It’s a typical dreary, mundane mid-afternoon in Manchester. The black clouds whisper sorrowful lyrics overhead and, with my flat in sight, I’m quite pleased to cut this journey short and make a move before it starts to belt it down. But this all changes, once Hurricane Katrina hits.
Okay, not the physical hurricane, but just as devastating; I’m frozen, haphazardly witnessing a middle-aged couple have an all-out screaming match in the middle of the street over, from what I could make out amongst the profanities, was about who was carrying the bags of shopping (I judged this from the discarded Sainsbury’s bags toppled over on the side of the road, looking almost as forlorn as if they were the disgraced middle child).
Now, when I say screaming, I mean top of the lungs, brain diffusing yelps, to the point where every passer-by probably thought they were being Punk’d. Of course I had to stop, as any other entertainment-seeking individual would do, sacrificing being dry as the heavens opened, whilst also being on tenderhooks, the adrenaline pumping with the inept knowledge that the screaming woman was about five more finger points away from taking it out on the general public.
But the point I’m trying to make here isn’t one of my engagement in strangers’ anger issues, it’s that of needing to ‘even the score’ in relationships: the woman threw her hands down, the man tossed the bags across the street. The woman shouted, the man belted. And it seemed like there was no way this argument was going to be neutralised until someone either fused their brains with insurmountable decibels, or had a full-on heart attack and started having a fit right there on the pavement.
But is that what relationships are all about now? Evening the score? The amount of times we’ve seen in the media exes slating one another in print, video and radio, with the hopes that whatever they’re doing is finally ‘sticking it’ to their component, all to save face and, essentially, win. Remember Frankie and Eamonn? I know this is talking decades ago, but the little debacle of songs to slate the other on their sexual prowess is a prime example of such efforts. And now, Katie Price is demanding all the leaps and jeers of attention by again bringing the disdainful dichotomy of Andre and Price together in a fight to the fiercest.
Pricey has allegedly ‘raged’ that Andre has only gone and shacked up with a much younger woman (seventeen years his junior) all to bloody go and copy her! Well, this can only mean that the point-scoring business suddenly all gets thrown off kilter, and Little Miss Pricey certainly does not like it one bit. She’d far rather spout about how ‘pathetic’ he is than just throw in the towel and leave their relationship that was alone. But the same can be said about him, sure enough there will be a sympathetically-masked comeback to set the record straight, whilst humbly evening out the score in another rivalling tabloid. Not exactly a story to tell Princess Taj Mahal, or whatever her bloody name is, after playtime.
So, if all we’re constantly doing is evening out the score, when do we find time to actually be happy for one another? It seems that now the only way couples can find a common, happy ground is with a solicitor or a therapist present, regulating our every thought. My heart breaks to imagine that this is what modern society has dealt us; sad, lonely relationships that have expiration dates from the get-go. All I can hope is that this is just a generational thing, where in ten, twenty years to come, there’ll be no such thing as screaming matches on the streets, or ‘divorce’ being almost as over-used as the word ‘and’. Or we could just follow the herd, give up and argue every single damned day. But I’d rather not, wouldn’t you?