After watching the final episode of Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None”, aptly titled “Finale”, I am really appreciating the reality of my own relationship.
In “Master of None”, Ansari’s character is called Dev. The final episode sees Dev, and his girlfriend Rachel, attending a friend’s wedding. What starts as a happy event comically erodes as Dev and Rachel, along with other couples at the event, are forced to listen to the newly weds tooth achingly sweet, cotton candy vows. As the other couples in the room reflect on their own relationships, we see doubtful and dissatisfied glances.
Ansari does a pretty spectacular job of building an on-screen relationship which is real, endearing, flawed and relatable. Without preaching, he shows that there is no normal, there is no 100% and there is no perfect. The idealistic, chick-flick-esq weddings vows which are recited in the episode pale in comparison to life and its bitter sweet reality. Whilst we’re on food metaphors though, many Southeast Asian countries like their foods to be sweet and sour. Maybe that’s the approach that we need to take.
Ultimately, too much sugar equates to diabetes, so in all honesty, who wants a relationship covered in sugar, syrup and pick’n’mix? Kettle corn is the food metaphor for relationship balance. For the English people out there, that’s mixed popcorn: sugar and salt.
I get salty and sweet with Matt, my partner in crime (life) and we’ve been learning the relationship ropes together. We are building a life, and that necessitates deep foundations, some crying, lots of mistakes, lots of laughter and lots of love.
Between us, we have diverse personal histories that range from addiction to professional swimming, domestic abuse to high level dog training, IBS to kittens — and that’s only the beginning of it. We both have histories and pasts that have shaped who we are. I am grateful for those personal stories, experiences and pains because they have brought us to this point, but it definitely does not stop there.
Life doesn’t ever stop and wait for us.
You need to find a running partner to go the distance with. I’m not talking about the type of running that you see in the Nike “Just Do It” adverts, but the type of running where you sprain your ankle, throw up on yourself, need the toilet in the most inconvenient place, run out of water, fall down and still make the finish line. On a daily basis, life experiences add new layers to a relationship and then we have to figure out how we accommodate that. You can either try to eat that relationship onion raw, or learn how to deal with the layers and cook something amazing.
(If you can’t tell from all of the food metaphors, I am hungry and I love eating.)
To assume that growing pains stop is a fallacy, because whilst our physical growth is capped, emotional growth is expansive, complicated and beautiful. One of the things that I love about Matt is that he is someone who grows everyday, supports my growth and our shared growth. We negotiate that together.
We are a bit like James Bond (but better) in that we have codes and mechanisms to navigate emotional and tense times. ‘Code Blue’ is our key code which flags a certain emotional state and the need for space.
Between us, we have some pretty big dance moves, know “The Parent Trap” handshake off by heart and make some mean white rice.