Sunday, 22 August 2010

Some tie the knot, others clam up.

Yesterday I attended one of best friend’s wedding ceremony. Michał turned out to be the first of my close friends to decide to get married so early. I don’t know what prompted their decision, I didn’t dare to ask openly, but to dispel your suppositions I can tell his new wife isn’t up the stump spout; nor even they plan to have children within next five years. But for some reason they surely wanted to have their relationship formalised. Meanwhile I couldn’t attend another wedding which was held in Tomaszów Mazowiecki (ca. 150 kilometres south-west of Warsaw) just an hour later. Another friend and her boyfriend also tied the knot.

The wedding was kind of sad – number of people in a church (Bazylika Archikatedralna im. Św. Jana Chrzciciela in Warsaw Old Town) reached around 60, including around 20 of my age. I didn’t meet any acquaintance from school. I feel sorry for the newlyweds – as far as I’m concerned they had invited much more people and most of them didn’t bother to show up. How come? Will it happen to me one day? Will my friends cut me dead? Will they choose to lie on a beach, go for a weekend or stay at home and stare at the box instead of keeping me company on one of most important days of my life?

I handed them a gift, wished all the best in the new leaf they were turning over and headed back home. Michał and his new wife settled on not throwing a wedding reception and money not lashed out for one-night extravaganza they spent on refurbishing a flat Michał’s wife inherited after her late grandparents. Not luxurious and located on Bródno, but their own, they don’t have to take out a mortgage, which is a really great advantage. Here I go along with their decision, but many guests could have thought there was no point in going to the church if the newlyweds didn’t provide any blow-out and disco.

For the second consecutive day I passed by the cross outside presidential palace. Still thousands of tourists from Poland and abroad hang around there and a few grannies still pray to the cross and involuntarily are photographed by the tourists.

As the title goes some of my peers quite traditionally set up families, but most of us have other priorities in life. We cherish independence, carefree life, career, money, living it up, flexibility, self-development, etc. But isn’t it all about taking a path of least resistance? Isn’t it easier to live on one’s own? You don’t have to mind your second half’s feelings? But is it happier? I know some people are destined to be lonesome and feel best when no one’s around, company of other people winds them up and simply can’t get along with anyone in a relationship, but is it normal? Human being is a social creature, hence I suppose it naturally needs to socialise with fellow social creatures.

I recently had a great opportunity to observe how the pick of my generation behave. I have no idea how discernible my eye that time was, but I strongly and sadly feel we seem to a broken generation. We have no problems making friends, co-operating and communicating with one another, we can absolutely normally have fun. When necessary we are professional and career-minded, when not we have other priorities, but there’s one disturbing trait we have in common. We are all hidden in our own shells. Always smile on the face, always the awe-inspiring look that exudes self-confidence and courage. People who meet us are always amazed at how well we know what we want from life, how clear our visions our are, how eager to move ahead we are.

But who knows about our problems? Who knows when something’s eating us? Who knows when we feel helpless, disillusioned? Who knows when we’re keeping a bold face (cause that’s what we’ve been taught) while deep inside we’re falling apart? For sure at least ninety per cent of us are not callous robots but ordinary humans who hold back their feelings and carry on, even if each and every cell and tissue deep in our chests is aching. Why? Is it a matter of the new culture I wrote about a week ago?

I have one close friend whom I can tell everything and who can confide in me and reckon for understanding and honesty. I have a few close friends with whom I can talk about some personal issues, but not very intimate, those are people I can rely on in slightly difficult situations, but if push came to a shove I’d be wary of turning to them for help. I have many friends with whom I talk about what are not problems – the fact I bought some stocks and their price dropped is not a problem (unless I invested all my savings in one security and the price really tumbled). And I meet tens of people with whom I just have small talks and do businesses. Our co-operation is based on mutual indifference – meeting up and going separate ways. I don’t think it’s bad, if we wanted to take care of everyone’s quandaries we’d soon go crazy, but… have you ever thought about it in such a way?

I heard several times opinions modern, young career-focused single women are unapproachable and I can’t find any argument to give lie to that (widespread?) opinion. What do we think we stand for by doing so? Have some of us built a glass wall aroudn them? Are we proving our toughness or are we desperately trying to conceal our fragility? What is it going to lead my generation up to? Are we a broken generation? Who the hell can break through the shell?

Strange are these days for me. I’m not down in the dumps but I feel a kind of anxiety, for many months or even years I haven’t felt that insecure. Plus for four days in a row I drank. On Wednesday and Friday socially, on Thursday and yesterday without any company, just to bring the “proper” frame of mind. From today on I’m going to give it up as this certainly shouldn’t become a habit. Does something need to be rearranged? Am I at a crossroads? No matter what happens I’ll be carrying on, as I’ve been doing for years. But when will I run out of strength?


Island1 said...

"up the stump" Holy Mary Mother of God that's an ugly image :)

student SGH said...

I can't agree more ;) Thanks for spotting!

Michael Dembinski said...

Drinking daily? Not a problem. Keep within the UK DrinkWise limits (4 units a day) and give up altogether for Lent and you'll live to a hundred. Mrs Gregory at 11 Croft Gardens did.

ut_eagle said...

Great questions! Many of my friends are pondering the same things. Keep searching for answers- there is a perspective which can give you peace to all these deep-down anxieties and unknowns and which can even give you strength to persevere when you feel like that wall of fragility is about to crumble.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you do, don't go over to the dark side or you have wear funny helmets and wheeze a lot!

You sound more like Pinolona every day! :)

student SGH said...

Yes, this post was really "Pinolonish" I wonder if had such thoughts when she was at my age and if I get that sort of mindset as she has in seven years - well much depends if I tie that knot...