High Fidelity is, like, the BEST film about relationships ever made. I think. (Directed by Steven Frears but I have to mention that the original book was written by Nick Hornby even though I never read it.) It’s also about music, which is good, but it’s not the greatest film ever made about music.
When Laura (Iben Hjejle) and Rob (John Cusack) get back together on such strangely honest terms it reinforces my opinion that it’s OK not to be a wet blanket with hopelessly high maintenance ideas of romance. It definitely makes me happier to cut the bullshit and be real.
“I’m too tired not to be with you.”
“What, so if you had a bit more energy we’d stay split up, but things being as they are, with you being wiped out and all, you want to get back together? Is that it?”
Does this no bullshit approach make everyone happier? I pick up on faults when I see them and point out when someone is being a dick because then I can get over it. Perhaps this is insensitive. But then being told every day that you’re amazing, perfect etc. and then suddenly being barraged with a million put downs in one blazing argument is kind of a slap in the face.
So, anyway, at the end of the film it’s the smart, independent woman that he ends up with – not the slutty one or the mysterious one or the one that is constantly in awe of him. This I find comforting. (Let’s assume that the smart one is to whom I relate the most, no slutty comments please)
After much over-analytical woe-is-me faffing about I think Rob is finally right when he realises – it’s not what you are like, it’s what you like that makes a relationship work. I still think he’s a bit of a dick though because he cheated in the first place.
I can deal with not understanding some aspects of my boyfriends’ behaviour, even deal with the sometimes teeth grindingly irritating aspects of his behaviour, BUT, if he didn’t like The Stooges, The Stones, Beastie Boys, The Beatles, Nick Cave, The Maytals, Bob Dylan, Jimi, The Fugees, Leonard Cohen, Smashing Pumpkins, De La Soul… OK I know this is kind of a weird list, and I’m not sure where we stand on Pearl Jam and I KNOW we will never agree on Amy Winehouse, (I have actually broken into tears whilst drunk trying to convince him how important she is as a female artist – cringe) but, if he simply didn’t like MUSIC then that would totally dissolve the glue that binds us together.
I do believe all can be resolved when you stick on some good vinyl and crack open a few cans.
“I agreed that what really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films — these things matter. Call me shallow but it’s the fuckin’ truth, and by this measure I was having one of the best dates of my life.”
Here is another good bit from the film…
“Listen, Rob, would you have sex with me? Because I want to feel something else than this. It’s either that, or I go home and put my hand in the fire. Unless you want to stub cigarettes out on my arm.”
“No. I only have a few left, I’ve been saving them for later.”
“Right. It’ll have to be sex, then.”
I asked my boyfriend to stop calling me his ‘bird’ when referring to me in conversation (mainly it makes me cringe because it makes him sound uneducated and maybe I’m a bit of a snob). He said he would stop, except a while later I heard him say it to his work colleague when he thought I was out of ear shot. We laughed when I caught him out, as it doesn’t really bother me, but should I really mind? I don’t really feel comfortable being likened to an animal, as if I’m his pet or something. One dictionary definition describes it as an offensive term for a young woman, but it didn’t give any further details.
It’s more the lack of individual identity that the word suggests that I find annoying. To call a woman in general a ‘bird’ is maybe not so offensive but since he does know my name it might be more polite to use it.
I tried to find out where this terminology for woman originates from. In the Second World War women who worked in the factories were nicknamed ‘canaries’ because of the yellow effect of the sulphur to their skin. But that’s not very affectionate, or relevant. Another interesting but largely irrelevant term I discovered was ‘grue’ which is an old slang term for prostitute in French, meaning ‘crane’ in English, and refers to the way the women would stand on one leg on street corners… (Not very affectionate either, and why did they only stand on one leg??)
So, looking in to the Old English language, it appears the modern word ‘bride’ comes from the old word ‘bryd’, which sounds a little more like ‘bird’. But I doubt there is any connection.
Another possibility is the Old English noun ‘byrd’, meaning “birth, lineage” and its adjective byrde, “well-born,” suggesting a well-born lady. I’d like this to be connected to the modern usage as it is the most flattering but I highly doubt this link.
Apparently the slang term ‘bird’ meaning young woman has been used since 1915. Guess I’ll just have to let it go. As long as I’m something grand like an ostrich and definitely not a pigeon.
My theory is that when blokes were going out to have a bit of a perv on the women passing by they used code and said they were going bird watching(?) and then it just stuck.
Anyway, I decided to take the power back by making it my blog name and I’ve threatened to publicly embarrass him by using the word ‘dude’ if I hear him say it again.