When I showed a senior colleague my Home Minister-wallpaper (yes, yes, I have a new phone and I got her to pose) she smiled, was quiet for a bit and then she said, “Mothers are so special.” Then added, “I lost mine 11 years ago, but my younger daughter is a lot like her.”
What she said reminded me of what R had said a week ago? Gazing fondly at her two-year-old she had said, “Doesn’t he look like A (her husband)?” That the little tyke was her own spitting image was a different matter altogether. But the stubborn mother insisted, “No, no, look at the way his eyes crinkle up when he smiles. Exzzzactly like A.”
Have you noticed how all of us, most of the time are struggling to capture the ‘uncapturable’. And, therefore, we end up looking for our parents in our children (a trait, a gait), our spouses in our grandchildren (when those traits skip a generation they seem more adorable), our favourite siblings in indulgent nephews and nieces (remember Miss Marple’s nephew Raymond?) and ourselves in everyone else.
“So it is not about the ‘uncapturable’ really. It is about going for the familiar,” Best Friend pointed out. He is right. It all seems to boil down to drawing a likeness. I googled ‘drawing a likeness’ and came up with drawsketch.about .com. Hmmm, not exactly what I had in mind but if you want to know what is the difference between a drawing of ‘someone’ and a portrait that actually looks like the sitter, you could check it out. But since I had something more metaphorical in mind I went to joy2meu.com.
Now according to this site “Emotionally we are drawn to people who feel familiar on an energetic level…We are attracted to people whose inner emotional dynamics is similar to our most powerful and earliest experience of emotional intimacy and love — our parents.”
There was one cryptic line that completely ‘offracked’ me. The Friendly Ulcer commented, “That doesn’t need much effort anyway.”
Anyway it read, “The reason that we get involved with people who are unavailable, is because we are unavailable.”
Unavailability, if the internet is to be believed, is something most people, especially women suffer from. And for them you have sites like coping.org, drphil.com, theartoflettinggo.com and more —some of them complete with worksheets and charts to map your letting go quotient.
I recalled this television interview of the wife of somebody famous which I had seen long ago. She was telling the interviewer what it felt like when she discovered that she was expecting her now-husband, then-lover’s child. And her exact words are burnt into my memory. She said, “I finally had a bit of him all to myself.” In her case she availed the unavailable.
But I would think that some things are better off unavailed. Not every bit of land gets mapped, we cannot know each one of those people we admire and the end of the rhyme sums up my philosophy. “Strephon’s kiss was lost in jest,/Robin's lost in play,/But the kiss in Colin’s eyes/Haunts me night and day.”
I asked Best Friend if he could drive me down to Polo’s on Christmas eve. He shot back “Sorry maam, from now on count me unavailable.”