Dating is a weird experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the best thing ever but it’s weird you start thinking deeply about things you’d only barely considered before. You begin to analyse everything you do, trying to figure out the reasons for it, just in case he were to ask. It’s an incredibly self-reflective experience but one that’s also very rewarding because you gain a deeper understanding of yourself than you had previously. Ever since I started dating Finn, I feel like I’m closer to knowing who I am than ever before. And I’ve come to some mildly concerning conclusions. In short, I have realised I may be incredibly childlike.
I have had this thought before, particularly when I do my list of favourite films and TV shows. Despite seeing some of the best films ever made, I always list Elmo In Grouchland as one of my top ten favourite movies (to be fair, it is a good movie with awesome songs and a strong sense of pathos. The ending always makes me cry, even if it is just Elmo saying thank you for watching). And all of my clothes are branded with Doctor Who (that’s not exactly childish, despite some people branding it as a kids’ show), Adventure Time (again, a kids’ show with an adult audience), Regular Show (same as Adventure Time), Sesame Street and Disney. I have the wardrobe of a child, but it’s deeper than that, because I don’t just dress like a child, I act like one.
This is not to say I’m immature, because that’s different from being childlike (which is more about keeping a sense of being young at heart), but I am definitely not a mature person. I am incredibly emotional. I’ll cry at every sad movie and get happy by Taylor Swift’s more uplifting songs, but I’ve noticed more now that I’ve started dating someone. It’s an intense experience, which takes all your emotions and throws them into a blender and you’re left trying to piece together the mess. Particularly for me where most of my life has been a constant battle with depression and low self-esteem (as detailed in the Depressing Post) to be now greeted with these intense feelings of complete happiness is really difficult. It now feels more like a greater battle between the two intense feelings than ever before. But, as with the rest of the world, it is not the battle that is the problem or the cause, but the two sides themselves. I shouldn’t have this intensity of emotion within me, I shouldn’t be as emotional as I am, but I can’t change that and I used to spend forever trying a way to but it was pointless, because, as Finn has pointed out to me (numerous times), there’s nothing wrong with being emotional, it’s just who I am.
Except there is a problem in that because if you’re a very emotional person, then you don’t really have a whole lot of defences. It would be so easy for someone to hurt me, because I take everything to heart and am super sensitive about everything. I’m getting better at this, but there’s a question there. I was bullied badly during my primary school years and felt out of place in my high school years, so why am I so (as someone once called me) delicate? You’d think it would be the opposite. I’d harden up, not let anyone in for fear of the pain, until someone came along and broke through that shell. But that’s not me. I’m a delicate china doll that gets incredibly emotional and whose pop-culture interests mirror that of a primary school student. It doesn’t make sense, but maybe this helps to explain why my friends are so protective of me.
Holmes, a close friend of mine, from Uni once told me that when he first saw me there was a need to protect me, that the world was too cruel for me, that I had to be taken under his wing, as it were. I really don’t know why but I seem to radiate that quality. I know your friends are supposed to look out for you, but their concern for me is almost maternal. It’s wonderful, but it makes me wonder why I’m like that and I get attached. Very easily. That’s the worst thing about being overly emotional and somewhat childlike, because you get attached really quickly. Some guy will say one nice thing to you and he’s the person you’ve got a crush on for a year. You have to tell this one person that you’re dating that you don’t want to see them anymore and it breaks your heart more than theirs (this isn’t with Finn, by the way. Another experience). You cling to your friends because they’re the people who keep you safe. But the worst thing is that when you get really attached to someone it’s really easy to be hurt by them. And I’ve been hurt by people before, people I trusted and that’s broken my heart, because I am overly emotional. And that’s what I fear with Finn. Not that he’s going to hurt me, cause he never would, but that I’m going to get too attached and scare him off.
This happened a lot towards when I first started dating him until one of my friends (Holmes again) pointed out what I was doing, and that helped a lot, but still now I fear that I’m growing too close too quickly. And I can’t see a way out of it.
See, since I started dating someone, I get reflective. I analyse every single bit of the three dates I’ve been on. Not during them, but later, when I can’t go to sleep when I think why? Why did I do that? Why didn’t I do that? What was I thinking? And those are the moments when I feel myself spiralling but, and I don’t know how he does it, but just as it’s about to get really bad, I think of Finn and he’s standing there, reminding me that I am special and I am wanted and I stop myself from falling and start flying. And while that’s wonderful, that’s also attached. I’ve never had someone care for me as much as he does (it’s different with friends, cause he can say it with his hands) and that’s the most wonderfully terrifying thing in the world.
I didn’t want this to be a boyfriend post, but it’s sort of mutated into that. Oh, and we are boyfriends now, had that discussion earlier in the week. Amazing.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. What’s weird about me is that I’m a mess of contradictions. I think I’m childish, yet I was always told (and have always believed) that I was an old guy trapped in a 19 year old’s body. I am incredibly self-reflective and often think far too deeply about whatever it is I’m doing. This manifests itself in the films I watch. One moment I’ll be watching a film like Salo, Or The 120 Days Of Sodom (which is incredibly disturbing and very adult. You have to be fairly mature and philosophical to look past the numerous horrible scenes of sexual torture, degradation and horror and see the deeper meaning behind them) and then, as soon as that’s finished, I’ll sit down to something like Alice In Wonderland (which while having something of a deeper literary significance, is not really a piece of high entertainment, particularly the one from the 30s which I viewed in this example). It’s weird and I’m sure most people don’t do it, where you’ll be incredibly philosophical and think deeply about the meaning of life, the Universe and everything, while you’re sitting there in an Elmo onesie, listening to One Direction. In fact, I’m fairly sure that’s the most telling description I’ve ever given about myself. It gives you everything you need to know about me.
Also, it’s not childlike, there’s another element to this. I am not a childlike boy, I’m a childlike girl. Elmo and One Direction which, despite some boys liking it, the majority of people who would go around dressed in their apparel would be a woman. That’s what society has taught us to believe. Certain interests are gendered and must be marketed as such. That’s why I have to go to the female section of Jay Jays because the men’s clothes are boring and don’t reflect my interests. But to look in the other gendered section takes guts and a lot of them. Because, after one bad experience, you’re terrified to do it again. Only yesterday, I was in Jay Jays again and I saw these Sesame Street tank tops, two for $5 and I was like wow, that’s really cheap. I’d been wanting to get more armless tops as on Monday, Finn said I would look good in them. It was like a sign, that these were a good choice for me. And yet, as soon as I started looking I felt this deep fear within me. What if that woman behind the counter says something like the other one did? Because, despite my frustration over the jumper fiasco, it had hurt me, deeply. So I walked out of the store.
Half-an-hour later, I returned. I refused to allow that woman at Jay Jays to ruin my chance at happiness when I see the look on my boyfriend’s face when he sees me in an Elmo tank top. So, I began looking around for a size. The woman at this store was actually really helpful, helping me find a size that would’ve fitted me and it was a good experience. Then, she left and was replaced by this sour looking woman who stood at the counter and stared. When I placed the tank tops down, she ignored me. I literally had to say, excuse me, but I’m buying these, before she even processed them. It’s frustrating because the experience had been a good one, only to be soured by annoying people stuck up on clothes designed for each gender. I’ll never understand it.
However, the question is, why the hell is an Elmo or Mickey t-shirt gendered towards female? What is about them that makes them for a female? Elmo and Mickey are both boys, but that doesn’t matter. These are pop-culture icons which I somehow relate to. Elmo taught me the meaning of friendship and I associate him with some of the better times in my life. Mickey is a fun character who has an almost universal fan base. What about that is gendered? I understand it more, to a certain extent, with Disney Princesses and The Wizard Of Oz pyjamas that sometimes are in Peter Alexander, because they are explicitly aimed at a female fanbase (although, you could argue the latter) but there their attitude seems more relaxed. If I were to buy the long pyjama top with Dorothy in the field of poppies I doubt I’d get a second look. There’s a gender focus which is the problem here. And here’s the crunch of this post, the meaning.
If I was a girl, I would be considered cute and lovable if I was wearing a branded t-shirt with Elmo on it. Because I am a boy, I’m immature and childlike. That’s the crux of it. There’s a gender bias that says that girls remain interested in childlike things for longer and if you’re a boy, you should’ve grown out of it, you’re weird for liking it. There’s so much wrong with this line of thinking, mainly because it becomes internalised. I truly believe that I am immature and childlike simply because of that gender binary. I’ve absorbed it within myself and had come to see myself as somehow wrong because I would much rather wear an Elmo jumper than a plain black one. But there is nothing wrong with it. And if I am childlike, then so what? Those were some of the best years of my life, why not embrace them? Why not love Sesame Street or The Lion King or Frozen or Disney Princesses or Pokemon? We’re only here once and should live our lives the way we wish to lead them. And if I want to live my life, fully embracing my emotions, my interests and my attachments to people, then there’s nothing wrong with that. Cause who isn’t young at heart, really?
So, yes that’s my soapbox for the week. To keep you updated, Finn and I have been on two further dates which was amazing, the details of which I shall keep to myself. Got to have some secrets. I will just say that Finn said the title of my blog is grossly inaccurate, and leave it at that. But yes, we’re boyfriends now, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
Also, two of my Uni friends also write blogs and the three of us have decided to link our blogs together to create a story of three students studying writing. So, without further ado, these are their blogs;
They’re both such talented writers and I cannot recommend their blogs enough. They’re also really awesome people.
Apologies for last week’s blog. It was going to be about a very touchy subject and I was tossing up whether to write or not, but ultimately I decided it should be censored. Maybe one day I’ll talk about that, but not yet. Also, I’m going to start a new thing where I end this blog with the Things I Learnt While Dating. Because I can. And I’m happier than I’ve ever been. And I have a boyfriend now. And he’s awesome.
See you all next week! Oh, almost forgot, this weekend is my biggest of the year. It’s Eurovision, people. Get excited.
Things I Learnt While Dating #1
The simple act of breathing can be really frickin’ hot.
The Playlist Of 23 Apr – 6 MaySilicone (Detox, William Belli & Vicky)
Already Home (A Great Big World)
RuPaulogise (William Belli)
Aerials (System Of A Down)
Fancy (Iggy Azaela, Charli XCX)
Begin Again (Taylor Swift)
Life For Me (Lily Allen)
Follow Your Arrow (Kacey Musgraves)
URL Badman (Lily Allen)
Waking The Demon (Bullet For My Valentine)
Headlights (Eminem, Nate Reuss)
Sexy Boy (Air)
Treacherous (Taylor Swift)
She Looks So Perfect (5 Seconds Of Summer)
Innocent (Taylor Swift)
Return To Innocence (Enigma)
The Top 12 Films Of 23 Apr – 6 MayWitness For The Prosecution
Eyes Without A Face
Blood Of The Beasts
A Letter To Three Wives
Sid & Nancy
Man Of Steel
*Because of dating, I only viewed six films each week
PS. David, because it’s what I called myself in a version of my life, Gumball, because he’s called Finn and that’s what he calls me (Prince Gumball from Adventure Time) and Watson, because of my friendship with Holmes.