Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A South African Horror Story

At some point in every relationship, a girl will eventually have to succumb to the horror movie genre. It's a guys ultimate form of revenge for inflicting all those Ryan-Gosling-Tatum-Channing-rom-com-chick-flicks that we were simply too busy to catch on girls night, and while most of us are happy to compromise, the rest of us would rather sit through a Brazilian wax ninety times over. As thrilling as they may be, I couldn't help but wonder why scary movies elicit such a negative response. Is it really because of all that gore or is it because they tap into a dark place where all of our hidden, most primal fears come to life?  

For Margot, her biggest fear has always been to live in a world without love and affection which is why she has never been short of a boyfriend. For as long as I’ve known her I have seen her survive one horrific relationship after the next, attracting a smorgasbord of freaks, creeps and blood-sucking monsters. Who could forget Jacques, the possessive, physically abusive psycho that used to lock her up in his apartment because he thought she was cheating on him? Or Herb the 30-something year old teenager who lived by the mantra “bro’s before ho’s”? And then there was Zachary, the much younger artist slash bartender who threatened to kill himself if Margot did not marry him. After so many suicide attempts you’d think he’d be dead by now.

I was starting to think that Margot had been cursed with some kind of bad relationship juju. Just as I was about to call in the priest, she met an amazing yet very simple guy called Wilson. Wilson was everything Margot was not. Quiet, shy, reserved. He was the perfect yin to her self-professed high maintenance yang and even though his intellect was somewhat lacking, he made up for it in ways that made Margot extremely happy. Public displays of affection; small tokens of love and appreciation. Why it seemed as though Margot had finally exorcised her relationship demons once and for all. Or had she?  

About a year into their relationship, things went from sweet dream to hideous nightmare. Both Margot and Wilson were guilty of cheating on each other but had decided to stay together with one of those "forgive and forget" agreements. The betrayal and bitterness of these events grew over the next year causing irrevocable damage to their relationship resulting in constant bickering and public spats that even earned them the title of “bitching couple”. Wilson’s lack of drive and ambition had also become a major problem. It was so exhausting that it was literally sucking the life out of Margot. “All he wants to do is smoke weed. We never talk about our problems. How can I have a relationship with someone who has the emotional depth of a five year old?” Wilson was drowning Margot and she was not about to go under. They were clearly no longer on the same page and even though Margot made every attempt to salvage their fragile relationship, things just didn’t work out.

I guess some relationships really are like horror movies. Predictable, shocking, the final fright. A thrilling sensation at first before the twist that always seems to complicate the storyline, not knowing who the bad guy is until you're being knifed in the back, running up the stairs when you should be running out the front door. The most striking similarity is how these relationships seem to tap into our subconscious, playing on our fears and insecurities until they leave a negative impression about love, life and the possibility of ever having a normal, healthy relationship. I suppose the question at the end of a long and draining relationship is who will survive and what will be left of them?    

When it comes to scary relationships, be afraid. Be very afraid.  

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