Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Vicky Cristina Orangeville

Living in a small, redneck and exceedingly boring town appears to have few upsides.

Given the homogenous nature of the community: the right wing Tory voting base; the small minded agricultural and business ethos; the Christian fundamentalist values (remind me to stop wearing my t-shirt featuring German Gothic script, skulls, upside down pentagrams and beer swilling demons I got from East Berlin's first "heavy metal pub" to garden stores on Sundays - people here look at me as if I intend to kidnap and sacrifice their grand-nieces and nephews) there isn't that much to amuse yourself.

Except where there is scandal! Now in Toronto where being gay is so boring these days everyone has to change genders in order to warrant a second glance, 'free form' relationships are something, it seems, one does on weekends instead of bridge games or curling so popular in small towns. Thus when someone decides to take a walk on the wild side in our little hamlet it is, at least to me, deliciously dishy.

I learned over the last number of years, that there are quite a few people involved in "non-traditional relationships" living around here. I'm not talking same sex, rather more than the usual two partners.

What makes these relationships exceedingly small town yet entirely bizarre is that a hallmark of them, is that they are monogamous, boringly stable, long term and more or less heterosexual. Yet by their very nature, they appear to me to be incredibly kinky.

Case in point: husband and wife aged 50s live with wife's younger lesbian lover in relationship going on for 5 years. They go everywhere together and the only time things seem to go awry is when one or the other party gets mad at the way the other party is treating another party and not themself.

Next we have heterosexual professionals, one of whom has an assistant. The assistant is also in a relationship one or other of the professionals. In any event they all live together quite happily to my understanding.

I have heard of more. Sometimes they start from one partner just sleeping with someone and not really caring what their spouse thinks. Rather than pack up, call the lawyer and trash your no good cheatin' partner, the aggrieved spouse kind of just, well I don't know, sort of refuses to leave. It becomes a war of attrition that eventually settles into normalcy. One can never say that denizens of this community don't take that "til' death do us part" vow to heart.

What makes these relationships even stranger for me, is that everyone in town seems to know about them - I mean everyone in town knows everyone else's business - but no one really comments. It's sort of like some pre-existing non-conforming use clause applied to the sex lives of those born here; one that doesn't extend to the garden variety "out" lesbian or gay man who might accidentally stroll into town sporting a pink triangle and short hair.

That "kind" frankly, no one wants around here.