Tag Archives: relationships

Sam’s Guide to Relationships

A relationship is a bed of roses.  They look delightful from the outside, but once you get in one you find yourself endlessly pricked by thorns (prickles).  Fortunately, you, dear reader, have this guide.

The first rule of relationships is communication.  A good relationship is founded on clarity, not assumptions.  If something bothers you, you should let your partner know.  This goes the other way, too.  If your partner says that nothing is wrong, congratulations!  Your relationship is perfect! Think of yourself as a lawyer when you and your darling divide chores.  If her chore is dishes and she is out for a week, she cannot be mad if she comes home to week-old dishes.  This was her failure to communicate, and this lesson will be good for both of you.

You and your sweetheart, and I cannot emphasize this enough, cannot both be the best.  If your darling calls you the best, do not simply accept it, as you are implicitly telling her you do not love her by not telling her that she is wrong because she is the best, making it impossible that you could be the best.  If she responds similarly, that in fact it is you who, by being the best, prevents her from being the best, this is good.  It is a sign she respects you.  You must respond appropriately, telling her that once again she has become confused, and that her confusion stems from a misunderstanding around the notion that you are the best.  Explain to her that she is the best, and she can be the best because you are not the best, for if you were the best, she could not be the best, but she is the best.  The length and heat of this conversation is a useful barometer for relationship health.

Finally, this is a Spearow.

Spearows are the garbage bird pokemon. They are everywhere, they do not evolve into powerful forms, and unlike other common pokemon such as Pidgey, Weedle, Caterpie, and Rattata, they cost too much to evolve to be useful for power-leveling.  Once you get to higher levels and they start to break out of your pokeballs, you will spend more pokeballs catching them than the 100 experience and stardust is worth.  Do your relationship a favor.  When you are walking along a moonlit beach with your sweetheart, and your phone buzzes indicating a pokemon is nearby, check if it’s a Spearow.  If so, just put your phone down. Your relationship means more than a worthless Spearow.

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Don Hertzfeldt’s Simpson’s Couch Gag is about relationships and mental illness

Come with me, if you would, on a journey into the distant future, so distant that we may not even recognize our descendants as humans, let alone as part of our culture. What does “The Simpsons” look like in a realm so far beyond our understanding? Don Hertzfeldt takes a guess in his couch gag opening the season premiere of the show’s 26th season, and, people around the Internet mostly agree, it’s weird.

But for the most part, no one seems to see beyond this couch gag’s obvious strangeness and it’s only slightly more subtle anti-consumerism. I saw a little bit more. For my part, I would like to draw your attention to the heart-rending tragedy that plays out on the sun-date of Septembar 36.4, 10,535.

After calling his family to the “kitchen-cube,” the “D’oh”ing tentacled head that now represents Homer Simpson looks at the bumpy blue blob crowing the praises of “The Dark Lord of the Twin Moons.” After a brief advertisement from the remnants of his baby daughter, Homer states that he has “memories,” and looks out a staticky hologram of a window. We go back in time to “Sampsans Epasode Numbar 20,254” wherein two sepia-toned bipeds Homer and Marge stare blankly at each other. Clumsily, Marge fumbles to touch Homer’s face, and tries to tell him that despite all that has changed, he can always count on her love for him. “Still love you Ho-mar” she intones in a tinny voice.

In a later episode, a nearly unrecognizable Marge tells a brown-yellow cycloptic tripod that we can only assume is Homer that she will never forget him. Her voice is so distorted that we need a subtitle to understand it. Even as their very identities degrade and disappear around them, Homer and Marge somehow maintain their love.

But as we return to the kitchen cube of the new present, Homer looks back at the erstwhile love of his life. The blue sponge insisting that “all animals can scream” makes no indication that she is even aware he’s there. The love that persevered through thousands of years and the loss of humanity has finally succumbed to the degrading influence of time. Realizing in a sudden moment of clarity what it is that he has lost, Homer emits a final, sorrowful “d’oh.”

If we think of the bizarre scenery as a metaphor for the changes over a human lifespan, and Marge’s changes in particular as a descent into dementia, the trajectory holds true. As Marge slowly loses her mental faculties, she proves again and again, in attempts that require more and more effort, that her love for Homer is the strongest force maintaining her sense of self. The final scene matches with the experience of Homer turning to his wife one morning and finding that she has finally lost the battle. She does not recognize him. Perhaps in this version of events as well, Homer expresses his feelings in the only way he knows how – the defeated, dejected “d’oh.”