Thursday, September 3, 2009

L'amour

What if Juliet had stopped herself from loving Romeo? She spots him and is intrigued, but after finding that Romeo is a Montague--thus being the ultimate dead end--she stops herself from falling into that abyss... she snaps her heart back up and locks it away to protect herself because her heart, as it is for every woman, is fundamentally her Achilles heel.

That's not the way it happens in the play. And that's not how it normally happens in real life, either. I think most of us women tend to let go of logic, instinct, even our own moral barometers to fall head over heels with abandon when we think we want someone... need someone... deserve someone. Even if it means loving a man we shouldn't love, because of _____ .

Love is a flimsy, funny, and fabulous abstract, isn't it? If I were to take a poll, i'll bet half would say that love is a fleeting emotion that fades, lessens, or even disappears with time. The other half would say love is everlasting and no amount of time can extinguish it. And the hippies would say ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!!! lol. In my mother's somewhat cynical opinion, love is a shaky ideal borne of naiivete. She always tells my sister and me, "you might think you love a man now, but wait ten years when the bills are stacked in front of you. That bright flame of love fades into the day to day activities and the stress and the constant workerbee-like movement of life and you're left with a stubby candle and a memory of what you once felt for him. So you better settle with someone who loves you more than you love him so when that naiive feeling of being "in love" disintegrates over time, you'll be stuck with someone who is at least dependable and supportive... because when you're older and wiser, you'll see that love is action. paying the bills is love. earning money for the childrens' private schooling is love. Being a good daddy is love." - Ms. Park, my mom.

But let's rewind and focus on the "young love" that i was talking about. Sometimes you love someone you shouldn't or can't. So you do it from afar. I've secretly liked someone that was seriously involved with someone else. I was like that dude who's in love with Keira Knightley in Love, Actually... you know, the one with the cards. Even though I knew deep down that nothing could come of it and i could never make a move, I carried on liking this guy and we talked and texted and fb-ed and emailed in secret. And although there was a lil' chickapea on my left should telling me that I should stop and back off, I didn't. Strangely enough, whenever we did rendezvous in whatever city to hang out, we never crossed the lines. Even when no one was looking and I probably could have gotten away with it, nothing happened. I stopped myself from moving forward and continuing on in this fauxlationship in my friggin head--not because i wanted to--but because my logic and my mind forbade me from dragging it out any longer. Because i'd known from the get-go that nothing would come of it. As time has gone by, I look back on this person and this thing that could have been, and I wonder about it. I'm sure I would be in a different place, maybe even a different city or continent if we did start a relationship. The hypotheticals are endless. But I gained something much more rewarding, stable and lifelong....a great friend.

I know a girl who fell in love with her ex-boyfriend's best friend. And as tragic and appalling as it may sound, i've withheld judgment and put myself in her shoes to try to understand her. You see, i know from experience that when you're hypnotized by love, nothing matters. Morals--right and wrong--go out the window. Peoples' feelings are brushed from the conscience to make room for the ever-expanding id. 'Who cares if friendships get broken? All that makes sense is i like him and he likes me.' That's what love does to people.

What made me have compassion for her? Experience. I dated one of my girlfriends' exes about 2 weeks after they had a very nasty, very public bustup. Needless to say, she and I aren't friends anymore, and a really big part of me regrets it; she is a good girl, and i was young and brash back then. It was like Cameron vs. Julia... except in my ending Julia got the boy. At the time, I got caught up in "love" and all those mushy, gushy feelings. I jumped into a relationship, thinking I was brave for "letting go" to singledom, completely forgetting the Cardinal Rule of Single Womanhood: you shall not ever, Ever, EVER date/go out with/bone your girlfriend's ex. PERIOD.

I've always wondered why we have a tendency to block out logic and live our lives carelessly through our hearts. I've done it a zillion times!! When people ask me for relationship advice, I can spout off tons of examples and make graphs and stick figures of why that guy/girl isn't/is for you. It's easy from the outside when you're not involved. The story of Romeo & Juliet is a prime example of how loving the wrong person can be a gal's demise, nevertheless, Romeo and Juliet goes down in literature as one of the most famous love stories.

Maybe love has nothing to do with it.

Maybe it's human nature to want to feel...and to fall. Kind of like a sliiiightly sadistic chip we're all born with. I mean, what better way to feel that rush of falling than by going into something already knowing it's going to end up bad and you probably shouldn't. We women tend to love bad. At least, we always go through a "bad" phase (bad boys, bad hair/makeup, bad habits).

Or maybe it's the intrinsic feeling of hope we silly humans relish. "I know he'll probably break my heart, but im going to believe and hope he doesn't and whatever happens was meant to be." or "I know she'll probably use me for my money, but i hope she doesn't." I hope, i hope, i hope. I dunno. People are funny, love is funny, life is funny. So those are just my observations tonight!

- Astrid, the pensive pea

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