Typically narcissistic blogging.

…My Ridiculous Obsession With Love

I.

Eleven years ago, there was a person who believed in love more than anything else in the world. More than anything. Love mattered more than anything, and this person was willing to do anything to fight for it, earn it, hold it, nurture it and protect it.

Eleven years ago a fantastically silly movie arrived in theaters, and it was like it was tailor-made for this person. Because it put love on a pedestal and for 127 minutes the audience got to fall in love with love, and adore love, and worship love, and just fucking love love. Above all things, love.

Eleven years ago, this person—let’s call this person “Whiskeypants” for the sake of brevity and clarity—knew what love was. Whiskeypants knew all the facts about love. And how it worked. And how it was supposed to go. The more impatient among you may be tempted to suggest that Whiskeypants was an idiot, and that would be fair, but the more generous and tolerant may be thinking that maaaaybe this Whiskeypants person just had a lot to learn. A lot. A LOT to learn. Maybe. (Hint: YES. OMFG. A LOT.)

And as time passed, Whiskeypants did, in fact, learn. A lot. Fucked up. A lot. Loved a lot. Lost a lot. Lost more.

But never once lost faith in love. Until.

There’s always an “until” in these stories.

Until.

II.

I watched Moulin Rouge last night for the first time in…I don’t know. I don’t know how long it has been. And I found myself mourning that person with the enduring, unshakable faith in love and all it had to offer. And I don’t mean any kind of gentle, “awww, what the hell happened to my younger idealistic idiot self” mourning. I mean tears-running-down-my-face-wtf-happened-to-that-essential-core-belief-in-love kind of mourning.

In the last few years I let that Whiskeypants slip away, and I never went looking.

Tonight I pinpointed that moment when I let it happen. That moment when love—my faith in it, my belief in it—stopped being a factor. The moment when that part of me just…separated and went its own way.

And I…I just let it happen.

III.

Eleven years ago I stepped out of a movie theater, blinked my eyes against the sunlight and a world that seemed bleached of color. I felt stunned, I felt vindicated. I was pretty sure that getting on my bicycle and riding home was just going to be fucking impossible, so I went into the pub across the street, closed my eyes, nursed a beer, and loved love.

Eleven years ago I had a lot of necessary and painful lessons and experiences ahead of me. But losing that essential part of me, that love of love, should never have been one of them.

I never went looking.

I’m looking, now.

17 responses

  1. The bitch of it is when you realize that love hasn’t changed – you have.
    As we get older, it gets harder and harder to get over or increasing cynicism to get to a place where we can believe in love. The good news is that, if we can get there, it’s that much more spectacular than it was before the walls were there. xoxoxox

    April 16, 2012 at 9:51 am

    • Yeah, I’ve been coming to that conclusion. I’m really hoping that I find it again, for real, because I miss the belief, and I miss love being a good thing, and not something to be avoided or feared.

      I know I’m the one who changed. I’m glad it’s me. Knowing that, I have the power to change again.

      April 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

  2. Ruth Jewett-Warner

    I’m happy to read this. You know my great love was shattered, but I’ve worked to stay green inside even though it invites pain. The loss of softness is worse than the pain of keeping it. I agree with you. But dating is demoralizing, and I think more disillusioning even than losing a great love.

    April 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

    • Losing a great love means you had a great love, and that experience is essential to knowing how amazing love can be.

      Dating, and being shot down and shut down and treated poorly is going to erode faith in love and companionship far more.

      April 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm

  3. Asphodel Jones

    I never comment directly on your blog, and I should, except I always think I’m going to say the same thing over and over and over: Me too.

    If you find your faith in love, which I hope you do, more power to you. I wish you luck and strength on the journey. I still don’t have the courage to go looking for mine.

    April 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

    • “Me too” is a completely valid response and perfectly acceptable, even if it’s all you say. :)

      I’ll let you know if I find it.

      April 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm

  4. These days I’m not sure if I’ll be able to tell love from low-self esteem and gratefulness.

    April 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

  5. Peter Cruise

    That’s the place I’ve always been, but I’ve never heard it put so succinctly before.

    Regarding the original post, thankyou for this. It’s good to know someone else had the same reaction to Moulin Rouge as I did, and has gone through the same process of loss.

    I hope you find what you are looking for.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

  6. I started out extremely idealistic about love. Basically, The Princess Bride was my model of how things should work. I wanted, and wanted to be, both Westly and Buttercup. I still, deep in my heart, belive in some version of the ideal of true love: the kind that doesn’t come along every day, that can’t be tracked with a thousand bloodhounds, that can’t be broken with a thousand swords. :-)

    But, given that my first experience with falling in love got me an emotionally and physically abusive harridan, I was kinda forced to become somewhat more pragmatic (if you’re feeling generous) or cynical (if not), in terms of figuring out what I want and need, and how to balance the desire to leap head first into the experience of falling in love, versus the knowledge that, you know, it’s not always a great idea. I still want the opportunities to take my heart skydiving; but I kinda hate when it goes splat on the pavement.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    • Yeah, there’s always heartbreak in the realization that pragmatism must balance out the joy of love. My problem is that I went past pragmatism and well into a sort of hybrid atheism. I could still feel love, but my belief was lost. I simply let it go too far.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

  7. First of all, that was beautiful. Second of all, thank you for reminding me about the importance of faith. Whether its in love, humanity, or a higher spiritual…thingy. Faith or believing for no good reason can be very empowering. Lastly, that was beautiful.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    • Thank you.

      And, yes. I’m coming back to the realization that I need my faith, regardless of what it is in. And it’s definitely time to regain it. I’m really glad you enjoyed reading this.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:58 am

  8. Great writing :-) You know me. An old romantic. The truth is out there.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    • Thank you.
      I’ve always been a romantic. Being a romantic who is, at best, agnostic about love? Just doesn’t work well for me.

      April 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

  9. Love. Love is a crazy thing. I parted myself from love after I lost my first love who completely fell off the face of the Earth due to his addiction. We reconnected six months later, but not really. The love I had with him was true fucking love. Since then, I’ve dated people I purposefully couldn’t love, but never realized that until a year or so ago.

    Do you know how hard it is to put yourself out there, especially being a single mother? Of course you do, well, I don’t know about the parent part. But geez, putting yourself out there for others to crush, throw away, or completely disregard is difficult. But it’s even more difficult when you put yourself out there expecting to be able to be loved.

    Love is amazing, but when I don’t believe in love, I’m living in fear. The opposite of love is fear. Most people think it’s hate, but I’ve found that to be parallel with love. Love is when you have faith, fear is when you’re scared to open your door because the faith you should have somehow got tangled in the cobweb outside of your door before you closed your door on it.

    One must find the ability to love before they can find love, is what I’m finding out. And love isn’t settling, dealing, or anything that you have to think twice about. Love is pure faith that this is what you’ve been living for, and that this is what will enhance your life. Man, love is a crazy thing, and it’s something that everyone on Earth has in common. Something that we all have, want, strive for, or secretly obsess about since we haven’t ever felt it.

    I’m not sure if any of that makes sense outside of my crazy mind, but I hope it did. Sorry for the…err…book of a comment I’ve just wrote.

    April 22, 2012 at 9:25 am

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