Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Life's a funny thing.

It probably runs in the family. This unpleasant peculiarity of getting together with a loved one, getting so passionately involved in the relationship, making plans, then breaking up at different stages of the relationship. My cousin was the latest victim to follow in the Sister's and my footsteps though it is hardly something to be proud of.

Truth be told, we'd always figured that he'd be the first to get married in the family and beget precocious offspring for my granny who's certainly not getting any younger. For frankly speaking, he was the most 'marriageable' one amongst the lot of us.

The eldest cousin, an affable man who vaguely reminds me of Jabba the Hutt with his ample girth, the faint odour of stale cigarette smoke wreathed about him and his slow...pause..impregnated speech doesn't look like he'll be getting attached soon. The Sister is well The Sister, short of an immaculate conception or a missionary arriving to sweep her off her feet (and not into a certain position mind you), I don't see any progress on that end. There's yours truly and hell would sooner freeze over before I'll have sex with a woman, let alone end up married to one. Then there's the youngest, still in poly, presumably single and ironically the Cousin who'd now probably marry first but whom for now marriage remains a distant prospect.

But I digress. We were pleasantly surprised (my granny especially so) when we found out that this cousin had a girlfriend. There are guys who wear their hearts on their sleeves, guys who would not hesitate to express their feelings and there are others who keep it under lock and key, guarding their hearts with the zeal of a carmelite nun. The cousin was the latter. An extremely private person by nature (like some friends I know haha), the cousin loathed disclosing more than was absolutely necessary about his private life. In fact, his mother only knew he was attached (and had been for a year) when he brought the girl back to the house and asked if she could stay over for a couple of days. Though then again, I can fully comprehend why, the less a mother knows, the better.

She became a regular fixture at family gatherings and soon it transpired that they were engaged (again information was not exactly forthcoming - the facebook stalker of an auntie reported the change in status), he got her a blinding rock that evoked the de rigeur ooohs & ahhhs from her friends and they did all the couple-ly stuff. Like getting a HDB flat, not coupling. I'm pretty sure they didn't wait to get engaged to engage in the latter.

They were by and far as things went, a handsome, loving and compatible couple. Him thoughtful and caring, her radiant and attentive. But who can tell what goes on behind closed doors in a couple's private life, the smiles that belie the insurmountable obstacles faced? None but the parties themselves. For it is in your darkest hour that you are most desolate, is it not? And it was in this same vein that we realised (via the same FB stalking auntie) that things had changed: the change of status, the removal of a friend, the seeming gaiety of a man out to live freely and immerse himself totally in his work.

The lawyer in me can't help but wonder idly about the reasons for the breakup of a relationship so close to that frightful institution of marriage as it were. The reasons for that irretrievable breakdown in the relationship. But I check myself. The reasons so persuasive and compelling for the breakup, at the breakup, are often immaterial when all's said and done. For just like a starving man does not need to be told the reason why he starves, so too it is of little use to revisit the reasons, mentally rehash them one by one after the relationship's gone.

You learn to pick up the pieces and move on. For that's what life is about isn't it? Making what you will of it and moving on. Because if you stay still and stagnate, time passes you by, people pass you by and before you know it, you're stranded, embittered and cantankerous with nothing to show for your pathetic life.

So you move on, even if it hurts because to hurt is to know that you live. Even if it doesn't make the pain any more bearable. I suspect my cousin's faring quite well.. on the face of things at least.

As a friend said while we mused over certain recent events, Life's a funny thing. Indeed. I'm still trying to laugh.

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