BY WOLE OGUNTOKUN
I WAS at the Odeon cinemas with the beautiful and cerebral fly-girl a few days ago (yes, that is the name she uses, at least for her writings, and yes, there are other cinemas apart from the ones situated in the galleria) and the movie we had come to see was The Ugly Truth.
She had waited for me at the train station (some might be wondering what country’s trains I’m writing about) and because I was a few minutes late, she had gone in with two other friends and left my ticket at the entrance.
So, I ran into the cinema hall a bit late and stood to one side until I could locate her.
The movie, starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler (Remember 300?) was about some kind of perverse ‘Whisperer’, only he spoke the ‘ugly truth’.
It tells the story of a relationship-challenged television producer who follows the ‘advice’ of the correspondent on her show.
One scene set me thinking in this movie, the correspondent who had gained fame and notoriety for his cynical views on women is asked a question at another television station interview.
The question in my own words ‘Who made you like this?’ The implication was that some woman in a previous relationship must have hurt him deeply and made him develop a shell to protect him from other hurt.
In that line, the movie sent its entire message to me. Often, in our relationships, we are the result of the conflict and troubles we had in prior relationships.
We bring suspicion, fear and unresolved anger into fresh situations because we were burnt badly in a previous one.
This is more common than many realise and what we effectively do is that we let the pain of our past poison our future.
A GIRL who had been deceived many times by some guy she felt she was totally crazy about and then dumped without warning (the truly ‘evil’ ones never give you warning, do they?) goes ‘prepared’ into subsequent relationships.
She gives no quarter and expects none and is totally paranoid which can be a good thing sometimes.
As Andy Grove, head of Intel once said, “only the paranoid survive” but I am certain he was not talking about relationships.
To enter new relationships totally blinded by what you have gone through in times past means you are not giving that new relationship a fighting chance.
It is true that there are people you should be wary of, men and women who play the field; for example, people who send generic text messages (by generic, I mean a text you can be sure has been sent to two or three men or women at the same time).
You know the “I hope your day went well, how are you today” type of message? You do not add a name or any specific-related event that the person receiving can identify with himself or herself.
But this is usually because you need to ‘address’ many partners at the same time. Before this writer got his calling as a Whisperer, he sent similar messages from time to time when he was… ehr…multi-tasking.
Fortunately, his deliverance came (wouldn’t you like to know in what way?) and those despicable things have gone with the wind. It has amused the Whisperer, however, when he has been the recipient of such drivel.
But back to the business at hand and to very good-looking people like the fly-girl. As she and I discussed on a long walk after the movie (and she is very easy to talk to), the ugly truth is that there are people who will not allow trust in subsequent relationships because they got badly burned in one.
It is good to open your eyes particularly if you were left holding the wrong end of a stick in some relationship but you must learn the ability to shake things off and give a good man (or woman) a chance.
People have a tendency to walk in the direction they are facing and so if you have decided you want to open a fresh page, you must give it a chance and face exactly where you would like to go.
I do not write, as an advocate for the male gender, because I know the world is full of people who have no hearts and I also know it is possible to get five straight ‘bads’ in a row.
There are girls who enter relationship after relationship without expectations, without hope, really. They tell you “this is the way men are and there is nothing you can do to make them any different”.
I GUESS the preponderance of evidence might be in favour of these deductions. However, isn’t it perverse to pursue pain?
Why would you enter (and stay) in a relationship where you are sure the other party has no regard for you and will hurt you when he gets the opportunity?
There are those who say (and women are the greatest proponents of this philosophy) that philandering is embedded in the DNA of all men.
Philandering, by the way means making love without serious intentions. The term ‘making love’ does not necessarily mean the physical act if there are any easily offended reading this.
I do not agree, though. I think, men have been conditioned, by mothers, sisters, girlfriends and wives to always want to see what they might get on the ‘outside’. Many women say with a tinge of pride, that their men are ‘road-runners’.
The subliminal message to the man there is that you would be heartily disappointed if he didn’t show how virile he was by doing things with other people.
The Whisperer submits that even though there are many men who are in relationships for the short haul or are busy looking to other tables instead of eating from theirs, there is no reason to be disheartened.
We never know the way the cards might be dealt so we must be careful as we scrutinise all comers.
There is no reason to kick-off a new relationship if you are not absolutely certain of the other person in the equation.
They say life is the number of frogs you kiss before you meet your Prince Charming. I’m hoping you meet yours quite soon.