knew the answer, but I wasn't quite putting it into words. I just had this feeling that "religious studies" - that thing which I don't understand and found boring - was something that I didn't have to know.

It was at a later point in life, when I started wondering about not just the end of the sun, but the end of me. Death. What exactly was heaven like? I asked my parents about it, and they said (basically), "It's what you want it to be like."
They told me that because I was a child, it was late at night and they wanted to go to sleep. And at first, it calmed my mind.
  "Whatever I want it to be like?" I thought "Well, I really like videogames. I like Croc on the PC, that's a lot of fun. What if heaven was like that?"
But then I started to think about it, and I got worried.
  "What about everyone else? What if the other dead people don't like Croc? Hell, I can only play it for 30 minutes before getting stuck, what if I don't like Croc forever? And that's the thing, it is forever, dead is forever. Does that mean if I died now, tonight, then I'd have to live in the heaven I want right now? Or does it change all the time? And if it does change all the time, is it the same for everyone, or is it all dependent on what each individual person wants? Does that mean that it will be this convoluted mish-mash of what everyone wants it to be? That sounds horrible."
It was then that I realized that my parents didn't know - nobody knew. I mean, no one can know what the afterlife is like because everyone who has been there is dead, and doesn't come back. So we don't know, we can't know and anyone that says they do know is lying.

And that's how I decided that religion wasn't being honest with me. Sure, when I was a kid, I tried praying and stuff. But, I quickly realized that whether or not you prayed, the same shit kept on happening. So, praying was useless, heaven was unknown and I wasn't learning anything by going to church.

But the nail in the coffin, the absolute death knell that swept the last crumbs of religion out from under my mental rug, was a friend of mine - aptly named "Christian". See, Christian was funny, and he was a good artist. In fact, he was the person that got me into writing. See, he would write funny and interesting poetry, and I realized "shit, if someone else my age can write well, maybe I can too." That's how I realized that I could write stories, and after practice, that lead me to what I am today.
But, another way it affected me was in class one day. I can't remember why, but I had recently learnt about evolution. It had been explained to us the ways that ape-like ancestors had evolved to become human.

I thought it was pretty freaky, I mean, I didn't feel like a monkey, but I understood that this was a very long time ago. I understood it, but it was still a curious thing to think about. So, I asked my friend Christian, "What do you reckon about all this? I mean, we're all monkeys, pretty freaky, right?"
And he responded adamantly: "No, we're all descended from Adam and Eve."
I didn't reply, because in my head I was listening to a very loud clunk - the sound of the last piece falling into place. And in my head, I actually thought the words:
  "No . . . that's wrong."
I mean, Adam and Eve is a fucking fairytale. Talking snakes? Garden of paradise? Some naked chick that just walks around with her sexy bits exposed? That's pure fantasy. So, if I'm expected to believe what the Bible says, over science?
Yeah, no, that book is going to way of the dodo.

So, no, I never actually believed in religion. It hung on for a while there, a good 6 years, but I never really believed in it - and while I like to believe it's because I was particularly smart for my age, the truth is, it just never made sense to me - I was just repeating what I was told. I can never honestly say that I was ever a Christian, because I didn't understand what they were trying to tell me. Perhaps I never could understand, since it doesn't actually make a lot of sense.
As for God? I never believed in that either. I gave it a go, but to me, it's like smoking. People said, "it's relaxing", so I gave that a go a few times, but it never really stuck, and I never saw (or felt) what everyone else said I would. I prayed and got nothing out of it, I I never got what these other people seemed to get, so I discarded the cigarette, and I discarded the Holy book too.

That's why I'm an atheist - because I always was an atheist. I never started not being an atheist, because it just wasn't something I could believe.
In conclusion, I was talking to my girlfriend about "intelligent design", and something that always bugged me which is, surely, intelligent design is far outweighed by unintelligent design. Things like the recurrent laryngeal nerve which connects the brain to the larynx (i.e. your head to your throat) by looping around the aortic arch of the heart, a pointlessly roundabout route; or whales and dolphins breathing air despite living in abundant, oxygen-rich water; the parasitic wasp which burrows into a host insect, and ingravidates it with larvae which eat the caterpillar alive; cancer in any and all of its devastating forms & the appendix, which serves no purpose except to occasionally become infected, with no way to naturally resolve it.
In response to this, she merely said: "God should get an MBA" -
Well, he'd learn a lot more about efficiency that way.

I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, and if you still believe in a god . . . keep it to yourself. Even if I started to doubt for a moment that I was right, I am not going to pick up your book for answers.