Danish is a strange language. It is a compounding language meaning that by prepending descriptive words in front of the main word without the spaces used in English, you are forming completely legitimate new words that can be very long. As in absurdly long, leaving even the famous Welsh place names way behind. Try "sporvognsskinneskidtskrabersangforeningsgeneralforsamlingsreferatskorrekturlæsning" for size. That's the proofreading of the minutes of the annual general meeting of the choir society of the tram track dirt scrapers. No, there is no such job and no such society and thus no such minutes to proof read, but the word is legit. There are unofficial "competitions" to determine the longest valid word; popular in the press during the silly season, but of little practical use.
Danish is also rich in kinship terms – having e.g. separate words for male and female cousins, separate words for your parents' siblings of different genders in addition to the generic uncle and aunt, separate words for your grandparents to distinguish your mother's and father's parents, but also the generic ones, special words for great-grandparents before the great-great- kicks in and so on. Strangely there is no word for grandson or granddaughter – only grandchildren (and some archaic ones for your sons' and daughters' sons and daughters with only "sønnesøn" – your son's son – still in sporadic use). That just goes to show that languages are strange entities and that no language is better than any other. Just different.
ANYWAY, Danish is also quite well supplied with words for relationships – including the charming "bolleven" which really means "fuck buddy," but doesn't sound harsh at all – a bit like a to-the-point one-word term for the "friend with benefits" euphemism.
Another one is "kærestekedelig". "Kæreste" is the gender neutral word for boyfriend/girlfriend – literally it means "dearest," so maybe the old-fashioned "sweetheart" would be the nearest equivalent (though not quite). Thus the male version of "kærestekedelig" would be "boyfriend boring" (to retain the alliteration), but the word very much relates to the couple and the fact that they are seen as boring by the peers because they are so wrapped up in each other that they have no time for or interest in anything or anyone else.
Been there, done that, I'm sure we'll all agree – having been annoyed with someone who turned kærestekedelig, or – gasp – been that way ourselves; usually early in a relationship.
ALL THAT waffle just to explain the title of this little story about what someone being bored with somebody wrapped up in someone else can lead to.
It all happened some years ago during an otherwise not so pleasant phase in my life when my beloved wife had decided that she didn't really want to be my beloved wife anymore. We got so far as to separate, split up our belongings, sell off the house (ouch – it was a bad time for that) and set up separate homes. We didn't actually divorce, but while my wife was adamant that "there was no-one else," and I most certainly had never broken my wedding wows, I no longer felt bound by them at the time of the episode I'll now relate. If you accuse me of post facto justification, or outright hypocrisy, I shan't hold it against you. It happened. It hurt nobody. No-one had a valid claim on my affections or sexual fidelity at the time. It did me a world of good, and – according to the other party – her too.
ANWAY: On to the story.
I was taking my son and three of his friends up to a cottage in Sweden. I (we in happier times) have done that frequently, usually taking two girls and two boys (including my son) ever since they were old enough to be away for sleep-overs – and more than once had a bawling home-sick kid on our hands. I saw no reason to stop it just because my wife had gone walk-about; the cottage belongs to close relations of me you see and I still had access. Of course as the kids got older, and they were now 16+, the dynamics of such 2+2 groups was changing and I was perfectly aware that there might be some sexual activity involved. Listen, I'm no prude and neither are Danes in general. As Groucho Marx said "Sex is here to stay". Ryan, my son, knew the facts of life, was brought up to be sexually responsible, and had unlimited access to condoms. The age of consent around here is 15 so no legal hang-ups either.
Apart from yours truly and Ryan, the party consisted of Rick – a nerdish friend of Ryan's whom he has held onto for years and years despite them being so different, a busty Barbie bimbo named Jeanette – whom I was sure was there for Rick – and Amy.
Amy. What can I say? A cuter girl you are never going to find. My own daughters included. Yours too. Amy is a "Chinese import"; her parents – close friends of ours – learned the hard way what Mumps at 18 will do to a man's gonads. Chuck was a big bear of a man; no lack of testosterone in his bloodstream – but absolutely no viable sperm in his balls. He and his wife decided to go the adoption route, and two incredibly lucky Chinese orphans got the best, most dedicated parents you could imagine.
Remember Michelle Yeoh, the Bond babe in "Tomorrow Never Dies"? Then you have Amy. Petite, strong, strong-willed, and massively intelligent – the list of similarities is long, even to doing martial arts. Ryan and Amy had been buddies since kindy. With Amy quite the tom-boy, she was considered one of the boys and Ryan suffered no derision from hanging out with her. "Girl cooties" and Amy simply didn't mix.
Now was different – the boys were busy catching up with the notion that girls were great. I was impressed that nerdy Rick had attracted the attention of Jeanette – perhaps he was hiding secret talents in those baggy pants; it can't have been the zits or the 98% of his limited conversation centered on computer games.
That Ryan should have rediscovered his childhood buddy as a perfectly matched mate in an attractive petite package made me feel proud of him. Way to go Son!
That bubble burst in a hurry! In fact, I got a hint that things were not rosy in the garden when we set off just from the seating arrangements. The boys sandwiched in Jeanette in the back seat while Amy was riding shotgun. At least it looked like it was Amy, but I was on the brink of asking who the moody silent grump sitting next to me was and what she'd done to the vivacious chatterbox Amy that I've known and loved for years.
Part of the answer came on the ferry when I saw Jeanette and Ryan in a fierce lip-lock that progressed to a mutual tonsil-inspection and groping of interesting parts. Rick was oblivious, head down in his computer game on his oversized gamer-phone while Amy stormed off in huff to the rest-rooms and didn't reappear until we were being summonsed over the PA to return to the car. Her eyes were red, and I had no doubt that she'd been as surprised as I was.
At the cottage, Jeanette and Ryan were about as subtle as a bitch in heat and the alpha dog, so the atmosphere was a little tense. I cooked dinner – that's my job, and Amy helped. Ryan was busy showing Jeanette "where everything was" and Rick was playing his game. After dinner I forced the love-birds to contribute to the housekeeping by assigning them dish-washing duty, but they made sickly sweet but quick work of that and then decided to "retire early" to "their bedroom". Great start!
Rick disappeared to the room he would be sleeping in, I settled in the lounge, Amy grabbed a book and went her own way. The house is large enough; "cottage" is really as misnomer.
"What are you watching George?"
It was Amy returning to the lounge several hours later. Kids in Denmark rarely use surnames for their peers' parents or their teachers, so don't read anything overly familiar or impolite into her use of my Christian name.
"Oh, I was just catching up on the news," I said looking up, "but it's over now and I was thinking of putting on a movie. What about you? Are Ryan and Jeanette being kærestekedelige?"
"You can say that again. They've even locked the door to their room," Amy scowled.
"Oh," I replied. "And you don't fancy Rick, I take it?"
It was meant as a gentle tease, but the face Amy pulled made me back off that line of conversation in a hurry.
"To talk to, I mean," I hedged. Interestingly, Amy blushed. That's kind of interesting on an Asian.
"Spill!" I urged. The blushing intensified.
"I, eh, kind off, walked in on him," she muttered.
"Walked in?" I inquired.
"He was, looking at his phone and, you know,..." Her voice trailed off, but she was looking downwards at her crotch and making a suggestive hand-motion.
So Rick was wanking off to porn. Better check the access-log on the Internet! I would hate having to explain to my distant aunt why the Swedish police suddenly took an interest in "her" browsing-habits.
"He didn't notice me, I think," Amy hastened to add.
I cleared my throat. "Right, that's his business." Amy nodded in agreement – and the blushing started to fade.
A pause followed. Not embarrassed as such, but a time to gather thoughts.
"You're welcome to watch a movie with me then," I offered. Amy nodded. "But I suggest you get into PJs so you can roll into bed when it's over."
.... There is more of this story ...