Wednesday, February 23, 2011

zines vs romance

Last year I made two zines. They were called four crushes #1 and four crushes #2.

In making these I did not hope to feel 'closure' about the often unfinished nature of the crushes that I had, rather I was hoping that physically making something would feel like an achievement that I could be proud of. I wanted them to be as good as the zines that I read. I wanted to actually like something that I made. To an extent, I do like them. It was rewarding to learn, after stocking them at Sticky (zine distro in Melbourne) that people were actually purchasing them, these small artefacts of my life, things stuck together with glue or doublesided sticky tape, things that were essentially scribbles or sketches, small thoughts, inane musings, wishes etc.

A year on, I am thinking about my relationship to crushes. Relationship is an appropriate word in this case: I would probably say that I rely on crushes to fulfill my romantic quota, never having been in a long term relationship before. Mostly I think I am fine with this fact, because it gives me license to look down upon people who go from one long term relationship to another (weak). Of course this 'means' that I am jealous and crave one of my own, but anybody who knows me will know that I am probably the most easily jealous person around(/scorpio), so this is no big news. Honestly though, I can't say whether I would be cut out for 'being with someone'. I recently read this article on Thought Catalog by Brandon Scott Gorrell recounting his relationship with his girlfriend. One of his anxieties (can't actually remember the context in which the following comes up, could have been an excitement) about being in a relationship was that you were responsible for another person's happiness. This idea is pretty full on. A lot of the people I know in relationships are not happy with themselves. I guess it is easier to make somebody else happy than yourself. Is it? Basically this concept kinda freaked me out and I felt good about not having a relationship at the moment/ever.

Detour: What does this concept mean for friendship? a particular friend of mine says "I'd do anything for you" (my mum says "why aren't you with him?" I say "oh mum, oh no") which is really unselfish and fantastic, but I barely know how to respond to that, can I honestly say I would do the same? I want to, is that enough of being sure that I would? For me, this is almost the same as being responsible for another person's happiness. Another friend of mine said that having a long term boyfriend is just like having a really good friend. I am fond of this idea. Generally, we want everybody - everybody being friends, family, possibly coworkers, pets, idk - in our lives to be happy. Having said that, I feel there is a place where you stop for people who are just your friends. The line that you draw for them is the line that you cross for your significant other. If you have best friends they can be the exception to this, but not always. I guess it depends on the person. But your other is significant for a reason, amirite?

It feels like I'm supposed to shy away from theorising about relationships because I a) have no first hand experience with them, b) am young and c) make sweeping generalisations at the best of times. I could combat that with the idea that I personally am a sponge and all the relationship ins and outs I've heard have become 'a part' of me, but I think that's probably a bit of a stretch. See c).

I think girls battle crushes on a daily basis. Probably guys too? Please confirm/deny.

Anyway I realised a month or so ago that having crushes is weak. It's easy to develop a romance from afar, to have an inactive relationship. Crushes are a good way to avoid stepping out of your comfort zone. You don't get rejected by crushes, having already decided that it is unrequited. Despite 'knowing' that there's nothing between you, without any interference from the subject of your crush, you are at perfect liberty to pretend that there could be something there. You haven't heard either way.

Perhaps I made the zines because I felt like something of an authority about crushes. At the inception of the first zine I believe I wrote "I have four crushes at the moment", and I figured four crushes was a coming together of words befitting a band name or a blog title or an album name or something goddamnit, I would not let them go to waste. So began the zine. I think I wanted to hold onto this particularly sweet as infatuation I had while on holiday in the UK and was reading Brother of the More Famous Jack which made me long for some sort of midlife retrospective about love affairs. All I had were those four crushes. Not novel worthy, but totally zine appropriate.

I made the zine and sold it, which felt good. In about May I got pretty 'infatuated' (hilarious typo 'unfatuated') with some friend of a friend. Despite feeling really optimistic about what little interaction we had, it seemed that either I couldn't convince him to meet up with me or he didn't want to see me again at all, ever, nothing eventuated. I felt bummed. Ergo four crushes #2. This zine was less optimistic/philosophical than the first, due to being quite jaundiced about my recent failure. I found it difficult to come up with 'authentic' crushes and found myself internally giving them ratings, effectively adding up to a total of four. I also figured that it would be a nice way to move on from that failure and to an extent, trivialise the matter, make myself feel like it was less of a big deal if it was nestled in amongst other stupid crushes.

As mentioned earlier, I only recently realised how easy it is to return to crushes. Not only in terms of 'finding real love' or 'fear of rejection', but in terms of your whole life. In the midst of a crush, when there are various items in my life that I should be focusing on, for example maybe finding a job, will I sit down and write cover letters well in advance or will I track my crush's latest movements online? Oh yeah. Totally weak. I guess I could blame the internet (well, Facebook) about how easy it is to do this nowdays, but maybe I could get a life. It's just that getting a life seems pointless when I already have an internet connection (and man is it hard to get one of those. effort expenditure=over).

I don't know whether I've been writing this giant post to try and convince you that having crushes is bad or anything. But they say a watched pot never boils (this idiom is okay because the Arcade Fire use it) ie if you're putting out mega crush vibes then you gonna get crushed gurl!!11!1!one!1! Well you know, if you are too aware of wanting 'love' then it will never come. (but do we expect love to come from crushes? woah) Side note: why is it that there are equally wise sayings that contradict each other? Like, a rolling stone gathers no moss, but also slow and steady wins the race? Can't think of the opposite for the pot. But I'm sure it's something like you've gotta be in it to win it. Why are these sports related? I want my eggs and I want them all in my basket and I want them now.

I think I'll try to stay crush free for a while, not only because now I'll feel obligated to due to my 'readers' knowing, but also I guess I'm starting uni next week and I should concentrate on that. (I  should clarify that having a crush doesn't actually take up as much time as university. But if the infatuation finds itself nearing reality, then you've got a problem my friend). I just lost myself in all those idioms and parentheses. Send help.

Maybe this ties in with this week's topic in that crushes aren't heavy. I guess another reason for me to stop having crushes is that I get really upset when nothing ever comes from them, even the most quixotic, and when I don't even try to transport them from crush realm to real life, which is most of the time because I have terribly low self esteem. Soo what I'm saying is that I should hold off on the crushes, wait for some of the good stuff? Fuck, or I'll just go to class or something. Maybe start a healthy coke habit.

If you want a zine maybe leave a comment and I'll hook you up.


  1. I WANT ONE! I'm working on a zine right now. We could swap?

  2. Good post, my dear!

    I go through periods where I omit (emit?) infatuation rays at people. I have to say though, crushing on "real" people and crushing on "celebrities" are completely different as you know.

    For me, crushes are just not helpful so having celebrity crushes make sense. When I'm dealing with a "real" person, I can't talk to them at all. I get ecstatic when he knows my name! You know this. You've seen me. I get embarrassingly flushed and I can't look them in the eye properly so I have to steal little glances at them when they're far away and giggle about him with you.

    For me, a crush can't lead to anything. I can't explain it.

    And hells yeah I want a zine :D I've been drawing with gel pens :)

  3. I don't actually think the idea that their happiness depends on you is completely accurate. You are still you're own people, essentially, sort of like being alone, together. I suppose it's different for everybody though. Also I would say that it's harder to make somebody else happy. I don't know, I just do. They are outside of your control, I guess.

    "I feel there is a place where you stop for people who are just your friends. The line that you draw for them is the line that you cross for your significant other." - You should write for Thought Catalog bro. For realsies.

    Also, you should send me a batch of these zines to sell at the zinefest. I like them a lot.

    I love this: "I want my eggs and I want them all in my basket and I want them now."

    Love you gurl.

  4. Happy to do a trade with you Brodie!! Send me yo address and we can make the swap happen!!

    Shoesh I thought I gave you a zine! But if not I will give you some when you are next up in my grill.

    Stacey: I wonder how you get to write for TC. I also wonder if they pay lol. Probably not though. Mmm I miss you