Dear readers, I assume that all of you have been in a relationship. Or something close to it. Well, at least you know the butterflies in the stomach feeling, right?
Love is great and empowering and the leading force in life. You can love your jeans that have lost all shape and colour but you obstinately refuse to throw out or simply a well-written song. And of course, there is love for another person.
Let’s say you and your significant other have been together for a while. And everything’s going fine, besides a few fights every now and then to shake off the dust from an otherwise tranquil relationship. Take time to remember the smooth change of vocabulary that comes along as a bonus to the bond you share. When does ’I’ become ’we’?
There’s isn’t anything that distraughtful in starting to speak about yourself in the first person with switching the ’I’ to ’we’. Buddism laid aside, where losing ego is a virtue, I live in a Western culture and I want my damn ego back!
I have fallen in a trap of changing terms as my relationship is getting closer to a 1,5-year signpost. At some point, whenever I was refering to something I did myself, I began to use ’we’. No, ’we’ didn’t do the laundry and no, ’we’ didn’t get that damn dinner cooked. And still, I trip over the same misuse of pronouns. This is especially annoying when it occurs while talking to other people, couple-ish or not, making us two sounds like a couple that has passed their silver wedding.
Why does it bother me so much? The truth is, countless lovey-dovey moments later, I refuse to fuse. I am not a hermaphrodite, having one heartbeat but different minds, trapped in a single body. I am serious, he is easy-going, I like to read books, he barely touches them. He’s an owl, ready to party all night and sleep all day, while I’m wide awake 7 in the morning and deadtired at 11pm.
My brain knows the attitude towards ’we-ism’, yet my tongue is slow to learn the difference.
I don’t remember when or how did my first cup of tea happen. I suppose that it was black, heavily sweetened for a child to enjoy, poured from one cup to another to lose the heat. That was a beginning of a lifelong friendship.
But what I do remember from childhood is that teatime was always fun. Teatime meant gathering together. It was a moment for the family to sit down on the couch or in the kitchen, to take slow sips and talk.
My grandfather was the one with the biggest cup and strongest tea. While his cup normally contained near-black liquid, easily mistaken for coffee, then me and grandma prefered our tea of golden brown tone. And although grandpa liked his tea black as tar, he also didn’t miss a chance to dunk at least four spoonfuls of sugar in it. Never less. Grandmother was more cautious on sugar intake, yet she enjoyed a candy or five with her cup o’ tea. And what did I do? Besides risking getting diabetis at early age by pouring tons of sugar in my cup (still less than grandpa), I LOVED to dip white bread in it. I still wonder why I wasn’t a 100-kilogrammish kiddo with such a healthy habit.
When it was time to say goodbye to grandparents and run over the street to get back home, the same thing was repeated with minor changes of surroundings.
The ritual hasn’t changed much over the years. Teatime is still that part of the day when we gather together to chit-chat. Topics vary as much as teaflavours of the world – anything from politics to current everyday life things, from tips on how to polish wood to reminiscing about good old times.
Teatime is the glue sticking our family together. And although I betrayed tea by becoming a coffee-junkie, I am always ready for a homey gathering with tea, biscuits and topics to discuss.
There’s a funny thing I’ve noticed since moving to Denmark.
I sat on a train making its way towards Aarhus and the number of fields and bridges and little cosy towns on the way seemed as countless as the number of f- words on the Internet. Three and a half hours seemed to have a span of 13. Yet the tiring traintrip came to an end and looking back on it my rambling about the travel time and continuity seems silly.
More recently I was on the way to a gym through a city I don’t really know. Here I’d like to thank my trustworthy friend Google Maps that has always been a good tripadvisor. And my natural sense of orientation. Back to the point though. As I was on the 5-kilometre-long way, the streets just seemed to be stretching away in the distance. The destination seemed further and further away, although logically thinking I was getting closer. Add here some nasty dribbling rain that started as I walked and you get -10 on the mood scale. Yet I managed to find the right place in that maze of a city. After exercising my anger away, I started on my journey back. And guess what? Those 5-somethingish kilometres weren’t that long at all.
I guess the reason of this wierd perception of distance, which doesn’t change a single centimetre while the train whooshes on the tracks or the feet are running on a treadmill, is habit. In a place you know quite well, been there since childhood or spent a considerable amount of time, you get a little minimap in the head. Grocery store? 2 minutes walking. Library? 20 minutes on the bus on a traffic jam free hour.
In new surroundings, I have no tools to help me find my way through the streets or parks. I don’t know the place and the GPS navigation system in my brain is shut down for some time. At least while I get to the point of destination. After that the white blur has been corrected with some lines and schemes about where the hell I am.