No, That Is Not Love…

July 25, 2013

no that is not loveIn April, I made the decision to begin writing a book. It is an exhausting marathon of a task that has required lots and lots of Chardonnay.

Last week, I made the decision to pen a chapter about my ex in that book. It is, also, an exhausting marathon of a task that has required lots and lots of Chardonnay.

The book hones in on a few of my romantic fumbles in my early adulthood, my relationship with my ex being the Mark Sanchez of them. I’ve spent the past week piecing together my memories with a legion of old emails and Gchat conversations in my first attempt to shed light on a pretty dim time. The sentence I wrote which may or may not ever make it into the final book that sums up everything is, “Our unbalanced partnership, sewn together with blood-red flags, was doomed long before its inception.”

Years later now that I’m older and only a tiny bit wiser, I have questioned whether what transpired in the two-year jilted history with my ex could be considered love. I lean more toward “no” than “yes.”

This morning, I engaged in a healthy Twitter debate about “crazy girls” and, while I have written about the topic before, it never hurts to refresh a subject with new input. Everyone seems to define “crazy” a little bit differently, adding nuances and exceptions based on their own scope of experience. But, maybe the problem is less our definitions of “crazy” and more the endless stream of messages about how we are taught to give and receive love.

Throughout today alone, I read in a tweet the oversimplified Oprah quote, “If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.” Damn, Oprah. Thanks for making us defenseless creatures only subject to a man’s wants. You just lost a room in your powerhouse. Then, I read that Tamera Mowry-Housley sat down with Cocoa Fab and dished out incredibly skewed advice about what it takes to become a wife, starting with “Don’t be ratchet. Be refined.” Huh? I can only reference the amazing Bené Viera who, in her response to the interview, wrote, “This is slut-shaming in its most boring form.”

We see depictions of love in too many extreme and impossible models. It’s Carrie chasing Big around New York City. It’s Olivia Pope making out with the president in hidden rooms. It’s Tamera Mowry-Housley being a human cupcake and gushing about only babies and her husband. It’s Rihanna…well, that argument has been shot so many times that I’m attending its funeral this upcoming weekend.

I am a proud student in the school of thought that love is not the erratic, obsessive and impulsive behavior that makes for great TV but not such a great life. And, maybe that’s love for someone else, but it’s damn sure not love for yourself. However, beyond that, how we each go about creating and defining the love in our lives is broad. It is not the prescriptive rationale we imagine. It is loaded and frenzied and intangible. It is difficult to wrap your arms or your mind around. You think you have it and then it slips right through your fingers. Its meaning changes with each person you date, each marriage you observe, each heartbreak you endure.

Love is a big word, far too heavy for my growing adult mind at times. Perhaps, I can pinpoint what love isn’t. I’m just not sure if I can pinpoint exactly what it is.



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