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'I will never cut corners romantically, ever'

The Local · 4 Mar 2013, 17:45

Published: 04 Mar 2013 17:45 GMT+01:00

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Something struck me this week when the English National Ballet went down the route of so many others these past few soggy winter days. Twirling in a different direction entirely - like a Södertälje cop or a Borås firefighter - yes, of course, we're talking about that frenzy of silliness known as the Harlem Shake.

What struck me was not how undignified it was of professional ballerinas to join in the globalized collective (globective?) fun, but how their participation proved to me that everyone seems to be yearning for a bit of silliness lately.

About bloody time, I say.

Sub-prime mortgages, Islamists in Timbuktu, 'Golden Dawn' in the Greek parliament, radiation in Japan, horsemeat in our lasagnas, the fact that you can't find a good Dirty Martini in Stockholm for love or money... it's frankly been a bit of a slog lately.

Well, to be truthful, the world has not been much fun since 9/11.

Many in my generation have responded to the moodiness of the era by bunkering down, literally. Two of my best friends are in what I'd term arranged marriages, it's just that they arranged them themselves without parental input. They found a boy that was good looking enough and kind enough and just got on with it. Bought houses. Reproduced.

We grow herbs on our kitchen window sills without a hint of irony. In Stockholm, men as young as 25 are sporting mustaches - not the Williamsburg hipster lettuce slug, but bushy "don't disturb your father when he's in his study" facial hair.

Tweed has made a comeback. As has black coffee.

Everything is just so frigging serious. I often wonder what Freud would say if he came back from the dead.

The Harlem Shake pandemic makes utter sense given the context. We all just want to unclench our jaws and relax, be a bit silly.

I welcome this silliness with open arms, not just for the world but for hugely personal reasons. For women of a certain still fertile age, the current reinvented bourgeois solemness distorts other people's view of us.

I am silly, but my peers are not, and their intent on being more adult than adult spells bad news for me. Everyone seems to assume I want what they want.

At 33, I feel that whenever I go on a date, people are no longer sizing up my boobs, their gaze has fallen a foot or two to my belly. What am I supposed to say?

"Yes, that's my womb and it's doing fine, thank you very much."

I feel the men I date think that I must be urging for marriage and bambinos pronto. That is not the case. And I resent that others allow themselves to assume that of me.

Not only do I resent it, I think it's idiotic. Because rather than the men thinking "Does she like me?", these men now seem convinced that I simply MUST like them.

I must like them because I am... ready...

Other 30-something girlfriends tell me they're facing the same attitude from boys from London to Hong Kong.

This is not only revoltingly narcissistic, it's incorrect.

Where I would allow myself odd dalliances in the past, today I am much more picky. Not, I underscore not, because I may want to marry and I quickly rule out any unsuitable candidates. Nor because I've ruled out shorter romances.

Story continues below…

It's because all those odd dalliances were part of my romantic, moral, and sexual education. I learned from them, I know what I don't want. That's true for flings, it's true for longer stuff.

There will be no cutting corners here, and that won't change when I'm 43, 53, or even 93. EVER.

Of course whenever me being fine with waiting comes up there is always someone who gives me a "Honey, are there even any eggs left in there?" look - either laced with pity, or hinting that I'm naive or, even worse, stupid.

For me, however, waiting is about respect. Respecting myself and respecting others. I would never be so cruel and deceitful to another human being as to knowingly start a family with a person I didn't love properly. Half-baked is not for me.

And if there are no bairns? Well, then there will be no bairns.

Lots of practice in the art of maybe one day making bairns? Yes, please. And I'll have a Harlem and milk shake with that.

Emilia Millicent lives in Stockholm and works in finance during daylight hours.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:01 March 4, 2013 by StockholmSam
Finally it appears as though The Local has found a contributor who can actually write an entertaining article with skill, finesse and emotion. About damn time.
21:04 March 4, 2013 by peterrkj
Ha ha fun and silliness in Sweden don't make me laugh that's illegal here I'm sure. I haven't seen a more miserable bunch in my life well except when you see old documentaries of soviet Russia and China when they still all had to wear grey pajamas. There nice and polite people most of them but they don't do fun or take criticism all this is different of course if they've had a bit of the sauce or if you met then abroad then there bundles of fun.
00:52 March 5, 2013 by Svensksmith
I'd date you, Emilia except for the fact that my wife would cut something and it wouldn't be a corner.
07:50 March 5, 2013 by Reason and Realism
One scientific study has indicated that the greatest predictor of success in a long term relationship between A and B, is simply that if A is in a room, and B walks in, then A's blood pressure drops, because he/she relaxes and warmly thinks 'oh good, B is here'.

The ability to be silly is one ingredient in a relaxed environment. This is also why so many people are looking for others who have a sense of humour. What they are really looking for is someone around whom they feel relaxed enough to joke around and express their humour.

Recognize these qualities when you find them, and have the wisdom to hold on to them.
09:09 March 5, 2013 by Chloe Monroe
I'd like The Local to release the figures for how many emails they've received asking them to pass on contact details to Emilea...c'mon The Local, it is just a number, dare ya!
10:52 March 5, 2013 by RobinHood
"Sub-prime mortgages, Islamists in Timbuktu, 'Golden Dawn' in the Greek parliament, radiation in Japan, horsemeat in our lasagnas, the fact that you can't find a good Dirty Martini in Stockholm for love or money... it's frankly been a bit of a slog lately."

At least nobody has pooped in the chocolate cake.
16:28 March 5, 2013 by oddsock
Can somebody send me the cliff notes for this article?
12:57 March 6, 2013 by HenryPollard
The desire to pass on one's genes is "not only revoltingly narcissistic, it's incorrect. "?

I hate to break it to you, but the behaviours induced by brooding that you disparage in this article are as prevalent, if not more so, in women as they are in men.
13:44 March 6, 2013 by Emilia Millicent
@HenryPollard You misunderstand me. It's the men I date assuming I am interested in them that I find revoltingly narcissistic and ageist. I have few opinions on reproduction. People can do what they like. Just don't assume I want the same thing.
14:34 March 6, 2013 by AfroSwede
@Emilia, try and date a non Swede
08:53 March 7, 2013 by skogsbo
good that you're not presuming anything, I know a lot of people male and female, who openly have no intention to start a family, but it could be all bluff and cover? is yours? I bet many single woman in their 30s say they aren't bothered about a family, simply because they are single, give it 2 years in a steady relationship and those chemicals will start stirring your hormones and hey prestor - mini millicents running Stockholm play grounds.

Either you are just creating this story and it doesn't reflect the real you, or the real you is a little paranoid and any sensible guy might run a mile. You could well be giving off the wrong vibe.
12:33 March 7, 2013 by Nomark

You wrote to another poster:

"Just don't assume I want the same thing."

As mentioned earlier, its highly possible that you don't know what you want in certain areas. Most of us don't, however much we protest. The heart, head, and body quite often give conflicting signals and we often just pick one of them when we "make up our mind" on something.

Thanks for the article. Its of an unusually high standard for the Local.
10:09 March 8, 2013 by sorresbiz
Hello Emilia!

You are majority of those girls who keep being finicky and fastidious in having a steady and good relationship. Always waiting for the likes of Tiger wood, Brad Pit, Ben Affleck and host of other celebrities in sport, movies and business world. You choose or reject men like the way you shop for clothes in H&M or trying to select a dress for the day in your wardrobe. It's like of you that whites and developed world are recording low birth rate and ageing population. Even the whites becoming a minority in some places.

I know your type the next destination now is to come to South East Asia looking for a young man to marry in your 5Os after you might have retired.

The gays are having happy relationship and loving well, while the straight are so confused. Likes of you are the ones making marriage look like an abnormal institution. We have so many likes of you parading the world, only being more narcissist and promoting some stupid gender equality. Please do not be stingy, life is short as you have being brought into this world, create somebody also. Thanks
14:16 March 8, 2013 by Emilia Millicent
@skogsbo I never said that I don't want a husband a family, I said I think it's weird that people assume you'll shack up with just anyone just because you're 30+. But I feel very content with not being one of those women who literally feel they haven't fulfilled their "biological destiny" if they don't settle down.
16:30 March 9, 2013 by Migga
@ AfroSwede

Who`s said that she`s only dated ethnic Swedes?
17:14 March 12, 2013 by BroX
I hate to bring it to you Emilia, but men in Sweden have been castrated by ultra-feminists.
13:45 March 14, 2013 by Essingen
As Emilia is 33 and works in finance she will be familiar with the term "depreciating asset".
03:01 March 16, 2013 by HörbDörpmeister
"This is not only revoltingly narcissistic, it's incorrect." pretty much sums up this article.
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