Monday, June 21, 2010

Musings on Love

Part of being in a complementary relationship means having to compensate for qualities the other lacks. For instance, Paul takes care of my daily needs (i.e. cuddles, affection, and perspective) while I try to tamp down the gut-busting urge to fight his battles for him.

Last week, Paul was working on a film shoot. It was horribly disorganized and, on one occasion, he returned home horribly disgruntled because he wasn't sent home until 5:30 am. I awoke to the sound of his cellphone vibrating in my hand, which had been there for the past 3 hours since I'd dozed off in my sweaty dress.

I had visited him earlier in the evening to make sure everything was alright on set, having just come from a tv wrap party celebrating the end of production. I rolled down the window of my car and we wiggled our noses against each other (it's our thing, okay?) and I sensed that he was frustrated.

So when he slipped into bed with me that following morning, I vowed I'd set the production straight. (I told his mom afterward that, "No one overworks my boyfriend like that!")

On the last day of shooting, I drove down to the set and handed Paul a thermos of tea and introduced myself to the crew.

"Have we shot anything yet?" I inquired.

"No," said Paul.

"So you've been setting up this scene for three hours?"

"Basically."

I walked up to the production manager and promised him that I could get everyone out by 8:30 that night. He said, he'd been trying to get everyone to hurry up since the beginning and told me this was the pace they'd been going the whole time. Paul told me not to bother meddling. I responded that I wasn't going to be sucked into a 5:30 am wrap time, especially if it wasn't designated as a night shoot. I also agreed to be their script supervisor and take notes.

The PM eventually relented and said, "Look, I've tried being the asshole, but if you can get us all out by that time, you have my permission to be the asshole as long as you don't affect morale."

Agreed.

By 9 o'clock, we were all sipping beers in the alley. I had banged out a shooting schedule and effectively gave order to the set and was thanked by all. Made some professional contacts in the process, too. (To be fair, with the exception of the AD and director, everyone else was more than competent.)

Anyway, the crux of this story is to demonstrate that I've never felt more like a "team" in my relationships; the feeling that my partner's well-being is pertinent to my own. I think in the past, it was simply assumed that a relationship would displace the effort required to build a professional career, and for that reason, must be prioritized second (if not last).

Eventually, I realized having a relationship means turning down an overseas opportunity if it means being away from each other for too long. It means having realistic expectations as to how distance and time can break up the strongest of couples. And, in our case, how one of us (mostly him) might have to seriously consider going into real estate so we're not dependent on the irregular cheques doled out by the film industry.

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