Random Observation/Comment #140: I’ve avoided writing about love because, for some reason, I don’t want to feed my parents’ curiosity regarding my relationship status or love life. My brother and I follow the same rules, except I have a love life involving girls, instead of cars. Over the years, my parents and I have played this detective story jingle. They think they’re getting closer to solving the crime, but my path of bread crumbs have always lead them in the opposite direction. My mom is so clever that I couldn’t help but confuse her with a string of completely incoherent facts. She’s a great listener and analyzer, so a few little comments will at least keep Alzheimer’s from starting early. I don’t really mind telling them, but I think they would feel like those prying, nosy parents if they asked me (and they probably would be acting a little bit outside this normal realm, if they do ask). Instead, they’ll just record every detail and have little meetings around the kitchen table where they share the bits and pieces to sketch my night life experiences. I wonder if they do literal sketches of the type of girl they think I’m dating, or at least a girl that I’m attracted to (I hope they draw a pretty girl). Every once and a while, I’ve learned that some stories need to leak through to have the game continue. A new jigsaw puzzle needs to be started and those empty spaces adds some excitement and mystery to the omitted nights lost in the city lights (ooo, I liked that).
My brother wrote a blog entry about his opinion of love and Valentine’s Day. He mentions a lot of interesting points that I agree with, including Valentine’s Day being a terribly commercialized holiday, and love following every achievement and form of success. He really has a nice description of the L-Word, but he did not describe the feeling of being in love. The entry lacked the personal experiences that I was waiting to hear about – like that time in the back of the car or that red-head in an elf costume. I will not include these experiences in my entry either because I don’t want to give my parents a heart attack, but I will explain what it means to me and how I measure it (Warning: Mushy Content).
I think I was in love once. She meant everything to me. She was not just a part of my routine, but one of my main priorities (in my love-struck state of mind) was to do everything I could to make her goals, aspirations, dreams, and fantasies come true. I called her because it was the best moment of the day, not because she expected me to follow a checklist of chores. My brain included her in every thought (not that a high school senior really had much to think about). Day dreaming in class was habitual and I’m glad I didn’t have an iPhone (or even a cell phone) at the time or else I would have spent all my time and money texting. When I walked through stores, I looked at every item, wondering if an unexpected present would make her smile. It never occurred to me that I needed to tell her anything but the truth because I knew she would accept me for who I was. There was a level of judgment that was ultimately suspended above layers of forgiveness and leniency. We were bff’s and it felt like a poem.
These feelings, if short-term, would seem like stalkerish tendencies, but since they were reciprocated for the full length of our relationship, I felt it was much less creepy. I tried to describe my feelings to her on our two year anniversary, but it was an epic fail of crumpled papers in a dark hotel. I wound up writing something interesting, which I’ve found quite profound, yet deflecting. I said that I love her because I can’t explain, with all my logic and countless hours of analysis, why I love her. It just was. I couldn’t remember the days before I met her and I couldn’t imagine a life without her as a part of it. Love made me live in the present because, for once, it was the best thing on the timeline. There was nothing I could remember and nothing I could look forward to more than those moments with her.
Ehem… Back to reality. This was not an illusion, although it didn’t last as long as I wanted it to. It’s sad, but I don’t know if love could look that way again. That was young love. I learned a little more through heartbreak and found that, realistically, we follow the relationship because of teamwork. When you have someone else, it’s a distribution of every set of emotions between the both of you. If you’re carrying heavy bags, there’s another person to help you. If you’re eating a delicious food, you’re happy to share the experience with someone else. At the end of the night, even if you haven’t spoken to each other, you know you’re thinking about each other. Along the same lines you’ll feel the same importance of being a part of someone’s life, but you’re there with the other person walking on solid ground, instead of floating in the air in some fantasy land. Fantasy land doesn’t exist for older people because ambition becomes more attractive than a cute smile and a sexy voice. Making sacrifices and overcoming hardships to achieve common dreams are the true feelings linking two people together.
I thought about measuring true love, but it started to sound more like a measure for blind-love. My measuring method was similar to the Bogardus level of prejudice paper I learned in Social Psychology class (see? I learned something in a humanities class that I can apply to everyday life). Basically, this psychologist wanted to measure someone’s level of tolerance depending on their answers to a set of increasingly difficult questions.
- Would you ban this person from you country?
- Would you grant this person citizenship?
- Would you allow this person to vote?
- Would you allow this person into your neighborhood?
- Would you share a cab with this person?
- Would you have this person as a coworker?
- Would you allow this person membership to your exclusive club?
- Would you date this person?
- Would you marry this person?
- Would you allow your child to date this person?
- Would you allow your child to marry this person?
For example, if this were focused on racism, then this would test your tolerance for a different race.
I bring this up because my measure of love follows a set of questions in a similar manner. There should be a level of personal sacrifice you’d be willing to make before you resort to saying “Screw her, I’m more important.” I do not have a full list of criteria, but I expect the earlier questions would involve paying for meals and driving long distances, while the later questions could involve sharing bank accounts or taking the blame for a crime. Depending on how long the relationship has existed, I think the expected level of commitment should adjust accordingly (i.e. I would be touched if a girlfriend of three years flew 5000 miles to see me for a few days, but would be freaked out if a girl I dated for a week started naming our children and buying real estate).
~See Lemons Analyze Love