Maybe it’s just me. I stand alone, a mere island in the sea of complication. That is, the It’s Complicated Sea. Since childhood, people threw that phrase at me like one hurls candy at trick-o-treaters on Halloween. (I can’t be the only one who does that, right?) And thirty-one years into my life, I still haven’t figure out what exactly is complicated. Where do babies come from? It’s complicated. What happens when you die? It’s complicated. Why can’t I get this really expensive-but-ultra-cool toy? It’s complicated. Why are we just friends? It’s complicated. Why do you stay if you know he’s just going to hurt you again? It’s….complicated. The only complicated aspect of those situations is the word complicated. How can something so simply answered be all that hard to understand?
I get it. As children we’re not ready to hear the nitty-gritty explanation of where we came from. (It’s not from Mommy’s tummy or a magical bird, kiddos.) And there’s no volunteer to announce that the world goes on after we’re dead; we’re just no longer part of it. So we invent fantasy to ease the blow. Heaven. Angels. Having tea with our grandparents one more time. Our dogs to a farm and our cats run away to seek their former homes.
When we enter the adult world, we should leave the fantasy one behind. That’s not to say that we can no longer frolic within our childhood. Many of us still play video games, read comic books, day dream, create, build, play, etc. We need to dive into that world when matters call for it. It makes us comfortable, brings us peace of mind. And that’s something everyone needs, even if you’re a tyrannical CEO of an anti-woman craft store.
“It’s complicated.” The phrase builds up in my stomach, explodes up my spine, and hits the emotional center of my mind like a freight truck smashing to a wall of fiber glass. It’s a cop out. It’s admitting that you don’t know why you do certain things. But quantum physics is complicated; advanced calculus is complicated; biology is complicated; the grooves in my fingerprints are complicated; DNA is complicated; black holes and dark matter and the celestial bodies are complicated; shit, the word complicated is more complicated than the situation at hand. Love shouldn’t be complicated. Relationships, yeah. Any relationship without complications is just fooling itself, but love? Never. You either do or you don’t.
It’s complicated is used for a number of things in bad relationship situations. The guy wants to keep you around, but also wants to fool around with other women? It’s complicated. A guy wants to control your every move? It’s complicated. You’re on an allowance of fun? It’s complicated. Still haven’t intimate relationships with a person who broke up with you? It’s complicated. None of them are actually complicated situations. It’s plain as a plateau that we’re forgiving ourselves of making such blundering decisions. Decisions that we’d judge others for, mind you. Of course, we have an answer for that, too. “It’s different.”
So I stare at the screen of my Galaxy Note 3 trying to make sense of the complexity of the complicatedness that is the situation. None of it comes to light and I’m flabbergasted by how someone could make decisions based on emotion. A hypocrite through and through.
Not to the person we’re explaining things to. Not to their mother or father, sister or brother, aunt or uncle. It’s complicated to ourselves. We’re too afraid to admit that we’re being masochistic. Too afraid to admit that we’re wrong. That we might be living below our potential. That we’re too lonely that we’re willing to accept the neglect, the abuse—the whatever—because the other alternative feels much worse than the emotional pain we feel. “At least I have someone to go home to. Someone to wake up next to every morning.”