The Gentle Joy of Speculation Even in the Face of Nothingness
August 7, 2011 § 17 Comments
Along with several other books that I have brought with me on holiday, I have been reading Caitlin Moran’s book, How To Be A Woman. She is fucking funny. Many things have made me laugh but her riff in her chapter entitled I Am In Love, about how women all are obsessed with the idea of love and relationships (I do not deny I may be a wee bit guilty) is so spot on.
At one point she writes: “You can always tell when a woman is with the wrong man, because she has so much to say about the fact that nothing’s happening.”
Like many of her thoughts, this is brilliant. She might have added, not only a woman WITH the wrong man but a woman who is INTERESTED IN the wrong man. I fear I have had an awful lot to say about men who have not been interested in me and with whom nothing is happening. Take all the ones I’ve mentioned in this blog so far, not least the Smidgen.
I think I can learn a thing or two from Caitlin’s light-hearted wisdom, and it might be a start to shut up a bit about the men that ain’t goin’ nowhere, with me at any rate.
There again, half the fun is the speculation, no? Even if in one’s heart of hearts one knows there is, really, at best not much happening and at worst, nothing happening at all. In the absence of anything, speculation makes for an agreeable sport. The work I do is partly about trying to understand human nature, and curiosity and speculation is the fuel of those in my profession. I spend my life asking people questions about themselves; for hours I can hear about a person’s relationship with his or her spouse/partner/sibling/child/great aunt/colleague or whoever and never tire of listening. In the same – anthropological? – vein, I have spent many an hour wondering what on earth could be passing through a particular man’s head at a particular time, longing to be a fly on the wall of his mixed-message brain. Often, of course, I am forced to conclude that he is Just Isn’t That Into Me. But the speculation in itself bestows a certain frisson, and pleasantly passes the odd hour in a plankton’s otherwise emotionally uneventful day.