Love in the time of Gitmo

Originally I intended to write this entry about the 75 words on page 26 of today’s London Metro under the headline of Gitmo inmates sent to mainland prison. President Obama has decided to move 100 prisoners to a prison in North Illinois and an official claims that ‘closing Guantanamo Bay will remove a deadly recruiting tool from Al-Qaeda.’ That is great! Hoorah! Well done! Hang on a minute…is this the same Guantanamo Bay that America itself used to detain prisoners in, using highly controversial interrogation methods?

Like I said I was going to write about that, when later on in the day another story broke or rather: broke again. Once more it was rumoured that Reese Witherspoon (my girl crush – see previous post) and Jake Gyllenhaal split. I know. Nightmare! Reese after winning an Oscar and clearly trumping her husbands career achievements became a divorcee with two children- at what 31?, found new love in beautiful 4 year younger man (hoorah, well done!) and managed to keep very discreet about it. That – Mr Tom Cruise- is something that a few people could learn…

Yes I know, she has is famous and succesful, yes I know she has been through a divorce and yes I know, she has two children and yes I know, he is four years younger. But. It. Would. Have. Been. Nice. Why do I care so much – you ask? When there are people dying and being abused in say, Guatanamo Bay? Because wouldn’t it be nice to know that despite people going through atrocities in the world, despite women being successful, despite people going through divorce, despite people already having two children by others and despite age differences between partners – love still happens?

Love is beautiful but complicated.

Everything is so fragile when you first start seeing someone, nobody wants to really bare their soul on the first date even if they do show their knickers. ( Which by the way one should only after date three and then you still don’t sleep with someone until you both love each other very much and are both financially stable.) There is excitement and fear at the same time especially as George Michael tells us so often these days, when you have been once bitten. But then your friends start to recognise you are behaving weirdly and before you know it you have described your new man from the funny thing he said to the cute little mole above his eyebrow over a glass or two or a bottle of Pinot and there is no way back. Especially if he then texts and your friends dissect his message to a degree of  PhD in male psychology: if the jury’s verdict is positive then despite all your efforts to play it cool, it is hook line and sinker.

Now comes the tricky part, you both are clearly keen and the game is pretty much up – how do you keep it fresh and prevent anyone getting bored and moving on? (See how I don’t specify gender here; it is because yours truly does acknowledge the thrill of the chase and the sugar-low afterwards!) I believe keeping your own life would be a good one, doing things on your own so it is still exciting to see the other and to be able to tell them things. New things. Not the things that you have told them about the laundry before when they just didn’t listen. Luckily my friends think the same (that is why they are my friends) and especially when we all get together which takes an awful lot of planning – the next one is set for March -we hardly ever get introduced to each other’s partners. This does lead to an interesting conundrum around this time a year: the Christmas card. Do you address it to just your friend OR to friend and partner? I on principle decided the former, only to receive several Christmas cards signed by the latter…I’d like to state that there are exceptions to my ‘principle’: civil partnership or marriage. Frankly I am so in awe of this institution that it warrants a mention on the Christmas card. 

Thus to wrap it all up… Dear Mr Gyllenhall, we’re at the end of 2009 so surely you must know by now that if you like it then you better put a ring on it; and when you do, I promise I will happily mention you in my card for 2011.  

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