A bloke starts dating a woman. There was chemistry when they met but they’ve had three dates and things have yet to really sparkle. Some friends are saying they should split up, whilst others are saying its early days and they’re obviously suited to each. They just need a really good night out to kick start things, open up a little and feed off each other’s personality.
But there's still some doubt.
“You’re on the rebound, you should never have dumped your last girlfriend”
“She was a flirt”
“Yeah, but she was as good as you’ve had it for while”
“She just wasn’t committed enough”
So what to do? That sparkle, where does it come from?
“You need to have sex”
“Sex. You need to sleep with her. Once you’ve slept with her you’ll know if there’s any true chemistry between the two of you”
“She does seem up for it, but I don’t know, there’s mixed signals in there. I think it might happen but then it doesn’t. We don’t quite go all the way. Maybe it's too early, we don't quite know enough about each other”
“Is she teasing you?”
“No, no. It’s like we fumble a little and...well, nothing comes from it”
“Sounds like you both need to relax a little, let it happen naturally”
The bloke has a think, a scratch of the head.
“I guess we shouldn’t stay in, we need to go out, go away for the weekend and something might happen”
“Enjoy a day out. You both probably feel a little anxious when staying indoors”
“I’ll do that”
“And if it doesn’t go well?”
“I’ll dump her. Plenty more fish in the sea”
So, what is the point of the adult themed Jackanory above? If the conclusion you’ve come to is that Tottenham needs to have sex with Andre Villas-Boas then, well, you’re obviously as disturbed as I am. For a start it’s not physically possible and the picture being painted in my mind is quite hideous. So that wouldn't be the point. But don’t fret, this isn’t going to turn into another ‘be patient’ speech. I guess the allegory (the one trying desperately to jump out of the narrative) is that relationships are complex and people’s perceptions of what might and might not work are based on gut reactions, instinct, attractions and past experience and comparisons. That includes the couple in the relationship and the friends that are being supportive or not being quite as supportive.
But then what exactly is defined as supportive in this scenario? Getting him to stay with her or getting him to break up?
This theoretical couple, the bloke, his friends are saying stick with it but there are some saying don’t bother its doomed to fail, there’s no evidence to suggest it will work. Are both sets of friends not being as supportive as each other by virtue of loyalty displayed to their friends well being? Is there such an act as not being supportive when you care for someone? Whether you agree with the relationship or not, you offer support based on what you believe is best. Unless you have an agenda. Which means you’re influenced to react a certain way to prove your point without caring for consequence to anyone else involved.
You care for your friend, you don’t want him to waste his time, you don’t think it’s worth his time – you think he should move on and just admit it's not going to work out no matter what. You don't want to see him get knocked.
You care for your friend, his happiness is imperative, you think he should stick with it as it’s too early to really know the person yet and it could quite easily blossom. The best things in life have to be worked at, the ones that last don’t necessarily start off with fireworks.
The friends are loyal but both have differing opinions. But offer protection with different paths outlined. But an argument might be that even if you're unsure about the woman and about the relationship - you should tell him what he thinks he needs to hear because most people, that early in a relationship, want to see where it goes. They want to give a chance. They want it to succeed. If its meant to be, it's meant to be.
Now if the allegory seems weak and misguided than it becomes fairly redundant at the point I’m about to move onto. The actual point I want to make about Spurs. Football transcends relationships. You love Tottenham Hotspur. You love a football club. You are stuck with the club for life. It's beyond marriage, it's a life style that's with you forever, it engraves itself onto your soul and you literally have to sell it to the devil to escape from it. But how does that actually work? What is it exactly you love and fall in love with? Its name? Its traditions? The players? The classic games? The pub before the game? The style of football? The people you go to the game with?
Can it be defined?
It’s not the love of bricks and seats or a postcode. Although that forms part of it allowing memories to anchor. Tottenham Hotspur itself is memories and experiences and friendships you live through. Some live as you watch it all unfold and some relived through books and recorded footage. Tottenham exists and yet its very essence is you and what you witness and process. It’s a constant, it’s always there but you are also a constant and far more important because you and you alone define what it means to be Tottenham. You define what it is that makes the club the club it is. You give the club an identity. You become part of a collective of identities, all unique but with one thing in common. You are all Tottenham Hotspur.
A man that walks the earth alone may as well not exist because he has nothing to be defined by, aside from his own thoughts. You are who you are in everyday life because you have family and friends and work colleagues and people you speak to online or casual commuters and pedestrians in the streets. You, your actions and the person you are is illuminated through the eyes of others around you. You need them to make you who you are.
Tottenham is what it is because of the supporters that follow Tottenham. Otherwise, it's just bricks and a postcode without a voice and without heart.
Okay, so I’m about to drown in existentialism and I can already feel myself moving away from the point that I’m supposed to be travelling towards (you really expect me not to take the long and winding road to get there?)
to be continued in part II