I recently listened to a podcast with Alain De Botton on the topic of love. The first time I was interrupted 26 times before it came to the end. A concoction of three children and a mischievous whippet was the source of the interruptions.
Despite the stopping and starting, I didn’t turn it off.
I couldn’t turn it off.
The conversation was fascinating and I knew I would be listening to it a second time, if only to hear the lines I had missed the first time in their entirety. (I did listen again and was happy that I had. )
Alain de Botton’s way of describing our culture of romanticism, and also why you should be upfront with your own fault’s from the beginning of a relationship was quite wonderful to hear.
So is there magic in some people’s relationships? Or is it an incredible amount of work, effort and kindness that creates this thing called love of which isn’t made by two perfect single creatures with an ambition to live happily ever after.
Alains’ words had me musing for far longer than the podcast, that’s for sure.
[The conversation with Richard Fidler can be found here. Or the rather condensed version of what he talks about in his book, found here.]
But what does Pokemon have to do with love I hear you ask?
Well, over time my small people have spent many happy years with heart eyes for Pokemon. With the eldest two being marginally obsessed, the third was drawn in almost by osmosis by her older siblings. Pokemon, of course she shall LOVE it! they cried.
At the announcement of Pokemon Go, the small-sized ones pricked up their ears and declared…awwwwwesome. Can we get it on your phone Mama?
Nope, not a chance, I said without barely raising my head.
At least I didn’t really disappoint them there, they really didn’t think there was a chance at all of me actually saying yes to that, but it’s always worth a crack eh kids? And yes I still love you all, even though we aren’t getting it.
They then moved pretty swiftly straight on to the kids they knew with their own phones and the crucial app. Straight after school there is a small beeline as kids begin charging around pointing phones in trees. Hastily mumbled hellos to waiting parents and conversations continue, spoken in the garbled tongue of Pokemon.
I recently (happily) caught a conversation between two arborists up a 20 metre tree. With me unintentionally listening in on what started out as some typical tradey talk between two up-a-gumtree fellas and ending in talk of Pokemon Go, strategies on playing and the Pokémon they had managed to happily capture the night before.
I couldn’t stifle the laughing longer than a minute so had to come on inside, where my attention was instantly brought back to that mischievous whippet. All I had to do was follow the trail of chewed objects, she’d lovingly left out for me.
Luckily for me, as I picked through the wreckage of my lounge room, I already knew that any relationship was built on a fair amount of work, effort and kindness. Whether that be with the man I’ve chosen to create a family with, my three Pokemon loving children or that mischief-making whippet. Which I think, keeps things far more interesting than any happily ever after that Disney or Hollywood would have you believe.